6 Ways to Fan the Flames of a Long-term Relationship
Do you remember how thrilling a date was when you were "dating"? It was exciting to be asked, exciting to get ready for the event, and exciting to go. Now—ho hum—you've been together for years (maybe even decades) and the dates (if they happen) are often a battleground for disagreeable conversations.
So, go on a date. But here's the thing: you do not want to spend the night reflecting on your to do list or your in-laws. And you don't want to be that old couple in the corner sitting in stony silence. So here are some tips to make your date night special, no matter how many dates you’ve actually had together. Warning: you just might ignite some passion.
1. Compliment your mate's appearance—most couples who have been together for awhile forget the fine art of compliments. Women never get tired of being told that they're attractive. Men want to look attractive to their mates as well. Look at your beloved and find a detail that you can sincerely appreciate. It will start the evening off on the right note.
2. Don't discuss kids, money, or work—these three topics are absolutely taboo! Observe the 500 yard rule: Once you are 500 yards away from your home, you cannot discuss kids, finances, or work. What is left to talk about, you might ask? Get creative. Talk about current events, about your dreams, about the future, about the restaurant. This is not the time to bring up gripes, complaints, or stressful subjects.
3. Remember the early days of your dating and share a fun memory—finish the sentence "I remember when..." and share a pleasant memory of when you were first falling in love. Reminisce in specific detail (what you were wearing, what the weather was like, the environment, the feelings you had, the words she or he used, etc.). Reminiscing will bring smiles to your faces and get the old fires roaring.
4. Feed the other a bite of your meal—Many people feed their new spouse a piece of cake at the wedding ceremony. It's one of those traditional photo-op moments. However, after that, few of us have the habit of feeding our mate. However, it can be a sensual, intimate and even playful experience to feed your loved one. Either by hand or with a utensil, take turns feeding each other a bite of something delicious.
5. Touch your mate throughout the meal—hold hands, put foot on foot, or place your hand strategically on their arm during your meal. Physical touch is a way to communicate that you're feeling connected...and that you're interested in staying connected.
6. When you go home, share something that you love about the home you made together—this simple statement stimulates gratitude for the home you've created and signals to the other that it's a home that you enjoy. You could comment on the couch you bought together, on the deck that he built, on the photograph she hung up in your bedroom. A house becomes a home when you create it together. Notice, be grateful, and share it.
Using these six strategies will enhance your connection and remind you why you choose to be in this union. "Long-term" doesn't have to mean "dull." In fact, long-term love, in general, is richer and deeper than the fleeting spark of infatuation. So go out, celebrate, and fan a flame of romance for the one you love.
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