Marriage is a wonderful thing but it’s not effortless. What’s more, even with work on your relationship, it still changes over time.
This can be scary for most couples – the first several months or years of intense intimacy and passion are very precious so it may feel like a loss when they start to transition into routine and complacency. And even though those can be a good thing too, keeping the initial spark of passionate love is important.
Here’s a list of five easy ways to keep the spark alive in your marriage.
1. Look for new experiences
Lots of things force complacency in your married life – work, chores, taking care of the kids, and the constant weariness of just being an adult. And while all that makes it difficult to look for new experiences in your relationship, it’s also what makes them necessary.
Take a break from Netflix, put the phone aside, and think of at least one new activity you can do together every week.
It can be as simple as trying out a new restaurant, going to a new place in town, or even just playing a board game together. Or, if you’re feeling funky, it can be something more extravagant like going bungee jumping or role-playing in the bedroom.
2. Foster intimacy
The first major sign of trouble in any relationship is when one of the spouses starts pulling away physically and emotionally. There are many reasons why men pull away and women can do it too. But in either case, the best way to avoid that is to foster intimacy in the relationship.
This doesn’t mean just having regular sex – very often that can feel like something you’re forcing yourself to do. Instead, to get to the sex, it’s important to keep the intimacy going.
A snuggle in the evening, waking each other with a kiss and a hug in the morning, smacking a quick kiss on the other’s lips while you’re cooking together, or a gentle stroke down their back – these things can seem simple and innocent but they are often what keep you seeing your partner as someone you can be intimate with.
3. Surprise your spouse
A lot of people are not comfortable with surprises – they require initiative and bring the risk of disappointment. However, they also keep the excitement in the relationship alive.
And while surprises occur naturally at the beginning of a relationship because the two of you don’t know each other yet, they tend to phase away over time.
So, it’s crucial that you keep the surprises in your relationship. And the great news is that they don’t even need to be anything major, at least not all the time.
A positive surprise can be something as simple as a flower or a small gift, a surprise date night or a nice gesture. It can be as small as doing the other’s chores while they’re out or as major as organizing a surprise vacation for the two of you.
4. Ditch the distractions and talk more
Communication is the backbone of every relationship. The longer two people stay together and get to know each other, the more they start believing that they just “know” what the other thinks or is going to say.
This almost always spells death for the intimacy and passion in the relationship. So, even if you don’t do anything else, it’s crucial that you spend at least some time talking to each other every evening. Slowly, calmly, and with an emphasis on listening to each other – just talk.
5. Remember the basics
The easiest way to keep the spark alive is to keep doing what you were doing when at the beginning of your relationship. What were the things the two of you enjoyed together when you started dating?
Romantic date nights while talking about small insignificant things till the morning. Walks in the park, cracking jokes, kissing each other on a bench for half an hour straight. Those activities bring a lot of fun at the initial stages of dating, but then they tend to be forgotten as your relationship progresses.
If you want to break out of the routine and bring the spark back, do what you used to do in the early days of your relationship. Any relationship requires work and a little bit of effort always pays off. So go ahead, book a table at that lovely restaurant and invite your spouse on a romantic date!