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Graphic by: Len Duenas

In today’s world of hookup culture, if you’re still with your high-school sweetheart or have been dating for a few years now, then you should consider yourself to be lucky. There is a sense of security and trust between the two of you which is very relaxing. You know everything about each other and there are no surprises. 

They know your favorite dish and you know their favorite go-to movie. But sometimes this “known” feeling can get somewhat boring and make you question things. 

You might feel like you’re losing the spark in the relationship. Maybe when you kiss, you still feel the sky bursting and butterflies doing cartwheels in your stomach but, the overall spark is missing.

Here are a few tips to keep you going and make the long-term relationship feel just like it did when it was brand new.

Communicate and Check In

I know this sounds typical and mundane but it is the key to a successful and happy relationship. Misunderstandings are bound to happen even in a long-term relationship if you fail to communicate well with each other.

We are all busy in our lives with a lot of different things. Different jobs, different college majors and different ideologies. It is okay to get caught up in work but communicating this well with your significant other is also equally important.

All it takes is one text message or a phone call even for five minutes to inform them about your day, check up and let them know how much you love and appreciate them.

Do Not Assume or Cheat

This is extremely important. Just because they are unable to spend time with you doesn’t mean they found someone else. It speaks more about your mentality and expectations than theirs’. People have a lot going on in their lives and if you’ve been dating for a few years now, a basic expectation is understanding, not accusations.

If you still end up cheating, it’s on you and not them. So don’t start the blame game. Instead of assuming and going for “tit for tat,” talk, ask and try listening. It’ll save both of you tons of bad memories.

Continue to Date

By this I mean to continue to date each other, not other people because otherwise that’s called cheating. Except if you both have some kind of system agreed upon, you know. I wouldn’t personally but you do you. No judgment.

Keep time aside for each other for dates. Go out for dinner! If you’re short on time, go grab a coffee or ice cream. Maybe visit the place where you had your very first date and reminisce about the old times. 

This will help you focus on each other and have some quality time without distractions. You can discuss your week and best of all, rant with your beloved about something you hated about the week!

Physical Intimacy 

It is as important as communication. It promotes trust, love, emotional connection and overall well-being. It especially becomes more important if physical touch is your partner’s love language.

Physical intimacy isn’t limited to just having sex. It revolves around a lot of various other things like holding hands, cuddling while watching a movie and hugging each other for longer durations.

Having physical contact with your partner makes them feel closer and gives you a feeling of warmth and safety.

Try New Activities

Try new things together! It could be a new cuisine or maybe an adventurous activity. You could explore a different city and plan out a mini holiday for the weekend!

When you try new things together, you create a shared bond and memory. This helps you stay connected and create some really sweet memories.

In addition to that, you’re with someone you trust immensely. So you know they will always understand you and respect boundaries.

Independence

You want to check up on them and show that you care but you don’t want to act insecure and straight up like a stalker. So, give them independence.

Let them enjoy some me-time and pursue their passions and hobbies. You want to be supportive, not annoying. It’s okay for people to want to have alone time. Understand and let them know you care.

A relationship should feel effortless and not a burden. If you constantly keep asking for “updates,” it will surely frustrate them.

Do not get angry when they won’t respond to your constant messaging. They might be in a situation where messaging back is not possible and you getting upset and fighting over this will creep them out. You’re their partner, not a parent or Joe Goldberg from the show “You.”

Plan Surprises! 

Plan a surprise date for your beloved! Let’s be honest, you’ve been dating for quite some years now so the gesture doesn’t have to be a big one. It could be as simple as planning a picnic or staying at home and watching your favorite movies.

It lets your partner know that you’re thinking of them. It will remind both of you why you started dating in the first place. It will help you share some quality time with each other’s presence and help you figure out what is going wrong. Discuss, don’t fight.

Remember, it’s very easy to give up and break relationships rather than give in your all and maintain it. They could be your “the one” so hold onto them and don’t let go. It’s very rare!

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