Talk to each other. Best friends talk!!! Once the initial passion dies down, you are left with conversation. If there is no conversation then the relationship may only be built on the physical, and thus, not likely to last in the long-term. Find new things to talk about every day, even if it is just reporting your day to your loved-one. Talk about current events in the news, the plot of your favorite movie or just discuss plans for the next time you go out. Talking is the key to longevity…don't forget it!
Get away with each other. Take a trip together, whether for a night, a weekend or a week - it will breathe new life into your relationship, as well as test the waters by forcing you out of your ‘safe" environment. Plus, you will be creating memories to last throughout your relationship. (Be sure to take pictures!)
Give gifts. Sure, you can survive on love alone - but why? Don't ever forget the importance of gifts! Don't feel like you must spend a fortune on gift-giving - after all, it's the little things that count anyway. A single flower, a picture frame, a magazine….any little thing that reminds you of your lover….will make your sweetheart's love grow.
Make Love Well, this is self-explanatory. Believe it or not, sometimes in a long-term relationship, sex gets put on a back burner. Try not to let this happen. Talking openly about the subject and being genuinely affectionate will help keep the fire lit.
Write notes. Leave little love notes for each other in unexpected places…under a pillow. On the bathroom mirror. In his lunch bag. Email. This will keep the courtship going well after you move in together!
Walk. A great way to take some time with your loved one is to go for a walk together. Not only will you be able to spend some time away from the daily grind of your home or office, but you may find that you begin talking more often about things you wouldn't otherwise. It's also a great excuse to hold hands and get some exercise!
Flirt. No, not with other people! With each other! Once people settle into a relationship, it gets easier and easier to forget to continuously woo the object of your affection. Don't forget the hair flips, the coy smiles and the light touches on the arm - they can be integral in keeping the excitement going, especially after many years and a few kids.
Date. Grab your calendars and set a time each week or each month for an official "date." Plan ahead and alternate who is responsible for making the plans. If you have a date night, you have something special to look forward to - and for parents it could be a much-needed adult night out.
Get away from each other. Plan a trip or a retreat for yourself, or just isolate yourself on the other side of the house for a day. Sometimes, we get so caught up in being a couple that we forget to be an individual. Take a bath or read a book, or catch up on correspondence. Or just sleep. Time alone can be rejuvenating, and by the end of it, you may find that you look forward to seeing your partner even more!
Make a list of everything you love about them….and give it to them. Be sure to let the love of your life know why they hold that title. All too often we say "I Love You," but never really think about each little thing that creates the overall emotion. Tell her you love her laugh or that his smile makes the problems of the world go away or that his silly sense of humor is what made you fall in love with him in the first place. Telling your partner the things that make up the building blocks of your relationship will put a new light on your love…and make you more aware of the little things of the future.
Cook dinner for each other. Plan a menu, do some grocery shopping and Bam! - you are Emeril in the kitchen. Well, maybe not, but a nice dish of pasta and some wine can go a long way with a little candlelight, some music and togetherness. Make an effort to prepare dinner for each other. It can be fun to plan the perfect meal and the atmosphere you create during the meal can reap major benefits after the meal!
Make CDs for one another. Show your true side to your sweetheart by making a CD compilation of your favorite songs throughout the years. Be honest - put all the disco and Journey and Britney Spears on it as you wish…it will always remind your partner of you and you can joke about it later on. Alternatively, create a collection of your favorite love songs.
Celebrate little anniversaries. Your first date. Your first kiss. Your first trip. Your first…whatever. CELEBRATE IT! Remember your time together by creating little anniversaries for otherwise trivial things. It will keep the spark alive and give you incentive to try new things together!
Read to each other. If you find an interesting article in a newspaper or magazine, or an evocative passage from a book, cut it out, or highlight it and read it to your partner later. It could start a long conversation and will bring you closer because you shared something that touched you.
Compliment each other. Never forget this - especially if your sweetie is a woman! Women love compliments, but men enjoy them immensely as well. A favorable mention of one's smile or hair or outfit or figure will create much happiness. When was the last time you made your partner's face light up?
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