Relationships: Learn the key to keeping things fresh in the long term

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Relationships: Learn the key to keeping things fresh in the long term

Madison Wood

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Illustration by Jennifer Luxton, A&E Editor

When in a relationship for a long period of time, it isn’t always easy to keep things fresh and upbeat. Once the novelty of the “honeymoon” phase has worn off, it takes some effort to keep things from becoming routine.

1. Have a life outside of your relationship. It is important to maintain a part of your life that does not include your significant other. While spending time with them is good, it’s just as beneficial to have time apart. Having a ‘boy’s night out’ or a ‘girl’s night out’ once a week can help give you some breathing room. This lets you be your own person outside the context of your relationship, and gives you the opportunity to bring something fresh back when you see your significant other again.

2. Act like you are still dating. If you treat your significant other the same way you did when you were courting them, it keeps the spark alive. Doing something as simple as a date night once a week to get out is a easy romantic way to keep the relationship fresh. Take the time to let them know that they are never taken for granted.

3. Communicate. Always an important part of any relationship, communication is key. Whenever there’s something that comes between you, it’s often convenient to take the easy way out and just avoid the issue altogether. However, suppressing a problem is not a solution. By speaking honestly with your significant other about your feelings regarding the relationship, it shows that you care about the relationship enough to fight through the good the bad and the ugly. Don’t let mundane problems kill the magic if they can be talked over.

4. Do the little things. In the beginning of the relationship, you’ll make any effort to do the little things that impress your partner. As the relationship progresses it is easy to forget to maintain that aspect of the relationship because you’ve said or done these things so many times before. However, they carry a lot of weight. A simple compliment or ‘I love you’ is good to hear regardless of the longevity of the relationship.

5. Try new things. To keep things fresh, it’s a good idea to create new adventures together. Something as simple as going to a new restaurant or hiking a new trail will help create new memories and expose the relationship to a new environment. Even if the experience doesn’t turn out how you thought it would, it shouldn’t count as a loss because you are still putting an effort into trying new activities, and subsequently building on the relationship.