Let’s be honest – when we talk about ways to “spice up” a dull relationship, we always think of the something related to sex – like buying wine, scented candles and petals to warm up the bedroom or exploring different techniques and positions. While good sex is vital in maintaining intimacy, couples counselling experts agree that it’s not the only thing needed to rekindle romance and strengthen your bond.
Here are 9 other ways to spice up your long-term relationship and keep it fresh and exciting.
1. Schedule random date nights
Date nights don’t require a valid reason, like an anniversary, “monthsary”, or birthday. It also doesn’t have to be on a weekend or when after a hectic work event is over. Sneak occasional date nights anytime you’re free just to catch up and take a break from life’s stressful realities.
Eat out, drink, watch a good movie, a game, or a concert, visit a museum, chill at a park, and just enjoy each other’s company.You can also plan date nights at home by decorating the house and preparing something special for dinner.
2. Travel together
It’s a no-brainer – traveling is indeed one of the best ways to have fun as a couple and spice up your relationship. When you travel with your SO, you experience new things and build great memories with each other.
It doesn’t always have to be an expensive beach getaway or a luxury accommodation that’s one airplane ride away. It can be as simple as going on a late-night road trip along the countryside, savoring cheap, local food, and lying on the grass or car trunk under the blanket of stars.
3. Try a new hobby as a couple
You and your SO may share similar interests and hobbies you both enjoy doing, and that’s lovely. But if you’ve been doing the same activities for years and you’ve stopped learning new things, you may consider breaking the routine to inject fun into your relationship.
Add a twist to your hobbies. If you’re arts and crafts, try using other media, or learn different techniques. If you’re both into music, level up your usual jamming sessions by writing songs, learning new instruments, and exploring another genre. Are you a foodie? Step up your gastronomic adventure by cooking new, complex dishes together.
4. Do something for the first time with your partner
Have you been wanting to do something, but you keep putting it on hold due to fear, anxiety, or lack of time? Life is short, so do it while you can. Want to try riding a roller coaster or entering a horror house? Or learn how to drive and get a license? You’ll feel anxious about doing these rewarding things when you do it with your partner.
5. Surprise your partner
A little element of surprise can go a long way. It can be a random surprise visit at work, a nice breakfast in bed you put extra effort into, or a small gift your partner has been eyeing on for weeks.
6. Spend some time apart
Spicing up a relationship doesn’t always require doing things together. Besides, being together all the time and building a world solely around each other, with no room for personal growth, can be unhealthy. Sometimes, the best way to improve your partnership is spending some time alone or with other people like family and friends.
7. Take some “me” time
Pamper yourself. Play games. Eat out or watch a movie alone. Create art or go to a museum all by yourself. Spend time pursuing your passion. Remember that you’re a team, but your individual selves should be physically and mentally stable to keep that team strong.
8. Reminisce about the past (the good ones, of course)
Talk about that day you first met, your first date, your first kiss, and other significant events from the past that are worth reminiscing. It’s nice to remind each other where you came from, relive your honeymoon stage, and realize how you grew over the years.
9. Make a bucket list – and commit to ticking them off
Plan something exciting to look forward to together. List down the interesting places you’ve never gone to before. Write down your dream places, including the countries and attractions you need to save up for. Don’t forget to list down the more “achievable” ones, like an picturesque destination out of town or list of interesting restaurants.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Relationship Room Couples Counseling, a couples psychology institution specializing in relationship counseling and therapies for couples and families. She may be hopeless romantic but she’s got some straightforward pieces of advice about love, dating, and relationships.