It’s easy to fall in love: sparks can ignite just from seeing an attractive face across the room, a well-timed witty remark, or a moment of chemistry. Staying in love, though, and keeping the passion in your relationship, can be more of a challenge.
After all, infatuation has a limited lifespan. “Passionate love provides a high, like drugs, and you can’t stay high forever,” says Elaine Hatfield, a psychology professor at the University of Hawaii.
So in this month of love and passion — and depending on where you are, the kind of cold that will make you feel grateful to have someone to cuddle — let’s put some attention on staying in love and having thriving, passionate relationships. Here are five tips that will help you do just that.
Make Time for “We”
Being in a relationship is a journey: that is, you’ll never be able to check “relationship” off your list as a completed item. Relationships require time, attention, and care to flourish.
Does that sound like a chore? It shouldn’t. Dating when your relationship is secure involves all the delight — from experiencing culture together, to making vacation plans, to getting dinner and drinks — with none of the anxiety of wondering if you’ll be called the next day.
Go on big dates, and also have small romantic moments at home. Even an ordinary evening is transformed if you set the mood (our passion mood-lites and mood-candles are an easy way to make a night at home feel special).
Remember Why You Fell in Love
Don’t let your relationship get trapped in the grind of everyday life. Look at your loved one, and try to remember each day what makes him or her so lovable to you. Compliment each other on things both big and small—a pretty dress, and a killer presentation at work—to help make falling in love a daily activity, and not just a memory.
Forgive, Forget, and Move On
Undeniably, in any relationship, there will be some rough spots. It’s important to master the difficult art of getting past those moments of anger and frustration. A few tips:
- Do your best to become a person who’s slow to anger. Ward off fights when possible.
- Avoid heated conversations, by letting tensions cool down from a boil to a simmer. Go for a walk alone rather than screaming through a moment.
- Give your significant other the benefit of the doubt; forgetting to put clothes into the laundry was probably not intended to frustrate you.
- Let fights go once they’re done (but remember any lessons that can be learned).
Think of who you were five years ago. Were you in a different job? Did you have different friends, hobbies, or interests? Most likely, you’ll change over the years — and so will your significant other, and that’s a good thing.
In a relationship, though, it’s important to change together. Incorporate your loved one in your new hobbies and adventures; bring your spouse to drinks with your new coworkers; and put an emphasis on following along with your significant other, too, as he or she grows and changes.
Be a good listener: pay attention to your significant other’s plans—both for tomorrow afternoon, and for the next few years.
Don’t Forget to Flirt
This tip from Joanna Goddard, who writes the blog Cup of Jo is so smart, and so simple: she recommends that once you live together, you meet for a date at your destination, rather than leaving home together.
That way, you skip the transactional part of the evening (taking care of the kids; straightening a tie) in favor of seeing your polished, lovable significant other waiting for you as you open the door to the restaurant. As she writes, “Meeting at a restaurant whisks us back to our early dating days and kicks off a romantic vibe for the rest of the evening.”
Be flirty with your significant other in this way, and in others. It sends the signal that you’re still attracted and in love.
How do you keep the #passion alive in your relationship? Tell us your tips and secrets on social media.