Most people would like to meet the person of their dreams, fall in love, and live happily ever after. Of course, we all know life doesn’t normally turn out like that, and there are bound to be bumps in the road along the way. Being in a long-term relationship takes effort and commitment on both sides, without which the love you feel won’t be enough to sustain your partnership over many years. So how can you keep your romance alive and continue to delight in each other’s company when you’ve been together for a long time?

The advantages of having a long-term partner

If having a lifelong partnership is the ideal for most people, it must have a lot to recommend it! Indeed, there are many benefits to being with one person for a long time. Knowing another person so completely is a wonderful form of intimacy, and builds a deep form of love that stands the test of time. It’s nice to know you have someone who will be there for you no matter what, through the good times and the bad. It’s a warm and comfortable feeling, reassuring and giving you both strength. However, as well as all these good things, it can sometimes feel that you get stuck in a bit of rut.

Avoiding too much routine and predictability

As a relationship matures, when you’ve been living together or married for a few years, you can start to slip into a routine that rarely changes apart from vacation times. A level of routine is important, but if it gets to a stage where every part of your day becomes predictable, it can leave one or both of you feeling a bit flat. Everyone needs a degree of excitement in their life, and while you wouldn’t want to suddenly start going out clubbing every weekend, it is important to inject a bit of spontaneity and a few thrills into the ordered manner in which you’re living. Making the effort to go for evenings out together once in a while, to the theater or the movies, a nice restaurant, maybe a show or a concert; anything that you both enjoy doing that gets you out of the routine.

Talk honestly about your sex life

The bedroom is another area where you can tend to get into a routine after a while. That first flush of infatuation and excitement when you couldn’t keep your hands off each other normally fades, turning instead into genuine love and affection for your partner. That doesn’t mean your sex life has to fade, though. There are plenty of ways to spice things up a little, including a change of location, trying new positions and techniques, introducing toys, role play; as long as it’s something you both feel happy to try, there are lots of ideas you can investigate on good quality sexual therapy websites. If one of you is experiencing a dip in your sex drive, that’s not uncommon. It could be age-related, for example when a woman is going through the menopause it can play havoc with her hormones, or a man could experience erection problems due to prostate issues. If it’s possible, isolating the cause is the first step, because then you will find it easier to know how to address the issue.

Don’t forget to share time together

It’s always nice to share at least some of your hobbies with your partner. If there’s an activity you used to participate in that you haven’t done for a while, dust off your gear and make an effort to get out there again. It can be difficult to find time in a busy life, with work and especially if you have kids. It’s such an important thing to find time for and is something you need to prioritize if you want to stay happy in your relationship. Putting yourself first sometimes is essential for maintaining your wellbeing, and not investing in your partnership will lead to problems further along. If you don’t feel like doing the things you used to enjoy together, take up something new. Try taking some classes together, learn to dance, or paint, or learn a new language. What you do is far less relevant than the fact that you are doing it together, so as long as you’re doing something that you both like, it will have the desired effect.

Don’t take each other for granted

It often happens that when you are together for a long time, all the things that each of you does for each other and your family start to get taken for granted. You stop saying thank you to your spouse for taking out the trash because they always do it. It has become normal, rather than being a significant gesture. It would be a bit odd to go around saying thank you for every little action, but remembering to say it once in a while can do wonders for your partner’s happiness and self-esteem. It’s no fun for anyone to be the person that is expected to do things without any acknowledgment. A hug, a kiss, a sincere compliment and a show of appreciation now and then will go a long way to keeping your relationship on track.

Romantic gestures

It’s never a bad time to be a bit romantic, and getting a spur of the moment gift for your partner is a gesture that shows you are thinking of them and care about their happiness. Taking a weekend away is another way to put a sparkle back into your relationship, and remembering birthdays and anniversaries and making your other half feel special on these important days will act as a demonstration of your continuing love. You will know what kinds of gestures will delight your partner, so what you do should be guided by what they will most appreciate.

The special relationship that builds over time between two lovers is one of the most rewarding and significant parts of your life, so don’t let familiarity blind you to the importance of keeping things fresh.