By Oritsegbubemi Peace Pessu.
I may not have dated much seeing that I’m still young (some people will disagree with this) but in the few relationships I’ve had, I noticed that the first few weeks to months were like a fairy tale but after a while we plunged into what I could only with two words, an “ordinary blah” (as no word can truly describe it enough for me). All the lustre had faded away right before our eyes. This made me ask, ‘What went wrong? Where and when did the fire burn out? How can I get that magic back?
Now, every relationship has its point where things begin to seem a bit…well…dull. When you first start dating, the excitement of getting to know someone new, trying new things and having new experiences is exhilarating and helps to keep the spark alive. But after a while when the “new” hype has died down, we look for other ways to spice things up in our relationship. Instantly we think the bedroom! But spicing things up doesn’t necessarily have to mean amping up your sex life. Staying connected is what’s most important, in whatever way possible. Though keeping things hot in the bedroom is beneficial (especially for the married ones), here are a few ways you can keep the relationship fresh by staying connected. Trying out at least a few of these tips will be sure to give your relationship the face lift it needs.
1. Take advantage of new technology; text and send e-cards. With so many of us pressed for time, why not use technology to “keep in touch” during the day. A compliment, an affection or a quick “Hello, you are being thought of” via text can spark anyone’s day. E-cards are fast, and convenient. There are many sites that allow you to send them for free. You can find any type of sentiment from cute and funny, to serious and romantic or teasingly sexy. The bonus is that you can include a personal message along with it if you’d like.
2. Hold hands, hug and give quick kisses often. Nothing is as good for the soul and the emotional health of a person as the human touch. As teenagers, we hold hands, give quick kisses as hello and goodbye and cuddle as we sit close. Why not keep that sense of youth no matter how old we are or how long we have been have together as a couple? Holding hands keeps a connection and closeness, no matter what we are doing. An enthusiastic hug uplifts us; a quick kiss says “glad to see you”.
3. Date often. Make dates and anticipate them with excitement. Dress up and look your best. Discover a new cologne or perfume. Set the stage as if you are trying to “impress” the way you did at the beginning of the relationship. If your budget limits you to a rental movie at home, change it up. Set out cheese and crackers instead of the usual popcorn. Turn off the lights and light up some candles. The point is to set the atmosphere of a date. The desire to look your best, feel your best and have the best time possible will rejuvenate those feelings of a first date.
4. Write old fashioned love letters. There is nothing like the power of the written word. The idea that a person would sit and attempt to convey their feeling through words is not only a heart warming gesture, but one that can be renewed over and over again through each reread. When you need an emotional lift, you can revisit them and instantly get the emotional recharge. Rereading a partner’s love letters instantly brings you to the intensity when the relationship was young. Writing letters throughout the relationship tells your partner those feelings are still alive and well.
5. Praise, praise and thank you…and more praise. Rather than concentrating on what he or she “doesn’t do anymore”, think about what he/she does. He may not bring you flowers as he did in the beginning of your courtship, but his consideration in packing your lunch or giving you some time with the girls is another type of “blossom”. If she doesn’t seem to be as affectionate as when you first dated, appreciate her watching the game with you, especially if she is not a sports fan. The saying “seeing your glass full or half empty” is valid.
If we compliment people on what they DO, instead of harping on what they don’t, we’d be surprised how responsive a person can be. Being appreciated with a “thank you”, makes most people enthusiastic about doing more. Complimenting your partner on their qualities of patience or creativity will easily be a high point in their day. And with enough “thank yous” and compliments, you never know. That bouquet of flowers might just follow.
6. Learn something “new” together. Take dance lessons or take an art class skate together! Take a day trip to a new place neither of you have ever visited before. If you look back on your life, you probably connected with people whom you shared new events or experiences, something you experienced together for the first time. Those experiences create closeness. Find something that can be a “first” for the two of you. You might also develop a new interest the two of you can enjoy!
7. Make love often and with passion ( for the married couple). The beauty of a long term sexual relationship is that the intimacy builds over the years. That intimacy makes sex much more genuine, gratifying and fulfilling. It is also an area that is not often put high on the importance scale. Work, career, school, and kids often exhaust our energy so we find it hard to “be in the mood.” Make the intimate part of your relationship a high priority. Make time for “love sessions.” Take time to “make love” rather than just have sex. Use candles, perfume, or whatever that is that get your juices flowing. Like all else in life, intimacy dies if it is not nourished. Feeding it with affection, compliments and time will make it something that feels less like an obligation at the end of a hard day, but something to look forward to.
8. Strengthen your art of conversation. If you find yourself with “nothing to talk about anymore”, find something to start the conversation. Fill your partner in on the “funny“ things that happened at work, the gossip; anything trivial and interesting. Remember, we all need to use our partners as a “sounding board,” but if that is the only conversation that we are having with our “significant other,” even the most sympathetic listener can have a breaking point. Make “sharing your day” a pleasurable event, not a dreaded evil.
9. Be a good listener. There still is the time when your partner will need you to be there, just to listen. You have probably heard the joke a thousand times and heard the family issue twice that often, so listening to your partner is not always easy. The extra effort, however, can be priceless. Remember, often people don’t want their problems solved, just a shoulder to lean on. Taking away the burden of “fixing it,” might make it easier.
10. Take care of yourself; mind, body and spirit. Be passionate about life. There is truth to the belief that if we nourish the child in us our spirits can stay young, even when our outer body doesn’t. Stay young in mind and spirit. Take care of your health, emotional and physical. It is much easier to keep a relationship young when you exude that aura yourself. Start by keeping yourself “young at heart.”
11. Always try to understand the other person perfectly. You might be of two completely different mindsets, but you must know you are together because you are meant to be. So don’t spoil it. Whenever the other person does something wrong or doesn’t arrive on time, don’t start by being so aggressive. You must first ask the person what happened in a calm way and tell them that “I understand, don’t worry.” These small consoling words can strengthen your relationship greatly.
Keeping a relationship vibrant for years can be a challenge, but that doesn’t have to be a negative. As with all challenges, once achieved, the success becomes much sweeter, the accomplishment more exhilarating. That kind of energy is certain to give a kick start to anyone’s relationship!