8 Little Things You Can Do To Make Your Long-Term Relationship So Much Happier

A lot of people claim that once their relationship becomes comfortable and familiar and the honeymoon period ends, that spark from the beginning starts to fade a little too. In this stage, while things are still content and satisfying, they’re not nearly as spontaneous and thrilling as they once were. It doesn’t have to be this way! Long-term relationships deserve to still have that excitement just as much as brand new ones. Here are some suggestions to make sure you and your partner stay happy long-term.

  1. Never stop dating. Sure, once you’ve been together for a while, you might not be getting out for that weekly date night as often, especially if you’re married or living together because you see each other every day anyway. It’s important to still make time for those special evenings together, though. Dating your significant other, even if you’ve been together for years, is important for your relationship. Life can get so hectic and busy but those intimate moments are a great way to remind each other that you’re still madly in love and those feelings for each other have not faded with time.
  2. Make a big deal out of anniversaries. Not only should you celebrate every yearly milestone together but coming up with some fun and unique anniversary ideas is a great way to have fun and be reminded of wonderful moments from your past. Celebrate the anniversary of the first time you said “I love you” to each other, go out for dinner to celebrate your anniversary of moving in together or even the anniversary of your first real fight. These little moments are all essential points in your relationship and commemorating them helps you appreciate all of the moments that have made your relationship what it is today.
  3. Split up the household responsibilities. This is a great way to make the transition of living separately to moving in together run more smoothly. One of you might be more of a neat freak than the other but regardless, the house needs to be cleaned, the laundry needs to be washed, and dinner needs to be cooked. Divvying up the various daily tasks is not only going to ensure everything gets done when it needs to, but it will also help to eliminate any fighting or resentment. If one person in the relationship is made to feel like everything is on their shoulders, chances are they will start to feel bitter towards the other person. Squash the chances of that happening by working as a unit and helping each other out.
  4. Make sure to have your alone time. Of course, when you’re in love you want to hang out with each other all of the time but it’s important to still make time for yourself, especially once you’re cohabitating with your partner. Being independent and having those moments to yourself will remind you of what it was like on your own and give you the time to do the things that make you happy. It’s great when you and your partner can compromise on things and watch the shows that you both like and do the things that you both like to do, but what you want is important too and it’s nice to have that quiet time. Your partner will appreciate their alone time too.
  5. Be spontaneous and surprise each other. A great way to keep a long-term relationship exciting is to sneak in little spontaneous activities and surprises for your partner. If you both have the weekend off work, why not hop in the car and drive somewhere you’ve never been before just so that you can explore? Surprise your lover with a “just because” gift. It doesn’t have to be anything big, even it’s just their favorite wine or snack. Just a little reminder that you love them and want to brighten their day. In the first stage of dating, we tend to shower our partners with gifts and surprises in order to win them over, however, who says those things have to completely stop once you’re in a committed relationship? Keep pursuing your partner and finding ways to be romantic.
  6. Make a vision board together with all of your future goals. As relationships get more serious, you’ll start to discuss long-term plans with your partner like marriage, houses, kids, etc. Maybe the two of you have some crazy, big goals that you want to accomplish together, and if that’s the case, a great idea is to create an inspiring way to motivate each other to always have those goals in mind. Making vision boards together is a great way for couples to bond and share their dreams and hopes for the future. It’s a fun activity that will also help you show your support for one another.
  7. Spend quality time doing everyday things together. Dates and romantic trips are great but doing simple things together can often be just as romantic. Go grocery shopping together, work out together at the gym, take a trip to IKEA and design your dream kitchen together. Spending time doing everyday tasks together is a great way to be reminded of why you’re choosing to spend your lives together. It’s not all about the big, grand adventures. It’s the little things that make up daily life that makes living together so special.
  8. Be honest with each other about how you’re feeling. Communication is one of the biggest keys to making long-term relationships work and be successful. Have frequent discussions with your partner about what’s affecting your life at the moment. Talk to them about work, your mental health, and most importantly, let them know if there’s something that you’re not getting out of your relationship that you’d like to. If you feel like you don’t spend enough quality time together, tell them. If you feel like you’re shouldering most of the household responsibility and need their help, let them know. A relationship cannot survive if one or both of the people in it are afraid to broach uncomfortable or sensitive topics with one another. As long as you’re both aware of how the other is feeling and doing your part to work and fight for your relationship, you can expect to be happy together for years to come.
Shelby is a journalist and fiction writer raised in the South but built for the big city. She's a book nerd (well, an overall nerd, honestly) and coffee addict and obsessed with all things leather and lacy.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Sam Houston State University and worked for her university newspaper, The Houstonian, as well as serving as a producer and part-time entertainment anchor for Cable 7 Huntsville. You can follow her on Twitter @shelby777.