If there was a magic potion to keep the spark alive in relationships, it would be bottled and sold for millions. More difficult than falling in love is staying in love, but if you do these 10 things, you and your partner can keep the love flowing for years to come. Here’s how to stay together forever (or at least increase your chances of doing so).
Try something new together.
No matter how long you’ve been together, what felt exciting at the beginning of your relationship won’t feel exciting forever. To keep the relationship fresh, you must continue trying new things. Studies show that trying new activities together as a couple can increase feelings of growth, happiness, security, and satisfaction in the relationship. For an extra boost, try doing something active together like skating or rock climbing. These types of activities release endorphins, which can make you feel happier and more attracted to one another.
Ask the right questions.
Couples who stay in love are couples who continue to learn about each other. Often, we ask questions to get to know each other in the early stages of dating. Then after that, we stop asking meaningful questions. Instead of asking, “How are you?” ask your partner about a struggle they overcame during the day. Or, when watching a movie together, ask your partner which character they relate to and why. Put effort into continuing to learn about each other, and you might be surprised to discover how much you didn’t know.
Dependence isn’t always a bad thing, but growing too dependent on each other can kill the love fast when the relationship starts to feel claustrophobic. Practice independence and spend some time nurturing the relationship you have with yourself. Do a hobby alone, or hang out with your own friend group. This separation can help prevent relationship staleness and give you new stories to share with each other during conversations.
Accept that people change.
The person you initially fell in love with may not be the same person you’ll love tomorrow, five years from now, or even 50 years in the future. And that’s not because you’ll be with someone new. Instead, your partner will become someone new, and so will you. People change, but as long as the core values you share as a couple don’t, there’s no reason why you have to fall out of love. Couples who accept changes and growth in each other are more likely to stay together and keep falling in love again and again.
Talk to each other, not about each other.
When relationship issues arise, you may like to run to your girls, your family, or whoever else will listen. But this can hurt your relationship for a couple of reasons. One reason is that it can create a feeling of betrayal for the partner who is being gossiped about. Not only this, but it breaks the unity and bond you share as a couple when other people become involved in your private matters. Plus, when you avoid talking to each other directly, you’re unlikely to ever find any real solutions to your issues. Staying in love requires facing—and fixing—problems together.
One of the most common reasons why people fall out of love is because they feel taken for granted. And conversely, one of the easiest ways to stay in love is to show each other appreciation regularly. Say thank you, offer help, and let your partner know how much their actions mean to you.
Don’t forget physical touch.
While love and lust aren’t the same, physical touch can keep you feeling close and connected. For many, especially men, a lack of physical attraction and intimacy over time can lead to falling out of love. Prioritize sex, and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. And remember, sex isn’t the only way to stay close: cuddling, hugging, kissing, and hand holding can all help to keep you feeling bonded and in love.
Celebrate each other’s wins.
Healthy relationships bring together two individuals with their own lives and goals. Acknowledging those goals and celebrating when they’ve been met is one important way to honor each other’s individual successes while also solidifying your relationship and love for each other. And don’t forget to also support each other through the inevitable losses and struggles too.
Many couples who fall out of love and eventually break up do so, at least partially, because conflicts weren’t managed well. Every relationship will have conflicts, but how you have them can determine the longevity of your love. Avoid criticizing each other, calling each other names, or using sarcasm during arguments. Instead, work to actively listen to each other to try to fight the problem rather than each other.
Remember that love is more than a feeling.
If you want to never fall out of love with your partner, it’s important to remember that being in love is much more than a feeling. The heart-racing excitement you felt in the beginning of your relationship won’t last forever. There will be ups and downs, and there will even be times when you don’t feel in love. However, the more you accept these ups and downs, without resisting them, the more sustainable your love will be. That’s because love isn’t just a feeling—it’s an action and acceptance you give to each other.
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