KeepingTheLoveAlive

When you’re in a long-term relationship, it’s easy to forget that fluttery feeling of butterflies on a first date, the sparks during a first kiss, and the small joys like hand-holding. But, trust us, these are not things you have to leave behind as you approach your third anniversary.

The two of you can reenact the chemistry from your first date by trying new things. Experiencing something for the first time together will help keep your relationship fresh and exciting. Go ice skating, see a play, dine at an upscale restaurant–just pick something both of you have never done before and go for it.

Spend some quality time together with a stay-cation. Take a Friday off from work, if you can spare it, and spend your 3-day weekend exploring your city or town. Pamper yourselves together and just relax. Make it feel like a true vacation without the price tag. Alternatively, plan a getaway for the two of you. The preparation for spending time away can be just as fun as the vacation itself. Pick a destination, make a budget and book your tickets!

Between the two of you, implement a technology curfew. Our phones, laptops and e-readers can keep us up late into the night if we aren’t careful. Instead of spending your time checking Facebook or Reddit, spend more time with your honey. It might just be making dinner together, doing dishes and watching a movie, but your time is better spent with each other than in cyberspace.

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Part of a healthy relationship is being able to spend time apart. Don’t let yourself get too caught up in either being together 24/7 or apart most of the time. Save your Saturday morning for spin class and brunch with the girls, but keep a standing date night with your partner. We start to forget about going on actual dates as soon as you no longer have to ask, “Would you like to go out Saturday night?” So make plans with each other and look forward to them.

If you both love fitness, make it part of your lives together. Make it a habit to go for a walk after dinner or hit the gym together before dinner. Plus, research shows getting your fitness on with a partner makes you work harder and stick to your workout regimen.

While routines might make you feel safe, a little spontaneity never hurt anyone. Send her flowers at work or bring him home a bottle of his favorite scotch. Your partner will appreciate a gesture that screams, “Hey! I know what you like.” It’s always nice to be appreciated and even nicer to know someone’s thinking about you.

Avoiding a relationship rut takes effort. It’s really all about finding what works for the two of you. What do you do to keep your relationship fresh?

Photo credit: Rachael Tulipano