Relationships require effort – that’s a given. But sometimes life gets in the way and we let other aspects of our lives take priority over our partners and things become too routine for our liking.
And when this happens, relationships can suffer and couples become more like roommates than lovers.
According to a 75-year study by Harvard University that was published in 2015, one of the secrets to happiness and health in life is love and having good quality relationships.
“As a couple, we’re stuck to our daily routines of picking up the kids, going to work and repeat,” said relationship expert Shannon Tebb, of Shanny and the City. “We’re just always in that constant routine. Even going to that same restaurant becomes stale. So you want to keep that spark alive and you do that by creating new experiences and memories together.”
So to help keep that flame flickering, Tebb has some tips for couples who are looking to spice up their love lives amidst their hectic lives.
1. A proper date night
Stop the typical date night and take it up a notch.
“I suggest a date night but travel separately to the date location and don’t get ready together either,” Tebb said. “This way when you arrive you can take on a different persona and maybe do a little role playing. It’s a bit of sexy, fun flirting.”
Tebb also suggests to even try renting a hotel room for a night.
“It’ll be like a staycation but it’s a whole new environment,” she explained. “Room service and all those perks can really add to the date.”
2. Be spontaneous
Start getting out and trying new things together.
“Try activities that help push your partner to their limits,” Tebb said. “Maybe it was something they would have never done if it wasn’t for that extra nudge.”
She suggests trying skydiving, bungee jumping, wakeboarding and water skiing – activities that keep things active.
3. Love notes
It might seem like a small gesture, but leaving little love notes for your partner can actually go a long way.
“Leave them around the house or slip them into your partner’s lunch,” Tebb said. “Even send cute and flirty texts throughout the day. Get your partner wanting you again and wanting to get home to you.”
4. Work on yourself
Maybe you’ve gained a bit of weight after having kids, but whatever it is you’re unhappy with about yourself, it’s time to work on it.
“Get back into a gym and start feeling sexy again,” Tebb said. “Go get your hair done, get waxed or get a pedicure – whatever you need to do to get that confidence back.”
Maybe think about encouraging your partner to join you at the gym.
“I strongly believe that a couple that works out together, stays together,” she said.
5. Try new things in the bedroom
Don’t be afraid to experiment in the bedroom, Tebb says.
Just like on date nights, these moments can also be great to try role playing.
“If you know you’re partner has a fetish with a celebrity, try that for example,” Tebb said. “Have a conversation, try new things and maybe bring in sex toys into the room if that’s going to spark it up or watch movies – do whatever is going to bring on that intimacy.”
Before getting down to the nitty-gritty, however, Tebb suggests talking with your partner to find out what each other likes. This will help both partners find the other’s “love language” – what they like and dislike when it comes to intimacy.
6. Remove distractions
Many couples today have televisions in their bedrooms and that can be a distraction, Tebb says.
“A lot of couples get sucked into the TV before bed,” she said. “Make a rule that there’s no TV in the bedroom until you’ve had a moment to yourselves.”
It’s important to make time for the two of you to talk and just be with the other partner.
7. Change of scenery
Go on a little trip or mini vacation.
This could mean a weekend or long weekend away and have it just be with the two of you.
“If you live in the city, get out of the urban life and go to a more rural area,” Tebb said. “Stay in a cute bed and breakfast, go for a wine tasting and bike around. Just do something completely different than what you would normally do in your everyday life. Create those new memories and moments to just explore.”