It is another Friday night in your pajamas, eating takeout and watching your favorite TV show. As much as this sounds like a great way to spend time together, when it becomes routine, you risk losing your partner’s interest by being predictable. You have to change this script if you want to put the spark back in your relationship.
You don’t have to take up skydiving to have an unpredictable relationship. You simply have to find more fulfilling ways of being together. One way to do this is to challenge your defenses and the subconscious fear of being intimate, writes Lisa Firestone, a psychologist, in “Six Tips to Keep Long-Term Relationships Exciting,” on Psychology Today's website. Simple things that you may not do -- like holding hands, going for walks together and making eye contact -- may be the difference between a strong relationship and one that is slowly deteriorating. Paradoxically, being an individual is another key to a loving relationship. Don’t just focus on doing the things you both enjoy. You may not like the rodeo, but if your partner does, go for a weekend.
When you’ve been with someone a long time, even sex may become routine. You kiss, caresses a bit, get into bed and soon, it is over. Put some excitement back into your sexual relationship. Start by putting away those cotton sheets and flannel pajamas. Instead, dress in your sexiest bedtime gear by donning a sexy silk robe or indulging in satin sheets. Don’t tell your partner in advance. The more he or she is surprised, the greater the positive impact.
Plan to Succeed
Planning to do something playful will bring back the lighthearted fun you may have lost. Surprise your partner by renting a car to drive up the coast to a new bed and breakfast for the weekend, suggests psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith in his article, “Ten Ways to Make Your Relationship Magically Romantic,” on PsychologyToday.com. Alternatively, forget the social obligations and plan to stay in together at home.
Get in Shape
It is hard to be unpredictable when you look the same way you have for years. Rev up your looks, buy a new fragrance and wear outfits that your partner appreciates, suggests “Eighteen Ways to Beat Complacency in a Long-Term Relationship,” by YourTango.com writers. Eat healthy foods and exercise. Buy new clothes in flattering colors. Take care of yourself. Consider a radical new hairstyle. Become unpredictable.
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How to Lighten Up Your Relationship
- PsychologyToday.com: Six Tips to Keep Long-Term Relationships Exciting
- PsychologyToday.com: Ten Ways to Make Your Relationship Magically Romantictic: Creating Magical Moments in Your Relationship is easy and fun.
- YourTango.com: Eighteen Ways to Beat Complacency in a Long-Term Relationship
- Journal of Social and Personal Relationships: Routine Maintenance Behaviors: A Comparison of Relationship Type, Partner Similarity and Sex Differences
Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.