The couple that plays together stays together? The couple that prays together stays together? When asked what keeps their relationship loving and lasting, there are many things that couples swear by. The same thing might not work for every couple, but we can say with confidence that spending quality time together is the key to staying committed and connected.
But as the years go on it's easy to become complacent and not put in as much effort as you used to when you and your beloved were, well, new news. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of things you can still do even in a long-term relationship to make your love feel fresh each and every day.
We decided to get some advice from our Facebook followers on what they believe couples should do together regularly to make their relationship last. Check out our list and add your own suggestions in comments below.
1. Travel together.
Even if finances are tight, don't write this one off. It doesn't take a pricey luxury cruise or even a plane ticket to get away from it all and explore. When you get sick of the same-old routine, nothing gets you out of a rut like a change of scenery. Book a romantic weekend in a bed and breakfast and enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Or take a day trip to a town nearby with a museum or other attraction you've always wanted to see. Experiencing something new is exhilarating, especially when you do it with someone you love, and will it create a lasting memory and give you something to talk about for years to come. As Facebook follower Lynn Terhar put it, "My first thought was 'clean the house' but travel is good, too."
2. Laugh together.
We all know that life is hard and the only way to get through it is to develop a sense of humor. Since laughter really is the best medicine, comedy can provide all of us with an escape from the day-to-day grind. It could be something as simple as diffusing a potentially tense situation with a funny comment or popping in a funny movie or 'Seinfeld' rerun to watch together. Or if you want to venture out, check out a comedy club.
3. Go on dates together.
Just because you've been together for a long time doesn't mean you can't still go on dates. Setting a date and time each week or so to go out, get away from the responsibilities and just focus on the two of you is essential for keeping communication open and the romance alive. If you're sick of your routine, this will also give you both a chance to dress up and hit the town. Go to that new restaurant you keep hearing about. Pack up a picnic basket and hit the park. Or get sexy with a salsa class. All that matters is you're spending time together, just the two of you. Oh, and put away your phones!
4. Work toward a goal together.
It's easy for lives to drift apart when you feel you're nothing more than roommates, between managing finances and raising your kids. Compare your bucket lists. Find something you both want to do and go for it. It could be setting a goal like dropping 10 pounds. Or it could be a home improvement project you both have been neglecting. It will give you something else to connect over as well as a sense of partnership. As Facebook follower Brieanna K. Boswell put it, "Work toward a shared goal, always... be it a vacation, project around the house, or bowling league. Something to keep both connected and focused on a positive goal."
5. Hold hands. Always.
Intimacy is an important part of any relationship -- but we sometimes forget that it doesn't just mean sex. Even simply hugging or touching can release endorphins and make your brain a little happier. So next time you're browsing around the mall, mingling at your office party or taking a walk through the park, grab your partner's hand first. Besides being a romantic gesture, the physical act of connectedness will translate into emotional closeness as well.
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