Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, isn’t it? It’s a lot like having all the air punched out of your lungs, but in an oddly pleasing manner. I suppose that analogy could have been slightly better. Oh, well.
Oscar Wilde had said, in his celebrated play, The Importance of Being Earnest, “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.” It is an exhilarating, adrenaline rush-inducing, and exciting experience to fall in love with someone. But what comes after? Like everything else in life, monotony manages to gradually crawl its way into romantic relationships as well. Staying in love becomes as dull as going to the grocery store every week. It’s just something that one gets used to; being in a relationship with the man/woman of your dreams becomes a mere habit that you unknowingly keep doing until things start to seem dreary and your relationship becomes miserable.
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If the last few sentences make even the slightest sense to you, we suggest you sit back and read this article till the very end, because your long term relationship with your romantic partner (marriage or otherwise) is possibly on its way to fizzle out like an aerated drink that has lost its effervescence. Staying in love and keeping that spark alive for the long run is not as easy breezy as the movies make it out to be. It’s not beyond the comprehension of ordinary human beings like rocket science either. All it requires is effort, a lot of patience, and the willingness to make things really work.
How to stay in love with your lover for a long time
Take some time off each other
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A healthy relationship is one where both parties involved have enough space to live as two separate thinking, functioning individuals and not as a single unit. Make sure you don’t take the whole one in heart and soul thing too far. It won’t end well for either of you. If you spend every waking minute of the rest of your life in each other’s company, you are bound to get tired, and might I add, very soon. Just because you’re in a relationship, does not mean that you have to cut off all your friends and family out of your life. Make sure you get some time out for them because they are important people who need to be reminded that they too are loved and cared for by you.
Moreover, spending some time apart from your SO helps you get things into perspective. It helps you realize how much you value their company and love the fact that they exist in your life. There is also the possibility that you might realize how suffocating and uncomfortable their presence makes you feel (as opposed to the way you feel around friends and family), and if that is the case, then you might want to prepare yourself to bid this person goodbye. Either way, distance helps love grow stronger.
Make time for your partner
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This point is somewhat contrary to the previous one. While it is advisable that you spend quality time with other loved ones as well as in solitude pursuing your own interests, it is imperative that you make time for your romantic partner. Do not neglect them or take them for granted just because they have now agreed to be with you for a considerably long period of time.
A lack in effort will be reflected in the strength of your bond, and the more lackadaisical you are about it, the weaker will your bond be. Go out on dates and plan little activities that you and your partner can do together. Take them out for dancing, or karaoke, or a trip to a nearby park or even a local fair. A little fun never hurt anyone, did it?
Stop being a slob
Whether you’d like to admit it or not, physical attraction does play a very significant rule in romantic relationships. It would be unfair to impose a generalized standard of beauty conventionally approved by society on individuals who are different in every which way; however, a basic amount of physical maintenance and hygiene is necessary if you wish to keep alive that fire of physical attraction a long way into your relationship.
It’s true that when you’re with someone for a considerably long period of time, you get comfortable around them and do not feel the need to be at your best state appearance-wise, but a break from the yoga pants is always refreshing and thoroughly appreciated. Maintaining basic hygiene is not only necessary for your personal health, it also ensures that your partner doesn’t get grossed out when they get back home from work and see you on the couch in your three-day-old attire.
Try to be friends
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This might sound cheesy, but it is a foolproof way of ensuring that the love you and your partner share shall continue to light up dark skies for a long while to come. You must be comfortable with your partner; the way one feels when they are around their best friends. You shouldn’t feel the need to constantly impress the other person and put your best foot forward at all times.
Treat each other like you would treat a friend. Laugh, crack stupid jokes, don’t hold back those occasionally nasty burps; be unafraid to be your own human self around your partner. It is these goofy, slightly embarrassing moments that will bring the two of you closer together.
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Honesty is a key element that holds all relationships together. If you and your romantic partner cannot be honest with each other in your relationship, well, then you’re doomed. In a long term relationship, it is imperative that you and your partner are honest about your feelings and emotions with each other. Holding back will only cause the issue to remain bottled up inside until it finally explodes and creates an irreparable mess. Whatever it is that’s bothering either you or your lover, the advisable and mature thing to do would be to talk it out even if things seem to get slightly ugly in the process. Arguments are bound to break out between two individuals, but you should be able to recover from it and arrive at a consensus like mature adults.
Keep inspiring each other
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Love grows as the individual grows. Just because you have found the person you want to spend a large chunk of your life with, that does not mean that your personality development has to come to a standstill. You are still an individual and there is always room for growth and improvement. You and your partner must be inspiring each other to grow into loving and kind human beings; when you push each other every day, striving to be the very best version of yourself, you learn to love yourself and each other much more than you already did.
Yes, that’s right. You need to indulge in some self-lovin’ once in a while if you want to remain in love with your partner for a long time. Set aside some time for introspection and shower yourself with little encouragements for making it through another day. If you don’t love yourself, how can you possibly make someone else feel loved? Accept yourself for who you are, stop doubting your abilities, and above all, love the person that you have turned out to be.
Remember why you fell in love in the first place
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Sometimes we need to remind ourselves why we fell in love in the first place. The moment when you first realized you loved your partner, the moment when you first said it aloud; reminiscing these moments often helps us put things into perspective, and reminds us why we made those choices in the past and the significance they hold now. Make it a point to go out on dates once in a while; resume doing some activity that both of you enjoyed doing in the past but have lost touch with recently; even spending a lazy evening looking through old photographs is enough to remind you why you love the person sitting next to you holding your hand; why it all matters; and why you must keep working on your relationship even when things get a little mucky.
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Love is patient and kind. Even if you’re going through a rough patch in your relationship, if you truly love each other, things will always work out in the end. There is no formula to keeping your love alive, no amount of lists and articles can absolutely pinpoint at the necessary steps that one must undertake when learning how to stay in love with your lover for a long time. Love is like a marathon, not a sprint; you have to constantly keep at it; you have to work for it if you want it to last. But make sure that it never feels like a burden to you; the desire to make your relationship work should not be something that you should feel obligated to do; it must come naturally to you, the way breathing does. If it’s true love, you and your partner will want to preserve it, no matter what.
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