Though many people dream of finding the perfect partner, couples in long-term relationships know a glowing start isn’t always enough to keep the flame alive. As a relationship evolves, so do the ways that each person relates to the other. Like small disagreements, boredom is inevitable.
However, there are more resources today than ever before for couples. From relationship experts to certified therapists to medical psychologists, there’s a professional willing to weigh in on your love life. Luckily for couples in a rough patch, one of the top suggestions for reinvigorating a relationship is to kick back and have fun together.
Aside from a few basics, such as loving yourself before entering a relationship or learning to communicate effectively, experts also recommend dedicated downtime for couples. Think you might be in a rut with your partner? Keep reading for advice on how to have fun together, as proposed by relationship experts.
Dive Into Something New
When it comes to bringing people together (or even back together), trying something new is one of the most robust ideas. According to a study from the School of Psychology of the State University of New York, couples who regularly engage in ‘novel’ (or new) activities feel closer.
Trying something new together is easier than many think—and may not even require leaving the house. For example, millions of people play poker online worldwide. It’s easy to find a quality platform to get started, along with schools for beginners. Many starter guides cover topics like knowing when to fold a hand, which include a checklist of five points to help newcomers follow along.
In this case, poker is also mentally challenging. Mentally demanding activities encourage couples to communicate clearly and tackle intellectually challenging situations together. Even better, it preps them for unexpected surprises by helping ‘team build’, just like co-workers would.
Don’t Wait for Change—Seek it Out
If there’s one obvious secret that awaits each happy couple, it’s the inevitability of change. Whether a circumstance of time or external demands, partners evolve over time. One way to rekindle any lost magic is to willingly undertake a change together.
Like the example above, many solutions are accessible—and fun. Keeping with the at-home theme, one way for couples to spearhead change is by redecorating a space. Some relationship experts recommend tackling the bedroom, though it’s not necessary.
According to Dr. Carmen Harra, a best-selling author and clinical psychologist, what’s most important is recognizing the difference when change happens. So, which aspect of your living space is (or has been) calling for change? And how can you honor that together?
Remember, there’s no need to undertake a huge home makeover. Even adding something as simple as a new mirror for a partner to admire their latest haircut is enough to foster a little magic.
Go Back to the Start
According to relationship expert and certified therapist, Jennifer Levy, one of the best ways to reinvigorate a lagging flame is to go back to the start of the relationship. In fact, this advice isn’t just for those with a passing sentiment of boredom—it’s also recommended for those at the end of their rope.
Levy suggests that the start of a relationship is its most emotionally impactful time. And, unlike the last two examples, which can be done from home, some couples might need to hit the road to go back to the start—literally. The idea is to restart sensory memories by reintroducing them to the same stimuli present at the start of a relationship.
This doesn’t apply strictly to space. In fact, it can apply to just about any sense. This could mean listening to the songs popular during a couple’s first dates, buying the same perfume or cologne their partner once wore, or going back through a catalog of photos.
In going through the past together, many couples will find that the spark naturally reignites. In fact, it might even be enough to ignite the same adrenaline and endorphin rushes from the days of yore.