7 things to do to keep the spark alive in your marriage
As global divorce rates creep up, couples around the world are beginning to realise that the "happily ever after" phase is really the toughest. Real life takes over and romance usually dies a painful death at the hands of work schedules, family obligations, etc. So how does one keep the embers of love burning long after responsibilities are done with us?
Try something new
Romance becomes stale when routine becomes the norm. Instead of letting life lead you into a mundane existence, it may be wise to sometimes take life by the horns and steer it into the direction you want. Break out of the routine to do something new or creative with your partner. Watch them in a new role and allow them to see a new side of you too.
Work out together
Trying to achieve a common goal can pump some much-needed motivation and excitement into the relationship. Committing to staying healthy and witnessing the results of that commitment in each other can result in renewed admiration for each other.
Communicate a variety of emotions
"I love you" is undoubtedly one of the most important things you will ever say to your partner, but there is more than one way of expressing love. Communicating other emotions such as pride in or gratefulness towards the other person can make them feel relevant in your life and help them seek out the positive sides to you too.
Be the change
Be the change you want to see in your partner. Want them to compliment you, or gift you flowers? Do it yourself! After all, the common goal really is a more romantic relationship, and it shouldn't matter who adds the pink bows.
Life gets busy and soon, the long bedside conversations and text messages begin to feel unnecessary. Switch things up on a weekend — choose to forgo the Netflix for simple conversation. Talk about your feelings and ask deeper questions that will get them talking about your relationship and how they feel about it.
Plan things together
Think back to a time when the prospect of having brunch together kept you up all night in excitement. Or when short coffee dates were the highlight of your day. Plan breakfast dates if the nights seem overwhelming on weekdays. Plan a walk to a nearby park with your favourite cuppa for a midday break if your partner is close by. The idea is to get out of the home setting, dress up and enjoy each other's company.
Find romance in hopeless places
While conventional romantic gestures are welcome additions to break the monotony of married life, real maturity is realising that genuine care for each other is more romantic than bouquets of roses and expensive gifts. If you have ever come home to a cooked dinner and a clean kitchen, or have had your partner make you a warm cup of coffee after a tired evening without asking, you would know!