The beginning of any relationship also known as the honeymoon phase is a magical time. You get goosebumps when your lover touches you, butterflies when they’re near you and you smile down at your phone whenever they text you. My relationship was no exception. We messaged each other all the time, met up whenever we could and became completely obsessed with each other. My partner and I have been together over 2 and a half years now, and do you know what’s changed? Absolutely nothing.
Many of my friends and work colleagues often wanna talk to me about my relationship with my partner. Everyone always tells us how much of a perfect couple we are, how our relationship meets “ultimate couple goal” standards, because of the life we share together, but a love like ours doesn’t just happen. There are many obstacles that we have to overcome, just like all couples do. It’s important to understand that no relationship is perfect, and that behind the #couplegoals standards of social media, there’s two people that the centre of all that stuff that work really hard together to make their relationship work. So, here are seven ways that I’ve learnt of how to keep the honeymoon phase going in our relationship.
1. Surprise your partner
It doesn’t matter how you decide to surprise your partner. It could be something as small as picking up their favourite dinner on the way home from work, or as extravagant as a surprise holiday. Everyone appreciates the effort and thought that goes into a surprise, and throwing something spontaneous into the mix every so often keeps you from getting into too much of a routine, or feeling “stuck in a rut”.
2. Make time for each other
I’ve found that in my relationship we have to make an effort to find time for each other, because we work alternative shifts and sometimes don’t catch each other at all for days on end. It makes intimacy of any kind quite difficult, so we make at least one night a week our official date night, where we stop working on our degrees and our own businesses, ignore our phones and just focus on each other. Time is the most precious gift you can give to anyone, and your partner deserves all the time you can give to them.
3. Do things that your partner likes
I know it doesn’t sound all that useful, but the amount of appreciation I feel when my partner does something how I would appreciate it being done, is immense. My favourite drink is Cherry Vanilla Coca-cola, so when we go out for dinner and there’s a refillable drinks machine there, if Cherry Vanilla cola isn’t available, my partner will always fill my glass with half a glass of Vanilla Pepsi, and half a glass of Cherry Pepsi. I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate that he does that. It still makes me smile when he makes me a cup of tea, because he has to make it completely different: “I’m not normal” and I have half a cup of milk in my tea. It’s those little things people do that show that they listen to you. Listening to each other is just as important as talking to each other. If you’re connecting mentally and emotionally as well as physically, you’ll feel more attraction towards your partner.
4. Think about why you love your partner
As time progresses and relationships become normal and mundane, it is very easy to start thinking negatively. Take some time to reflect on happy memories, look through photo albums, memory books and old text messages to remind yourself of some of the cute, funny, happy moments you’ve shared together.
5. Laugh together
There isn’t a day when my partner doesn’t make me laugh. He makes me laugh even when I really don’t want to laugh, but sometimes, actually, almost all the time, I find that he knows what I need more than I know what I need. He knows me better than I know myself. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. Laughing is the best medicine, and positivity is contagious.
6. Stand by each other
It’s so important to always have your partner’s back. Your partner will turn to you in every situation. Successes, celebrations, times of trouble or failures, they need to know that you are their main priority at all times. You’re strong as individuals, but together you can be so much stronger. Feeling invincible together will bring you closer together.
7. Love being in love
Share your love story with the world. I’ve found that lots of couples, especially when they move in together, lose the excitement from sharing how happy they are. Routines set in, relationships get serious and all of a sudden you spend more time worrying about what’s on the shopping list for the next week or whether there’s enough money in the bank account for the rent. Amongst all these things that go into sharing a life and a home together, you still need to enjoy being a couple. So share your experiences, talk about your partner and love being in love.
People talk about the honeymoon phase as something that naturally fades over time, but I believe it is simply a state of mind and it doesn’t need to disappear. Sure, the urgency may fade, but you can still have a strong fire burning for your lover years into your relationship. If you’re truly meant to be together, keeping the spark alive won’t take much hard work at all. And even if life gets in the way (which it will) the spark can easily be re-lit when you both work together.