If you and your partner plan to be together for a long time to come, you’ll surely want to find ways to stay close far into your future, and it doesn’t always mean getting physical with each other.
If you can keep the spark alive, it can be rekindled into a flame of passion that can keep a long-term romance from becoming just a companionship.
1. COMMUNICATION IS INTIMACY
Researchers studying closeness in long-term relationships found that ‘disclosure about needs, wants, and desires may be an important way to promote sexual communal strength in ongoing relationships.’ Simply talking through what you like is a way to create a close, intimate bond with your partner and keep the spark alive in your relationship.
Ask open-ended questions about what your partner needs and wants in order to feel fulfilled in the relationship. You don’t want to find out after a two year relationship that your partner needed something that you weren’t giving them so they decided to leave.
2. GET GOOD AT GUESSING YOUR PARTNER’S EMOTIONS
Can you tell what your partner is feeling right now? By looking at his or her body language, facial expressions and tone of voice, as well as his or her words you should be able to tell. If your partner is not looking ‘joyful,’ consider it your job to make sure that you do your best to help change their expression to a positive one.
Empathy is something that emotionally sensitive people can give to their partner. Supporting your partner’s emotions, no matter what they are, and giving them a supportive place to express them is one of the best gifts that you can give to your partner.
3. USE ALL OF YOUR SENSES
If you can’t describe your partner’s scent, focus on your sense of smell the next time you spend close time together. Do the same thing for your sense of touch. Be present in the moment of your partner’s body existing next to yours in warm, intimate closeness.
4. OPEN UP
Emotional openness is one way to keep the spark alive in your relationship. Honest communication builds trust between partners. When you trust your partner, you are more willing to open yourself to be vulnerable, which we are during intimacy.
Open up about what you are afraid your partner won’t like about you. Showing vulnerability can be very attractive. Exploring the emotion of vulnerability is one way to keep the spark alive in your relationship.
5. FOCUS ON THE FUTURE TOGETHER
Commitment means that you continue to have a shared goal of being happy together in the future, and knowing that your relationship is secure is very attractive. Security and trust is important in order for you to feel trusting enough to work to keep the spark alive in your relationship.
6. COME TOGETHER
Create a communal bond with your partner by working toward something as a partnership. For example, you might work toward early retirement and a future travel goal with your lover. The shared destiny will keep you a united front moving forward together.
7. SHARE MEMORIES OF YOUR CHILDHOOD
You might think you know your partner completely, but there are surely that you don’t know about each other’s past before you met, or even way before that. Our early memories with our family are often the building blocks for how we see relationships.
These beliefs about closeness, love, trust, etc. are formed in our youth and sharing these memories with your partner can be a bonding experience. How old were you when you first learned what sex was? What do you wish your parents did differently in their relationship?
Express gratitude for your partner’s past experiences that brought them into the right moment of your life. The same researchers who studied closeness in long-term relationships also say ‘expressing gratitude to a relationship partner promotes communal strength.’
8. MAKE NEW MEMORIES
Having more fun with your partner is the most fun way to keep the spark alive in your relationship. Think about what you both love doing and spend lots of time doing it.
In a study of traits that men and women found desirable, someone who was ‘personable’ aroused more passion in both men and women. Being ‘personable’ meant that participants rated the person they felt passion for as being ‘fun, responsive, trustworthy, and nice.’ Obviously you could try being all of these things to your partner, but committing to have fun with your partner is one way you can keep the spark alive in your relationship.