When you spend a lot of time with your significant other, you are likely to undergo a transition from passionate to compassionate love. While the former focuses more on physical arousal, the latter is exchanges that for deep emotional attachment. Of course, this process doesn’t happen by accident – it takes work!
- Surprise your special someone
Surprises help to remind your other half that you are still on their minds. Get her a rose just because, or write a note for him and sneak it into his blazer. All these tiny gestures can make your partner feel more appreciated.
- Understand each other
Asking questions can help you understand each other on an in-depth level. The interactive documentary, The And, which shows couples asking each other introspective questions like, "do you really think I'm the best for you right now? Why?" and "do you feel we're living up to the dreams we had when we started this relationship?" is a great example of how laying bare one’s emotions can take a relationship to a deeper level.
- Show your appreciation
A large aspect of one’s emotional needs can be catered to by showing appreciation through both words and actions. Tell each other the reason why you are grateful at least once a week. Check in with each other daily. Do not let an emotional vacuum develop and aim to remind each other why you fell in love in the first place.
- Try something new
Build the glue in your relationship by harnessing the spirit of adventure. Go on a crazy roller coaster ride, have a new food experience, or start a new hobby that puts you both out of your comfort zone for a change. Doing something novel together and enjoying yourselves in the process helps to release oxytocin and dopamine into your system to encourage feelings of bondedness and pleasure.
- Have date nights
“I’m too busy at work” or “I’ve got a proposal due this week” are excuses that are all too common in this day and age. However, just because you’re already five years into a relationship doesn’t mean that you can just coast on by and expect things to work out for themselves. Make time to have a meaningful evening with your other half. If evenings are too complicated, then an impromptu afternoon together can be a welcome surprise. It also helps to keep things fresh; you can enjoy your regular movie-and-a-dinner outings but don’t let that be all there is to it!
Long-term relationships require a long-term strategy for things to work. Even if saying it out loud seems to take all the romance out of it, there’s no disputing the fact that long-lasting love isn’t something that pops out of thin air. It’s not just about putting in the time, but also having it come from a place that wants nothing but happiness for the two of you.