Keeping the Flame Burning: How to Maintain or Restore a Healthy Long-Term Relationship

The societal approach to long-term relationships, be they partnerships or marriages, has undoubtedly changed over the decades. Previously external and internal pressures may have led some to soldier on as a couple, even though this may not have actually been the right thing to do.

Long-term relationships can be complex. Every couple has something of a honeymoon period, and once you’ve got to really know each other and have moved in together and started to have a family, a certain element of mystery is removed from your partnership, but this isn’t something to mourn.

In many ways, the comfort and contentment that comes from knowing you can be yourself in a relationship is a target to aim for and not frowned upon or feared. Ultimately, pretty much any relationship that has been running for a number of years will hit road bumps of some sort; these might be dramatic or less earth-shattering, but all in all, they are very much par for the course.

If you feel that you are stuck in a rut of sorts or that your relationship could do with a recharge, then why not consider some of the following suggestions?

Date Night

When was the last time the two of you actually had a night out on the town or perhaps even had a low-key meal at a restaurant or a visit to the cinema? If you have a relatively young family, perhaps having recently become parents, it’s likely the answer to this question could come as something of a surprise to you both.

Having a night out where you just enjoy each other’s company can work wonders, and ideally, it’s something you do regularly. While being spontaneous is a great trait, and one we refer to later in this article, we strongly suggest with a date night that you plan in advance and do so for two reasons.

Firstly, doing so means you can more effectively make preparations for the night in question, and secondly, it then becomes something you look forward to. In an ideal world, you’d look to have a date night every month, but in practice, this may prove unrealistic.

Unexpected Gifts

Sometimes surprise and spontaneity, on any level, is an excellent way to keep a relationship blossoming. So when it comes to gifts and gestures, don’t be tied down to anniversaries and birthdays; something out of the blue might often be more effective and appreciated than a grand gesture on a special date in the calendar.

Try to be personal in your approach to presents and gifts; why not, for instance, consider any of these stylish initial necklaces, which offer not only the luxury aspect of an elegant item of jewelry but are also statement pieces that are bespoke and very fashionable right now.

Say What Is On Your Mind

Now, this is a crucial point and one we can not stress highly enough. A big issue in relationships, long and short-term ones, is a lack of effective communication. It is more pronounced in couples that have been together for a long time, and a big reason for this is the natural act of second-guessing the other’s reaction or point of view.

Some bottle up feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and others let them explode without any thought of the consequences. In many ways, somewhere in the middle is the best space for most people.

You may not want to speak your mind for fear of how the other will react, or perhaps there is a sense of trepidation that saying what you feel might let the genie out of the bottle. While these are both genuine concerns, they pale into insignificance when you consider the repercussions of saying nothing at all, which often brings with it resentment and misunderstanding.

It’s important to speak your mind, but also essential to do so in a way that is non-threatening or overly confrontational. In other words, don’t just go off on a tirade; speak calmly and clearly and have an actual conversation about the matter in question.

Always Listen

This is very much the companion piece to the advice above. You may well be very keen to say your piece, but you have to also be prepared to hear the other side of the argument or discussion.

You need to really take in the point of view of your partner, wife, or husband. This means genuinely listening, which is something that, unfortunately, many long-term pairings tend to lose the ability to do.

Often, an honest discussion, undertaken without the need to point score or grandstand, can be very cathartic and effective. And successfully doing so will leave you feeling so much less anxious, and your relationship will actually benefit from such interactions.

Learn to Maintain Your Own Identity and Enjoy Your ‘Me’ Time

Some couples get so engrossed in their relationships that they can lose sight of who they are, and this can manifest in many ways. In many cases, half of the pair may see their personal lives take a back seat; perhaps they let their friendships fade into the background or possibly their careers, hobbies, and interests.

A strong couple has a life outside their own partnership, and it’s something that both parties should encourage in the other. This helps to take some of the heat and gravity from the relationship but in a positive way.

Any successful relationship should be based on both of those involved having a healthy life outside the confines of their shared world.

You don’t need to be joined at the hip 24/7, and in many ways, it would be unhealthy if you were, as it would inevitably lead to either, or both, parties being unsatisfied with their personal situation and the lives that exist outside the relationship.

Huynh Nguyen

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