My partner and I met 12 years ago, when we were 13. We became fast friends (although I harbored secret ‘more than friends’ feelings for him.) When we were 14 he realized that I could make delicious baked goods, and he told me he was going to marry me. Then, the following year we went to different high schools and lost touch. After 5 years apart, the universe conspired for us to meet again. We had coffee, were officially dating about 1 month later, and then moved to a new province together 2 months after that. We have now been living together for just under 4 years, and I still get butterflies in my tummy when he kisses me. He still runs home (literally) after work because he can’t wait to be with me.
Now, I know you are thinking 4 years is not that long, wait until you have been together for 20 years and have kids. That is valid. However my partner and I have not maintained our romance purely on accident. We have made conscious choices throughout our whole relationship that keep the romance fire burning, and I want to share them with you.
Decide Romance its a Priority
It is so easy to get together, move in, and then let life become habitual and mundane - for the relationship to become a practicality, an exchange of services. While the practical applications of having a partner are awesome, if you decide that one of the main reasons you are together is to experience romanic expression, you will. Make time to kiss and snuggle. Surprise your partner with flowers or new underwear. Commit to seeing your partner as more than just your roommate.
Grow Apart, together
My partner is a techie nerd who loves board games and dance music. I am a yoga addict, spiritual guide and nutritionist. We do not meet in the middle on many of our passions and that is actually something we cherish about our relationship. He nurtures the things that he values, I nurture the things I value, and then we come together to share our learning and discoveries. He broadens my horizons and I his. But above that we maintain our individuality. This will help you maintain your romantic spark because you will be feeling more fulfilled individually, and you will always have something new and exciting to talk about. Also, watching someone grow and learn is super sexy.
Have Regular Practical Life Check Ins
Once a month my partner and I talk about division of labour, money, short term goals and all the other bits and bobs that go into living in this world. By setting aside this time to talk about the things that have to get done, a) We know that we are operating on the same page, looking in the same direction and b) wW can then spend the rest of our time talking about other less serious matters. This brings levity to the relationship and invites more space for fun.
Don’t Assume Over Familiarity
This one is my favourite. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you know everything there is to know about your partner, that you stop learning about them. This is a connection killer. Even if you can predict what your partner is going to say next in most situations, remember that they had a whole lifetime of experiences before you came along, they have a whole head of thoughts they most likely don’t share with you (do you share all your thoughts?) and are growing and changing all the time. Commit to learning something new about your partner on a regular basis to help keep the passion alive. Discovery is one of the most exciting things about a new relationship, so keep it.
Take Responsibility For Your Own Happiness
It is not your partners job to make you happy, and the belief that it is is the worst thing you can do for your romantic relationship. When you come from a place of lack, a place of need, you are going to put strain on your relationship create dependance - not exactly sexy. I am not telling you to stay in an abusive or neglectful relationship, but I am saying is that the more you take responsibility for fulfilling yourself, the happier you will be and the happier your partner will be. Then, love is truly a gift, not something you are demanding. Do the things you need to do to be happy and contented, and watch how much more love you have for your partner, and how much less pressured your partner will feel to deliver something to you.
How do you keep the passion alive in your relationship?