10 Ways To Keep Your Relationship Alive & Exciting

reading time: 7 min


Back when I was a teenager my idea of love and relationships was highly romantic (and in some ways it still is). My imaginary boyfriend had to be a gentleman, he had to be my Mr Darcy. He was supposed to  just read my feelings somehow, understand me, and surprise me with a bouquet of flowers every now and then.

Luckily my boyfriend isn't the type to fulfil a girl's every wish and whim, and though I still wouldn't mind to get some flowers every now and again, I'm glad he keeps me grounded and doesn't put me on some high up pedestal. Couples should be at eye level, not looking up or down on each other – but that's a different blog post.

While falling in love and having princess dreams may be easy, maintaining a living and growing relationship can be quite a bit of work sometimes. Today I want to share with you the best 10 ways I know to keep things fresh and exciting.

1. Find A Project.

Lounging on the couch after work to watch your favourite Netflix show together may be convenient, and me and my boyfriend often find us guilty of that too, but it's not as rewarding as doing an actual project together that you are both passionate about. The great thing about a joint project is to see your partner grow and evolve, while you also grow together through the shared experiences. Coming up with ideas and working on the project as a team allows you to get to know each other even better and keep the relationship fresh and exciting.

Ideas for a joint project would be working out, gardening, volunteering, blogging, learning a new language together, doing an art class or a massage course, taking dancing lessons, taking care of a pet, teaching yourself a new skill e.g. photography, doing acro yoga, redecorating your house, doing household crafts... What ever the two of you enjoy to work on!

2. Spend Time Apart.

As important as it is to spend quality time with your partner to talk and cuddle, it's equally important to take time for yourself. While it is easy to become a "we", sometimes it's not so easy to maintain your individuality in your relationship. An easy way to balance your "we time" and "me time" is to take every other weekend or so off to just do what you feel like doing that day without having to consider your partner's needs and wishes.

Ideas for spending some time alone are reading, making yourself your favourite meal that maybe your partner doesn't like as much, journalling, catching up on your youtube subscriptions or your favourite tv show, painting, exploring a nearby city by yourself, taking a mini vacation, getting a drink with friends, decluttering your apartment, doing an at home spa day, cleaning (that can actually be so calming!), doing a girl's night, redecorating your room...

3. Do Official Date Nights.

This is probably my personal favourite. While dates seem to be something you typically do in the early stages of your relationship, it's especially important to make time for official date nights if the two of you have been together for a while, say three years plus, and your relationship has become a "self-evident" part of your lives. And no, daily cooking at home is not the same as a proper date! Instead of taking each other's company for granted, set a date to appreciate and "celebrate" your relationship with a romantic candle light dinner. 

Even if you stay at home, dress up, put on your favourite clothes that make you feel sexy, set up a fancy dinner table and enjoy your special evening:)

4. Share Your Feelings.

Equally as important as showing your love through thoughtful gestures, words and physical contact is to show your love by having heart to heart talks, sharing your emotions and even communicating how you feel by arguing. Once the "honeymoon" phase at the beginning of your relationship is over and your relationship has gained more stability, that's when the conflicts and irritations will arise. And that is completely normal because the two of you are a couple in order to help each other grow, and you only grow with challenges. When speaking about your feelings, be true to yourself, don't hold anything back trying in order to be polite or to conform to what you think your partner wants. Not telling them how you actually feel is just as dishonest as telling a lie. Sharing (your feelings) is caring, right?

As your relationships evolves, it will become easier to open up and talk about your personal problems, worries and thoughts. And don't worry, despite those deep and serious conversations you should still be able to be light hearted, have fun and be silly together! PS. Making up after an honest quarrel is always nice too (😏).

5. Make Time For Intimacy.

I've already talked about this in my blog post on dealing with relationship problems, but I'll say it again: intimacy is the most crucial aspect of any relationship. I've read somewhere that over time the level of passion will decrease while the level of intimacy will increase in a relationship. So be sure to cultivate that intimacy!

Besides opening up to your partner, intimacy requires physical contact. Whether it's a hug, a kiss, holding hands or full-on foreplay, be sure to keep in touch with your partner – literally. Make time for each other, learn each other's love language and use it to show your partner that you appreciate them. It's like having a beautiful plant – you can't just put it in your room, forget about it and expect it to flourish. You have to put some love and effort into it. Same goes for you and your partner. A simple way to increase your intimacy is to make it a ritual in the evening to talk about how you are feeling, what was on your mind that day – and of course to hold your hands, and to cuddle in bed or on the sofa.

6. Be Spontaneous.

I have to admit, that is something that often doesn't come naturally to me. I like to have a structure, it makes me feel safe and comfortable, so agreeing to spontaneous adventures can be quite a challenge. All the more reason to broaden your horizon and get out of your comfort zone every now and then. Of course you shouldn't feel pressured by your partner to do something that you don't enjoy, but flexibility is always a helpful trait to have - because life doesn't always go as planned.

So the next time your partner presents you with an exciting idea, don't turn it down because it doesn't match your plans for the weekend, but try to be open to compromises. And of course, don't hesitate to tell your partner if you have something you'd love to do!

7. Surprise One Another.

Now I talked about flowers in the beginning, and while I don't think it's healthy to expect your partner to constantly surprise you with little gifts, it's very important to actually give gifts every now and then. It doesn't have to be gifts in a classical aka materialistic way, like flowers, jewellery, or a box of chocolate. Organising an activity to do together (dancing, surfing, hiking, weekend trip) or surprising your loved one with a homemade treat or a little love note in the morning is just as potent :)

8. Spice Up Your Sex Life.

I couldn't do this post without mentioning a healthy and dynamic sex life. I don't believe that love is all about sex, but I do think that the sexual energy is a vital part of our being and therefore it needs to be nurtured and cultivated. There's nothing worse than frustrating, joyless or even abusive sec life. To ensure that both of you are getting what they need is to just talk openly about your preferences and needs. Then try around to see what works for both of you. 

If you feel like your sex has become a dull routine, spice things up by trying new positions, different locations, changing your speed and rhythm, take short breaks in between, or do it less or more often. A great idea to try out new positions is to print out all 68 Kamasutra poses and turning it into a "card game". Take turns in drawing a card, and try out the depicted position. Find new favourite positions, or laugh it off if it just feels awkward.

9. Set Goals Together.

A little dreaming never hurt nobody... Setting goals and imagining your future life together is very helpful to create some excitement in your relationship and to remind yourself of where you are going as a couple. You could either both make an individual bucket list that you then share with your partner and see which points match, or make a list for all the things you want to do together. This can be a big as "build a house with a vegetable garden and a roof deck" and as small as "bake a rainbow cake" together.

10. Try Something New Together.

This might seem obvious, but it's not always that easy, especially if you have been together for years and decades. New experiences don't have to be as dramatic as going sky diving or travelling through New Zealand by bus. It can be as simple as trying out a new restaurant, spending the weekend without electronic devices or other media, exploring an unknown city, taking a pottery class, doing a sport for the first time, cooking a new dish, or putting together each other's outfits for a day... the possibilities are pretty much endless!

What are your tips to keep a relationship alive and exciting?

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!