How to keep your relationship fresh
Relationships are hard work. We all know that. It’s fun and exciting when it all begins, you fall in love, and you make a commitment. But the day-to-day hassles of life can easily take their toll. If you’re living together, then that takes everything to the next level.
Sure, you still love your partner, but arguing about whose turn it is to take out the garbage is a bit of a passion-killer. You can’t bring your A-game every day, and sometimes the realisation hits you that another day has gone past when you haven’t had sex, you’re both sitting silently in front of the television instead of talking, sharing your feelings, or doing things together that are fun and that you both enjoy.
It doesn’t take long for the frustration and resentment to start to build up.
We’re not claiming to have any silver bullet solutions to solve your problems with relationships, dating, or life in general, but we’ve had a fair bit of experience of failed relationships, and made plenty of mistakes along the way. If you’re looking to spice things up a bit, here’s some of the options that you might want to try.
Make a fitness date
You don’t have to work out together, but making a time when you both focus on working out not only motivates you both to get active on a regular basis, but also gives you something in common to talk about and an experience to share.
Try a new exercise together, or go for a jog in different directions and arrange to meet up somewhere. Buy some new work-out gear for each other.
This is a win-win situation – not only are you investing some effort into keeping your relationship on track, but you’re also keeping yourself fit and healthy.
Play games together
You might be a bit rubbish at crosswords, or Sudoku, or trivia quizzes, but finding something fun that you and your partner like doing together whenever you’ve got a bit of spare time is a good way to enjoy being in each other’s company.
It’s handy if it’s something you can do on your phones, something that you can put down and come back to whenever you need to. There’s good options for online chess, scrabble, or poker that are all worth exploring.
Everyone loves reality cooking shows - why not make your own? Challenge each other to a cook-off. You cook one night, and then your partner cooks another night. Try not to be too brutal with your scoring. It doesn’t matter who wins, but it’s something fun and silly that you and your partner can do together.
Learn a language
We’ve tried Spanish lessons, and we’ve tried French lessons. Neither attempt saved the relationships in question, but they did provide a pretty good grounding in some basic language skills that have been useful when travelling.
Even if you’re not into learning languages, finding some sort of class or activity that you can do together is a great way to spend some time where you’re actively engaged in something that you’ve both got an interest in.
Get a bit kinky in the boudoir
Focus on sex to really keep your relationship humming. Talk about what you both like, things you’d like to try. Film yourself, make sex fun and a bit adventurous, invite a third to join you, explore your fantasies. Don’t let other people’s rules define your relationship, find what works for you.
Get a bit mystical
Tantra is the kind of thing that can be a lot of fun to explore together as a couple. Whether you just start with some online tantra tutorials, a one-on-one session with a teacher that specialises in tantra for gay men, or a group workshop, Tantra is all about connecting with the body and understanding how to elevate your pleasure. Exploring together as a couple will give you something fresh to talk about, a common language to discuss what pleasure means for you, and some great stories to tell your friends.
Get some help
Sometimes we’re not very good at talking about sex, or grappling with things if you’re not really connecting sexually for some reason. Don’t be afraid to call in some professional help – a relationship counsellor can help you and partner to constructively discuss what’s working and what’s not working. Getting things out in the open is much healthier than trying to pretend that everything is okay.
Don’t give up
There’s no silver bullet or magic secret to building a strong and sustainable relationship – it takes persistence, perseverance, and a whole lot of patience.
The key thing is not to be complacent – keep working at it. If you try something and it doesn’t really work, try something else!
No relationship is perfect all of the time. You’re going to have days, even weeks perhaps, when you wonder if it’s all worth it. Try and remember what attracted you to your partner in the first place – put to one side the thing that is annoying you in that moment, focus on the person that you’ve made a commitment to.