How To Spice Up Your Long-term Relationship – Tan Lili
Eight years. That’s how long my boyfriend T and I have been together. And — because I’m psychic like that — no, we haven’t made any solid plans to get married yet.
My friends often ask me, “Aren’t you tired of each other yet?” To which I’d always reply, “Never.”
Don’t get me wrong; of course there are days my boyfriend and I want to kill each other. He isn’t perfect, and neither am I. But I believe acknowledging and accepting each other’s imperfections is one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship. Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if I fault him for his little flaws when he’s completely embraced mine?
People often say the spark fades after a while, after which you’ll be sucked into this black hole of a passionless, unromantic relationship with someone you’re no longer in love with. Well, I beg to differ. Nobody but you can take that spark away. YOU create the spark — and you have the power to destroy it too. Here are some tried-and-tested ways you can keep it burning.
1. Flirt with and tease each other senseless
Who says those days of playful jibes, knowing glances and crazy flirting expire the minute that elusive “puppy love” phase is over? I’m always making fun of T’s obsession with Glee, while he’s relentless in his Twilight and emo-music bashing. And, even to this day, T still has the ability to make me blush furiously. It’s childish, it’s silly, and it works.
2. Dress up for each other
I’ve seen long-term couples let themselves go in the looks department; they don’t bother dressing up for each other anymore. I’m not saying you should dress up for your partner — or for anyone else, for that matter — just so you could impress him. But when you’re out on a date, it’s a win-win when you put in some effort to spruce up, if not for him, for yourself — when you know you look good, you feel good. And that can only translate to an amazing night with the man you love.
3. Respect each other’s need for space
Confession: I used to be ultra clingy. When T and I first got together, I’d feel neglected if we didn’t spend every weekend together. But, over the years, I’ve come to realise the importance of having me-time. Indulge in a spa session! Spend a day reading a book at a cafe! Travel with your girlfriends or, even better, on your own! Spending time alone as well as with others and, in turn, knowing that I’m not entirely dependent on T, helps me grow as an individual and makes me emotionally stronger. Bonus: It makes reunion that much sweeter.
4. Engage in some subtle PDA
No tongue war or groping business here; tiny, simple gestures, like hand-holding or a quick peck on the cheek, speak volumes of your physical attraction to each other. They tell you, “He can’t keep his hands off me”, and warn others, “She’s mine.” Who doesn’t like to feel desirable? Plus, that little show of possession and all those innocent touches heat things up … for later, when you’re both alone.
5. Celebrate your love
Cheesy as it may sound, we still celebrate our monthly anniversary with a simple text message. T and I also make it a point to do something creative for each other’s birthday and our anniversary every year, like a surprise getaway or a present we’d mentioned in passing before. And the fun part is, we often end up trying to one-up each other — and we all know how much men love a good challenge.
I won’t deny that there are days I ask myself, “What if there’s someone out there better for me? … for him?” But at the end of the day, I just can’t imagine being with another — not because I know, for sure, there isn’t someone better suited for me, but simply because I don’t want to be with any other fella other than T.
What are your secrets to a lasting relationship? I’d love to hear from you!