There is that inevitable time in a relationship when the newness wears off and things become dull. Almost everyone goes through this in a relationship, including me! Taylor and I went through this after being together for about a year and a half; we had known each other and did things together a little before too. I say “did things together” because we never really “dated” per say (I friend zoned him for quite awhile and he still won’t let me live it down). After our short rut our newness seemed to return and we felt much better. It didn’t happen just like that though. We needed to go out together more, play games, talk about new things, do anything that would make our relationship more interesting once again.
Our new engagement, moving into our apartment soon, and thoughts about our future together make our relationship full of excitement. But even before the engagement we acted like a newly together couple; always kissing, laughing, and all that gushy stuff. So what has helped us to stay in this “newlywed” state of our relationship? After thinking of some things in my own relationship, I decided on five of “the little things” that help keep it exciting for us.
1. Write old fashioned love letters
I put this first because it was my inspiration for this post. While at work today I was incredibly bored with nothing to do (no one is on campus due to spring break!). In my boredom, of course I’m thinking about Tay and how I miss him, so I decided to write a little love letter. I have written a few of these over the course of our relationship and he has kept them all. I gave him the one I wrote today and he read it right away. After he finished, he knelt down in front of me, told me he loved me, and gave me a kiss. He then pulled out the letters I have given him in the past. Last year’s had a lot of similar things as the one from today and it made me smile. My feelings for him haven’t changed, besides them only becoming stronger. These little love notes let him know I still feel the same way about him as I have from the very beginning of our relationship. It tells him I still think about him often and it really means a lot to him because I took the time to hand write something from my heart. Since he’s kept all of my letters I’ve given him, I know he is able to re-read them and remember my love for him.
2. Hold hands, hug, and kiss often
This seems like such a no-brainer. But when was the last time you decided to grab your partner’s hand just because? I love when Tay grabs my hand unexpectedly and holds it just because he wants to. When we walk together down the street or the hallway in our apartment it’s so nice to walk at the same pace and hold hands, just enjoying each other. He is equally surprised when I do the same to him. I grew up in a house where my parents always hugged and kissed hello and goodbye. Seeing this in their relationship has made me practice the same acts of affection in my relationship. These acts, whether quick or long, show that you appreciate the closeness and touch of one another.
3. Say “thank you”
Whenever we do things for each other I always notice that we say thank you after-the-fact. This simple gesture shows the appreciation we have for things like making dinner for each other, doing the dishes since the other cooked, giving foot rubs, scratching his back, holding the door open for me, and many more. This is one of the ways we show affection for each other: acts of service. Performing acts of service for each other is an amazing way to show how much we appreciate and love to do those things. Saying “thank you” in response to these acts of service further shows our appreciation and keeps us doing things for one another.
4. Strengthen the conversation
You can run out of things to talk about pretty quickly. As life gets stressful, it’s very easy to focus on the negative parts of your day and vent these to your partner. I fall victim to this whenever I have an especially stressful day or if I’m worrying a lot. I find, though, that saying seemingly unimportant, yet positive, things that happened in my day can make things more interesting in our conversations and vice versus. For example, Tay had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and told me that he ran into his mammaw as she was there too. Neither of them knew they were going to be there and he saw her when she almost backed into him with her car. This unexpected event in his day made for a good conversation point for us.
5. Date each other often
Now I know this is hard when you both have jobs and a family to take care of, so it is a little easier for us to do this at this stage in our lives. Still, though, setting aside time to be with one another, whether going out or staying in, can help to keep things new and exciting as they were in the very beginning. This is something I want to keep doing as much as possible as we spend more and more years together. Whether we go out or stay in to have dinner or watch a movie, we take time to spend in the others’ company without any distractions. It’s nice to go out to dinner a little dressed up or to watch a redbox movie in the dark at home. Having these moments together fuels our love and excitement for the many more occasions we’ll spend together in the future.
I hope these things in my relationship will inspire you to rekindle, or keep alive, that newness you had at the very beginning of your relationship. We in no way have a perfect relationship, but doing these things definitely contributes to our “newlywed” feelings of giddiness and love for one another. They make me love my man more than the previous day!