I didn’t want to meet my now-beloved boyfriend at first. A friend of mine was dating his older brother and thought it would be good fun to set us up. I was single and happily so, but after avoiding my friend’s pleas for too long, I gave in simply to please her.
She set it up for us to meet at a lounge in Las Vegas (how cliché can you get?). I planned to stay 45 minutes to do my friendly duty without ordering drinks, so I could quickly get away. Even still, I managed to spend an excessive amount of time doing my hair and makeup. I tried on three outfits before choosing the perfect jeans and boots combo.
When he introduced himself at that Las Vegas lounge, I knew I was a goner. My 45-minute plan was out the window. He was too marvelous. 6 hours of interesting conversation and plenty of flirting later, I was hooked.
I’m sure we all have nostalgic stories of the first few early meetings with our significant others. This was a time when butterflies invaded our stomachs, and our new partner could do no wrong – when receiving a simple phone call, email, or text message sent us into a tailspin.
Everything seems magical in new love.
That glorious newness eventually fades into a glorious depth and level of comfort that is both priceless and precious. But sometimes we lose touch of the magic spark. Comfort turns into laziness and we begin to take each other for granted.
Maybe those of us in long-term relationships need to remember what it is like to be a new couple. This isn’t to say we should forsake the time spent building trust, experiencing highs and lows, and growing into emotional stability. But perhaps revisiting the magic of a new relationship will keep the flame burning bright.
Here is a list of nine things new couples do that long-term couples sometimes forget. It’s time to remember, lovebirds!
1. Make Out
There’s something to be said for a good make out session. As teenagers, we couldn’t wait for the opportunity to stick our tongues into somebody else’s mouth! Even as adults, the first real kiss with the right person can be electric. Too often, a peck on the cheek as we run out the door becomes the kissing norm for long-term couples.
We need to revisit this lip-locking activity. Why?
- It’s free entertainment. (You are never too old to admit that kissing is fun!)
- It’s good for your health.
- It reminds you that you’re connected with your partner beyond housework and the kids.
Just this week my boyfriend and I were sitting on the couch watching Netflix (honestly, one of our favorite ways to spend the evening!) I looked over at him and said, “We should make out now.” Even for unmarried couples like ourselves, being together awhile can sometimes make you forget the joy of kissing! It’s fun– and worth revisiting!
2. Be Spontaneous
When love is young, it knows no boundaries. Staying up all hours of the night to talk and make love even though you have to go to work in the morning? No problem. Taking a last minute weekend trip so you can spend every second together? Sounds great!
As we settle into our relationships, we often let life get in the way of that loving spontaneity. Sure, we can’t always have sleepless nights and our bank accounts cannot always afford grand romantic gestures and trips. But allowing room for last minute special moments together can bring a brand new sense of excitement and passion to a relationship.
3. Have New Sex
Okay, “new” sex may seem impossible when you’ve been sleeping with the same person week after week after week. But just because your partner isn’t “new” anymore, does not mean you have to get caught up in the same old patterns and routines.
Try a new position. Buy something to spice things up (Be adventurous; if you hate it, you never have to use it again!) Role-play a bit. Get a hotel for the night with the plans to stay in. Walk into a sex toy store. (Even if you don’t buy anything, you will get a great giggle out of the experience!)
Shake up your routine and keep the sexy spark alive. If you are going to have sex with one person for the rest of your life (or at least years of your life), break away from the same position every Thursday night at 9pm after your shower.
4. Dress Up
Despite the fact that I wasn’t initially interested in going out with my now boyfriend, I still took the time to look great. On the many dates that followed, I put the same care into my appearance. In the same way we dress up for all the things we consider important in our lives, I did that for him. He did that for me too.
As time has gone on, we have, of course, adopted a healthy level of comfort. He sees me all the time in my old pajamas with no makeup on. He has felt stubble on my legs and seen my hair in desperate need of a wash.
But we also still value dressing up for our date nights. It means we feel the occasion is important and put in effort to look our best for each other (and ourselves!). Putting in the effort to look your best makes you feel more confident and your partner feel more special.
5. Check In
After the night I met my boyfriend, I couldn’t get him out of my mind. I was unashamedly like a 12-year-old junior high girl who couldn’t wait for first bell to see her crush. This lead to midday text check-ins and late night phone calls on both our parts. We couldn’t wait to see what the other was doing and thinking.
As time goes on in our relationships, we sometimes take for granted the fact that we see our partner everyday. They become “old news.” We forget that our partners are always changing and even in monotonous jobs, interesting things still happen to them thorough the day.
Checking in with our significant others once in awhile reminds them that they are on our minds and whatever is happening to them in that moment is important. Sure, you’ll probably see them for dinner that night, but a quick “How is your day going?” text is sure to make your partner feel appreciated.
We flirt to show attraction. We flirt to show our personalities. We flirt because coming right out and saying “I’m so attracted to you and want to touch you,” can come off as creepy when you’re first meeting someone.
But you and your long-term partner have been there, done that. Saying “I’m so attracted to you and want to touch you” has already happened. But reminding each other that it’s still true is important!
Maybe Cameron Diaz put it best when she said, “For me, flirting with a man means making fun of myself and trying to open myself and be very unpretentious.” Delving back into that carefree and lighthearted mode of communication can be great for a long-term couple.
7. Ask Questions
That night that I spent six hours talking to my boyfriend was a night full of questions. “What do you like to do on the weekends?” “What’s your favorite movie?” We were students studying each other. As time goes on, all couples learn most of these little things about one another, and then we sometimes forget to ask more questions.
The truth is, no amount of years together will ever allow you to know every nook and cranny of your significant other’s thoughts and life. Even if you’ve spent decades together, try coming up with a list of thought-provoking questions to ask each other on your next date night.
Start studying again. When you learn something new, you get to see your partner in a brand new, exciting light.
8. Show PDA
You know when you see that ‘obnoxious’ couple in the corner of the restaurant touching all the time and kissing after every other bite despite the fact you know there is definitely onion and garlic in those meals? That, my friends, is part of the magic.
Holding hands. Kissing in public. His hand on your knee. Your hand playing with his hair. All this PDA does two things:
- Shows the world that you’re in love.
- Shows your partner that you’re proud of them and don’t care what anyone else thinks.
It doesn’t have to be excessive or uncomfortable. Even holding hands while you walk from your car to a restaurant or being willing to give your significant other a kiss around others.
9. Stay Excited
New couples cannot wait to see each other again. Think back to the beginning of your relationship. That moment when you hadn’t seen your partner in a while, counting down the minutes and then the frantic excitement when you finally get that moment together.
As seeing your significant other becomes a daily event, we can often miss noticing them at all. When you walk in the door you can be thinking more about your to-do list than you can about seeing the face of the one you love.
Set an intention of this week to show your excitement each time you come back to your partner after a day away. Even an “I am so glad to see your face; I missed you” can work wonders.
When long-term couples can combine the strength, emotional connection, loyalty, and shared experiences of being together for a long time with the sweet, affectionate, and excited behaviors of a new couple, relationships ultimately win. Relationships thrive on both – the new and the comfortable, the exciting and the stable, the physical and the emotional.
Maybe they key to a successful and committed relationship is continuing to build a solid foundation, but at the same time, never forgetting the butterflies!