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The Key to Happy Long-term Relationships: Act Like You’re Still on a First Date

The Key to Happy Long-term Relationships

Early days of a romance are heady, electric and crazy. But as your relationship matures, you’ll go from an emotional roller coaster to a more relaxed and comfortable partnership. It’s possible, however, to become so comfortable with your mate that your relationship starts to crumble. Couples who take each other for granted will either split up or find themselves stuck in a loveless match.

It happens to many couples, but your relationship doesn’t have to end that way. If you want to stay fresh and loving over many years, just treat your partner as if you were on a first date every day.

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#1. Be polite & considerate

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When you went out on that first date, you said “thank you,” “please,” “excuse me,” and “I’m sorry.” We use these little courtesies to show basic consideration for other human beings. Although it seems counter-intuitive, many couples drop politeness as their relationship develops. You’ll certainly become more relaxed with your partner, but never forget the basic signs of consideration.

Always thank your partner for small things. Ask nicely if you want them to do something for you. Apologize immediately and sincerely if there’s a misunderstanding. When your interactions with each other are continually based on consideration, then you’ll face your challenges with kindness and compassion.

#2. Compliment each other

On your first few dates, you would have made an extra effort to compliment your partner. You would have noticed a change in hair style or a new piece of clothing. When you become more familiar with another person, especially if you are living with them, it’s easy to overlook the great things you see every day. Our brains are simply wired to overlook what’s familiar.

But if you can make an extra effort to pay attention to your soul mate and find something to compliment every day, you’ll be reminding each other of the wonderful things that drew you together in the first place. You’ll stay focused on what’s positive about your love rather than the negative traits, and your attachment will strengthen.

#3. Focus on Flirting and Play

You had a great time on your early dates. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be together today. Now that you’ve been a couple for a while, don’t leave the fun behind. As you grow more comfortable with each other, you should be able to have more good times than ever. Inside jokes, quiet flirting, laughing over shared memories are some of the great rewards of the long-term relationship. Don’t let the everyday grind of work, family and chores bleach the fun out of your love. If you keep that playful first-date attitude, your relationship will stay fresh and happy.

#4. Open your mind

On your first date, you probably kept an open mind about your new partner. You withheld judgment and let yourself get to know your date better. You would have been more likely to try Thai food or bungee jumping. You were open to possibilities because there was promise of great love in your future. As your relationship matures, you and your partner will fall into familiar routines and habits, but it’s important to keep that open-minded attitude.

If your partner suggests a new adventure or wants to learn how to play bongos, don’t just ridicule the idea because it’s new. Give it a try. No matter how long you’ve been with your partner, the future still holds the promise of even greater love and fun. Stay open to those possibilities.

#5. Put your best foot forward

On the first date, you looked great. You planned for days. You made the best of whatever happened. If you’ve been with your partner for a while, you might find yourself giving 2nd best. 2nd best effort leads to a 2nd best relationship. Giving your best doesn’t mean you have to dress for a gala every day or turn each night into a romantic paradise, but it does mean that you continue to take care of yourself physically.

Being your best means going happily to your partner’s business event or taking care of the kids by yourself for an evening to give your mate a night off. On your first date, you made an extra effort to show your love a terrific time. Couples who continue to make that effort for each other will build an unbreakable partnership.

#6. Keep the romance kindled

Your first date was all about romance and seduction. Your 100th date may be more about grabbing something to eat and going straight to bed. When couples become more relaxed with each other, it’s easy to skip the seduction. It’s not required after all. But romance and flirting keep sex hot. There’s a thrill in the chase. If couples dump the romance, it’ll be easy to dump each other later on.

#7. Be grateful for your mate

Can you remember how happy you were when you got that first date? You were just grateful to get a chance to get to know this terrific and sexy person next to you. If you two end up staying together, you’ll likely to start taking each other for granted. However, if you make a habit of remembering every day how grateful you are for each other and especially if you let each other know about it, you’ll never take each other for granted. This one behavior is the foundation of all the others. It will keep you emotionally grounded and focused on growing an amazing partnership.

#8. Your first dates were amazing, fun and intoxicating

Wouldn’t it be great to carry some of that feeling through the rest of your life with your partner? As your relationship grows, it will change, but if you keep that first-date mindset, you’ll end up with a loving, committed partnership that’s still amazing, fun and intoxicating. What could be better?

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