Staying in a long-term relationship with another person takes more than just being in love. Many couples can attest that there are ups and downs in life, and a relationship requires constant effort to upkeep and strengthen.
The fact that you're reading this article shows your desire to improve your relationship with your significant other, which is a great first step!
While the ultimate goal is to build warmth and illuminate the world for the two of you, there are times when the embers may need to be rekindled. Here are four tips that could ignite that little bit of spark in your relationship.
1. Set a shared goal and discuss how you are going to accomplish it together
The author of the classic short novel The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, once wrote: "Love is not two people gazing at each other, but two people looking ahead together in the same direction."
This could mean discussing an important long-term goal or even one that you want to achieve in a few weeks. Sharing a goal will intimately involve the both of you putting in equal effort to achieve and let you better understand each other's aspirations and motivations.
Through working together and mutually supporting one another to accomplish a shared goal, you will be able to develop your relationship on a deeper level.
2. Learn something new – together
Learning a new skill or activity together can be a fun-filled experience that both of you can enjoy. It allows you to bond as a couple, as you open yourselves up to making mistakes and asking for help. This can be healthy for your relationship as the two of you show a different, more vulnerable, intimate side to each other.
3. Relive significant milestones in your relationship
It is easy, perhaps even instinctive, to remember the bad things that have happened because these usually leave a scar, physical or metaphorical, on us.
Reliving significant and happy milestones in your relationship can help the two of you remember the journey you have taken as a couple, and reinforce the reasons why you both made this decision to be together.
Doing this can be as simple as reading love letters you wrote to one another, watching movies or listening to songs that hold a special place in your hearts or even travelling to memorable destinations you have visited together, perhaps on your honeymoon or babymoon.
4. Take turns to plan dates
After a while, it's easy to settle into a routine in a relationship. That's not to say it's a bad thing, but rather than going to the same few places or doing the same activities every weekend, why not mix things up a little?
Taking turns to plan your next date has multiple benefits. First, the person planning would take extra effort to be thoughtful and creative in order to plan a date that their significant other will enjoy. That process itself is beneficial as it means the two of your will always be intently listening to what the other is saying, picking out hints for a nice date night. It also allows one partner to enjoy being surprised.
If you are in need of ideas, why not take advantage of AIA Vitality? Aside from being our wellness programme specially designed to motivate you to keep healthy, fit and active, you can also enjoy rewards such as enjoying special rates at Golden Village as well as savings on Royal Caribbean International cruises, hotel bookings on Agoda and airfares on Singapore Airlines and Emirates.
You could also by plan interesting dates where you have to walk and clock steps together for the AIA Vitality 10K Challenge! This could include exploring the natural environment in Singapore at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or the Southern Ridges, going for breezy and romantic strolls by the beach or even taking interesting walks and tours around the island conducted by NParks.
Every couple is unique
The quality of a couple's relationship reflects both persons' personality and attitude towards life. Every relationship is unique.
It helps for both of you to communicate and articulate the underlying reasons to strengthen your relationship. Perhaps you want a loving family for your children to grow up in or you want to emulate your parents.
One good way to do this is to ask yourself #WhatsYourWhy when it comes to your relationship. By understanding your "Why" – the compelling reasons within ourselves that drives us to achieve our best for our partners, we will be able to overcome the challenges we encounter in our relationship.
Here's hoping these tips would be a good jumping off point to help you ignite that special spark in your relationship!