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May 17, 2021

Hey Christina, What are some tricks and tips to keep a long-term relationship spicy and fun?

Sincerely – 25 years

Dear 25 years,

While I believe there is always room for spicy and fun, I can’t help but think we need to accept that our relationship will not look or feel like it did in its initial euphoric phase. We often can’t rewind and feel the butterflies the way we did in the beginning, because we evolve, shift and love deeper over time. What we can do, however, is inject passion and fun at any time, especially when you have two willing partners.

When you’ve been with the same partner for some time and are looking to ignite a little fun, there is evidence that novelty is a great way to effectively keep love alive. While this is a little challenging at this point in time with activities being limited, newness is a great approach. I suggest swapping chores, sharing a list of things you’d like to experience in the bedroom, going on dates and leaving the topics of children and work behind. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes, listen to what your partner is saying and create actionable items that say, “I hear you”.  Leave love notes or words of appreciation in any format, say “thank you”, or send a racy photo in the middle of the day. Laugh together and at yourself, and never go to bed angry; just to name a few.

Fun and spice will breed from connection. Exercise together, eat together and have more sex than you are likely currently having. The roles and daily tasks that we assume in relationships can suffocate fun and spicy, so try switching roles every now and again. From chores to intimacy, try on “new”. We live in patterns and repetition; we brush our teeth the same way every day, we drive to work the same way every day, we walk through the grocery store the same way. I challenge you to ask yourself, “Is the way I show up and love also repetitious?” While consistency is essential and comforting, new and different are food for the brain and the lifeline to connection.

Over my years of talking to people about relationships (including a whole lot of divorce), I can say with assurance that a man wants a partner who has his back and sees him as her hero.  A woman wants a partner who will fight for her; she wants to be the apple of his eye. If you intentionally love each other from this space, I can’t help but think that fun and spicy will come naturally.

Let’s also not forget about perspective. One thing that is very present in the initial euphoric stage of a relationship is a high level of tolerance. We have a tendency to see our new partner through rose-coloured lenses, which means little judgement and a whole lot of acceptance. This headspace can shift through the course of your relationship when life tends to lean in, but if we can reduce the judgement, we will be miles ahead.

Have a question for Christina?

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