Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is a whole lot harder. The good thing is that, for the most part, there’s a choice. Falling out of love does just happen sometimes — but it can be the result of growing apart and not trying with each other. No matter how well-intentioned you are at the beginning of the relationship, and how sure you are that you’ll definitely never take each other from granted, it happens. Week by week, month by month, year by year, you just stop making the effort. You get complacent. And your relationship changes because of it.
So what can you do? “Love, more than any other thing in the world, should be easy, obvious and on display through your words and actions,” relationship coach and founder of Maze of Love, Chris Armstrong, tells Bustle. “For when we love someone, we instinctually want to do and say things that show them that they matter and that we are thinking about them. The way to stay in love is to make the audio (I love you) match the video (your words and actions day-to-day).” Although when you love someone it should come naturally, you need to show it in your actions to make your partner feel it too.
It’s too important to let slide. So here are seven ways to stay in love, because it’s worth it:
1. Get Cheesy
Everyone has different levels of cheesy— for some holding hands in public is a bit much, for others they could publicly recite sonnets and not bat an eye. But embrace your cheesiness levels and go for it— once and a while at least. It’s good to remember you’re gaga for each other.
2. Try New Things
Part of being in love is building experiences together and trying new things is a great way to do that. It gives you the shared excitement of something to look forward to and then the bonding experience of doing it together. Choose an activity, or take turns, and go for it. You need to make yourselves special to each other, rather than just routine.
“Be mindful of the rut,” Armstrong tells Bustle. “We can often get so used to our habits as a couple that love becomes just another part of our day, indistinguishable from every other thing we do. Our partners need to see themselves a special part of our lives, not just a part of our lives. When you know your words and actions with them have become routine, change it up.”
3. And Rekindle The Old
The beginning of a relationship is so nerve-wrecking and amazing, and sometimes it can be nice to look back and remember those times. Thinking and talking about how you fell in love is a great way to help you stay there.
4. Flirt Like Hell
Good shameless flirting between you and your partner is a great way to keep you, and your relationship, young. Be silly, be playful, and just go for it. It’ll do wonders for your relationship — and your sex life won’t suffer either.
5. Compliment Each Other
As a relationship goes on, you can start to think things are assumed. You feel rushed getting ready for work in the morning, so you don’t bother to tell them they look great. But they know, right? Sorry, but not if you don’t tell them. Take the time to compliment each other.
6. Remember The Little Things
Love isn’t all grand gestures. It’s doing the dishes when it’s their turn, or surprising them with a morning cup of coffee in bed. It’s really the million little things that add up to a lasting love. So don’t take your partner for granted and don’t be afraid to spoil them a bit.
7. Check In With Each Other
Communication is the be all and end all in a relationship. Taking the time to check in will keep any problems in your relationship from getting out of hand — allowing you to deal with things as they come up. Not only does that protect the relationship, the compassion and understanding that you show each other go a long way to keep your love alive.
Originally posted on Bustle