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How to: Keep those initial-crush-butterflies for the long-term

We all know the moment, as cheesy as it might sound. We get butterflies in our stomach. We can’t keep smiles off of our face. Homework, what? Parents, who? Obligations, those exist? He is all we can seem to concentrate on. He’s the latest crush, our newest flirtation. We met at a social event, and it seemed to just progress from there. Pretty soon he is incorporated into every part of your life. You never have to frantically search for a date for events or risk getting set up for a blind date. He’s met your family, and of course they approve. You have now become that annoyingly adorable couple everyone loves to hate.
 
So now what?  The initial flirtations, butterflies, and unpredictability of a new relationship have been gone for a while. You are now at the perfect level of comfort and happiness with each other. But how do you keep the relationship and love exciting, passionate, and interesting after dating for a long time? By this time you pretty much know everything about each other, and there isn’t much unpredictability. What happened to all those butterflies??
 
Here are a few ideas to keep your relationship from slipping into an average routine.
 
1. Actually go out on dates. This might seem like common sense, but surprisingly a lot of couples forget to go on real dates. Toss the take-out and go to the Sundial downtown, a restaurant that spins 73 stories above Atlanta, offering a mesmerizing panoramic view of the city.

2. Try an adventurous activity: skydiving, hiking, dodgeball-ing, etc., depending on what kind of risk-takers you are.

3. Take a trip together: check out Savannah or Charleston!

4. Plan a date night out at a quirky restaurant; something unique you’ve both wanted to try. This far into your relationship, you are willing to risk making disgusted faces at each other from weird food all night. Try some cheap gourmet hot dogs at HD1.

5. Feed each other some finger-lickin’ good food (see above).

6. Set up a scavenger hunt for each other with funky little clues and a fun surprise at the end.

7. Go to a concert together; splurge for that band that plays your annoying couple song, or go to that cheap concert that miiiight suck but also might be a little indie gem.

8. Surprise each other with a small, meaningful gift or fancy date.

9. Remember simple, sweet gestures, such as complimenting each other or bringing the other person a coffee during a rough night in club libs.

10.  Stare longingly into each other’s eyes. Try not to laugh.

11. Drink together on a random non-going out night. For added fun, make a fun mixed drink. Check out these recipes.

12. Return to childhood together and watch some 90’s TV like Boy Meets World and Fresh Prince. Or even Hey, Arnold!

13. Go out to a new bar and meet people while pretending to have different accents all night (who can resist a British or Irish accent?). See how many people you can fool, and at the end pretend you just met and are falling in love.

14. Try handcuffs. And play that Rihanna song in the background.

15. Be tourist-y and explore Atlanta attractions together, such as the World of Coke, the Aquarium or Atlanta Underground.
 
Basically at this point, the sillier and more out-of-the-box you get, the better. You two are at that stage where you’re comfortable enough with one another that you can really try funny or interesting things. So don’t worry about losing that excitement—bust out a butterfly net and go catch some wild and spontaneous fun times.
 

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