You’re in the prime of your life, young and in love, but your relationship has fallen into a boring routine, a series of events that never really excite either of you anymore. Are you worrying and questioning if it’s time to let go of your SO since your relationship is losing its spark?
Sometimes even the best relationships can hit a rut, but it’s not always an unfixable problem. We understand how relationships can become dull for you and your SO once you’ve been dating for a really long time. From going on adventures to being extra romantic on date nights in, we’ve come up with a list of ways to spice up your relationship so you two can rekindle your fire and remind you why you fell for each other in the first place!
1. Make a scavenger hunt
A super-fun activity for you and your special someone can be to create a scavenger hunt for each other. The list of items can lead to places you both love to go to together or that are sentimental to your relationship. Give your SO clues that lead to your first-date spot or where you first met. Heading back to these meaningful locations will have you both reminiscing about what made you two work so well together in the first place.
Have the hunt finish with your SO meeting you at a new restaurant or spot you’ve never been before for a date where you can make new memories!
2. Cook a new dinner recipe
Another great chance to spend some quality time together is to skip that your typical off-campus restaurant for one weekend and cook dinner together.
You both can research delicious recipes you both love or have been dying to try (Pinterest has the best ideas!) and then shop for the ingredients together. It’ll be fun making something and then enjoying it afterward with each other. The intimacy of staying in as opposed to going to your usual spot can really spice up the night.
3. Go on an adventure
Experiencing something that makes your adrenaline go through the roof with someone you trust and love can be an incredible experience.
Carole Lieberman, M.D., psychiatrist and author, says, “Exploring exciting hobbies together … can be just the thing. Activities like these, where you need to have each other’s back, can build trust and intimacy.”
These adventures don’t even need to be as intense as bungee jumping (unless you’re into that!). If you’ve always dreamed of scuba diving, riding in a hot air balloon or even going horseback riding, bring along your SO. These are unique experiences that you can share with the person you can let loose with!
4. Leave each other romantic love notes
If you’re always at your special someone’s house, apartment or dorm, consider leaving cute notes that remind him or her of how much you love each other. Once you both fall into the routine of a long-term relationship, “I love you” can be a phrase used too few times together.
“It can be very difficult to maintain a long-term relationship in college, where there are daily temptations to see what someone new would be like,” Dr. Lieberman says. “The grass always seems greener on the other side.”
Writing down quick, romantic notes can keep you on your SO’s mind all day. Alexandra Churchill, a college graduate from the University of New Hampshire, says that these gestures may seem small, but their sentimental meaning is what supports your relationship. “It was the little gestures that meant the world to me and to [my boyfriend]: He would leave me little sticky notes saying ‘I love you, beautiful’ when I was busy reading for class,” she says.
Reminders of how much you appreciate and care about each other can keep the worry of those temptations away and increase the attachment between the two of you.
5. Start a new hobby together
Picking out an activity that you both can make time for and will enjoy doing is the best way to make sure you get quality time together. Is there an interest you both go nuts over, or a class you two always talk about wanting to try? Check out what’s nearby and sign up!
Lanie Biggar, senior at St. John’s University, says, “My boyfriend bought me a bike for my birthday, so we [made] biking our new hobby, which has been really fun. … Every Sunday we explore a different park in New York City.”
It can also be fun to work towards a similar goal. Have either of you wanted to run a 5K, or are you both hikers who always say you’ll climb that huge mountain one day? Train together to complete that common goal! Working hard toward a goal together can strengthen your relationship.
6. Act like high-school sweethearts
We know the pressure of college can really get to all of us at one point or another. Do you feel like the plans you have for after graduation, what internship you’ll have next year or college loans (ugh) make you feel too old for your late teens/early twenties?
The solution: Act like a teenager with the person you like being silly with. Pretend you’re high-schoolers who don’t have the weight of the world (or econ textbooks) on your shoulders. Make each other mix CDs with cheesy love songs, go roller-skating or go to an amusement park and engage in some serious PDA. Forgetting your inhibitions and tapping into those nostalgic activities will make you laugh and forget all the typical nights you two have already done together.
7. Take a trip
Mark in your planner when your next long weekend or break is, and plan a little getaway with your SO. Changing your usual relationship setting can refresh those feelings and make your relationship feel brand-new again. Without your roommates around or piles of studying that needs to get done, the two of you can focus on each other and not have to run on a schedule.
Taylor Zepeda, a senior at the University of California, San Diego, says, “Whether it’s a few weeks away or a month away, [my SO and I] like to plan dates to keep us excited for what’s ahead and to reinstitute those butterfly feelings that can sometimes get lost in a long-term relationship!”
If you’re the outdoorsy type, go camping in the woods or find the closest ski lodge and enjoy the slopes for a few days. Just getting away from the monotony of your current situation can help you both refocus on why you love being together.
After you’ve been dating for a really long time and your relationship gets dull, it’s important to think outside of the box to spice things up with your SO!