Relationships take consistent effort on both ends to be successful. Though most people are aware of this fact, the many responsibilities of life often drive a wedge or create little time to do any upkeep. As time goes on, this lack of “love maintenance” can create distance between you resulting in complications within the relationship, separation, and even divorce. The best way to ensure your marriage or long-term relationship doesn’t get to that point is to keep it alive. Here are some suggestions on how to do this listed below: 

Communicate Often

Talking to each other may not seem like much towards keeping your relationship alive, but it actually does wonders. Regular communication keeps you two in tune with what’s going on in each other’s lives. It is a means of connecting and sustaining the intimacy between you. 

There are various methods of communicating, so no matter what your schedule is like, there shouldn’t be a problem connecting with the one you love. Send flirty text messages, call each other for a few minutes during your lunch break, wake up early to spend the first 15 minutes of your day or make this a ritual before you go to bed at night. 

Plan Date Nights

No matter how busy your schedule is you cannot overlook the importance of spending quality time with the one you love. So, make a conscious effort to plan date nights. Whether it is once a week or once a month, it can still make a big difference in keeping your relationship alive. Your date nights don’t have to be expensive either. You can have a nice dinner date at home, go to the movies, have a picnic in the park, or go to the farmer’s market and check out the various vendors and grab a bite to eat. Be sure you plan in advance so you can ask a friend or family member to watch the kids. 

Buy Each Other Gifts

While money can’t buy you happiness or true love, sometimes the perfect gift can spark the flame in your relationship and show your significant other that you care. For some people, receiving gifts speaks to their love language. You don’t have to spend a lot to give your partner a token of appreciation. Purchase their favorite coffee, treat them to lunch, buy some flowers, go grocery shopping for items to prepare their favorite meal, etc. 

For special occasions like a birthday, anniversary, or holiday, however, you’d want to spend a little more. You can still do this without digging too deep into your budget. A ring for an anniversary with lab grown diamonds, for example, will cost a lot less than a traditional piece of jewelry. A romantic staycation for a birthday can be just as relaxing and romantic as a week-long getaway to some far off destination (and a lot cheaper).

Spend Time Apart

While too much time apart can drive a wedge in the relationship, some time apart can make the heart grow fonder. Don’t be afraid to continue spending time with family and friends or pursuing your passions while in a relationship. When you spend time doing things you enjoy separately, it gives you time to miss each other, improves your mood, and gives you guys great things to talk about when you are together. 

Kissing and Touching

If you want to maintain the spark in your relationship, showing signs of affection is a must. Your partner doesn’t just want to hear you say you love them, they want to feel it as well. You’d be surprised how much better you guys feel about each other if you just kiss every day before you part ways and before bed. Also, showing a bit of PDA like hand-holding in public or hugging can make you feel closer to one another. 

Laugh Often

Life is crazy and no relationship is perfect, but if you want to keep the spark alive laughter is the best medicine. Find ways in the midst of your busy routines to make each other laugh. Send funny videos or memes that remind you of each other, get crazy and have a dance battle or a sing-off, or watch comedy shows or comedy movies together and just let it all hang out. 

Most people put more effort into planning a wedding than they do in sustaining their marriages. The reality is, however, the relationships that last the longest are those that contain individuals who are willing to work hard every day to keep the love alive. Though things like parenting, work, household chores, and other responsibilities in life can get in the way, it is imperative to continue to find ways to show each other how much you care. The above-suggested ideas are sure to put the spark back in your relationship and keep the flame going for years to come.