No matter how much you love your partner, no matter how great you think your relationship is, it can sometimes feel a little... boring. But there's no shame in that; it's something that happens naturally and you may have to put in some extra effort to make your relationship fun again. "After you've been with your partner for a considerable amount of time, it's normal for the honeymoon phase to end," says therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW. "As we get into daily routines and have outside responsibilities — such as work, our social life, and self care — we often find our relationship becomes stale. If you prioritize and focus on getting the spark back, it certainly can be fixed."
It's easy to think that a relationship should naturally be at 110 percent excitement levels at all time — that if you're really compatible then it will be non-stop fireworks without any work. But that's just not true. "When things get boring, there needs to be an effort made to make things fun and exciting again," relationship therapist Carolyn Cole, LCPC, LMFT, NCC tells Bustle. "Things won't become exciting without putting in some work. But, it can be fun and doesn't need to feel like work!"
So if you feel like your relationship needs a little boost of fun, don't panic about it. Here's what you should try.
1Surprise Each Other
Surprising each other is an easy way to make things feel more fun. "Routines can kill even the most loving relationships and make them feel boring. Bring back the spontaneity," dating coach Shawnda Patterson tells Bustle.
My girlfriend and I regularly swap who plans date night and we don't tell the other one what we're doing until the day. It's not hard to do, but it still manages keeps things a little more exciting then going to the same restaurant every Friday.
2Try A New Activity
It can be fun to try something completely different with your partner, so go ice skating, rock climbing, or try a sushi-making class. And if you're terrible at it? All the more fun — you can laugh through it together. Just be careful how you breach it with your partner. "Instead of blatantly telling your partner that you are bored, perhaps you suggest that you’ve been stuck in [a] rut ... and you think it would be fun for the both of you to do something new together," says clinical psychologist Dr. Sarah Williams.
3Give Yourself Some Phone-Free Time
If you want to really have fun with your partner, you need to connect with them — and that means putting the phone away. "Mobile phones can have a negative impact on our attention span, as well as our ability to open up and communicate with others,” David Brudö, co-founder and CEO at mental wellbeing and personal development app Remente, tells Bustle. So make an agreement to put the phones to one side and really focus on each other. You may just remember why you fell in love with them in the first place if you stop mindlessly scrolling.
"Couples who stop flirting are couples who stop anticipating," Certified Relationship Coach Chris Armstrong tells Bustle. "Things go blasé and what was once an unpredictable stroll is now an expected lull."
So make sure you keep the flirting going. Send sexy text messages, kiss more, compliment each other, and inject some of that fun back in that came so easily when you were first together. It may feel awkward at first, but try your best to start flirting again.
Sometimes it's fun just to be totally goofy with each other. "When we get to the comfortable, stable place of knowing we have 'secure' status with someone else, it's common to lose the playfulness that got you together in the first place," Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure, tells Bustle. My girlfriend and I spend around 99 percent of our time alone acting like idiots, and I love it.
"Give yourself permission to be silly — it’s easy to take relationships way too seriously," Jonathan Bennett, relationship/dating coach and owner of The Popular Man, tells Bustle. "You don’t always have to be on your best behavior. Sometimes, it’s OK to simply have mindless laughter and goof around with your significant other."
If you really feel stuck in a rut, don't be afraid to change your scenery — it's an easy change that can do a lot of good. "Changing your environment will help create new emotional responses to your partner, instead of triggering old undesirable ones," says relationship expert Miyoko Rifkin. You don't need to hop on a plane across the world (although that sounds like fun), even going to a new town or a new restaurant can trigger a change.
7Come Up With A Bucket List
If you have trouble coming up with fun things to do on any given day, then coming up with a big list with your partner will give you something to refer back to. "Come up with a 'bucket list' and think about things you've always wanted to try that you can do together," therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, tells Bustle. "Doing something out of the ordinary can add both excitement to the relationship and help you feel more connected to your partner." Then, when you're both feeling bored or out of ideas, pick something off of the list to try.
Relationships don't have to be a constant rollercoaster — and you should definitely enjoy some quiet moments with your partner — but it should still be fun. Keeping relationships feeling exciting takes a bit of effort sometimes, but know that it'll be well worth it.