9. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone Solo
Also helpful: Shaking things up in your personal life, which can have an effect on your love life. You don’t have to do new things just with your partner to have a positive impact on your relationship. “Do what’s uncomfortable,” New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle. “If you’ve been fearful of facing crowds, take an improv class. If you’ve always felt self-conscious about your appearance, go blonde (or red or brunette — whatever you’re not!).” Yes, it’ll take a little courage — but it’ll result in a better time with your partner, not just a different take on yourself.
“This type of stepping out of your comfort zone is like a domino effect,” Masini says. “You’ll start feeling more confident and more adventurous — and things that you’ve aways wanted to do, but feared doing, will begin to seem possible, and even probable,” she says. “Your sεχ life will pick up, naturally, and you’ll find yourself attracting new friends as well,” she says. Of course, it’s still good to step out of the ol’ comfort zone with your partner too, but don’t just wait around for a night you’re both free to change things up.
10. Replicate Your First Dates
Remember those first 10 or 15 dates that were so crazy and amazing? Yeah, do those again. Literally. “Go back to the activities that you both enjoyed at the beginning — those first fun dates,” relationship coach Melinda Carver Melinda Carver tells Bustle. If, on your first few dates, you took in a dance performance, ate at three particular restaurants and watched a certain movie, see that same dance troupe, eat at the same restaurants and rent that same flick.
If that doesn’t work — basically, when all else fails — move together. “You can try some physical activity to do together to release endorphins and the sense of accomplishment of doing something together,” Carver says. That always works!
11. Don’t Just Sit There, Do Stuff
The bottom line with pretty much all of these suggestions? Action, action and more action. “Take a class, volunteer together at something you both feel passionately about, learn a new skill, such as cooking, wine tasting, rock-climbing, ballroom dancing — whatever floats both of your boats,” Carlyle Jansen, author of Author, SεχYourself: The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms , tells Bustle. Jansen echoes Carver’s plan of pounding the pavement together: “Start working out together or even going for regular walks in different neighborhoods. Build adventures that are both fun and bonding.” And you’ll totally forget about being bored.
12. Make Date Night Obligatory
We’ve all heard that regular date nights are smart. But psychologist Nikki Martineztells Bustle that they really should be mandatory. “You should have a set weekly date night,” she says. It shouldn’t just be a night set aside for some TBD event, she adds: “You have two different ways you can go with this. You can sign up for something that is a mutual interest, a cooking class for example. Or, and I like this better, you get to alternate weeks where one person chooses the activity, and the other person promises to go along with it.”
Either way, don’t just say, “Yeah, we’ll do something fun on Thursday nights,” and then figure it out later. In scenario A, you’ll have something specific to look forward to each week; in scenario B, you’ll get to plan fun things for your partner, and vice versa. As a result, you and your partner “will have fun just being together, and hopefully through the activity,” Martinez says. If the cooking class or whatever turns out to be a dud, not to worry: “If they do not have fun, they hopefully had fun with how terrible it was — and now they have a great story!” she says.