Being in a relationship is great. You have a companion to be romantic and physical with, and just someone to lean on during hard times. But what happens when you’ve been with someone for a long time and things aren’t that exciting anymore?

Relationships take hard work and commitment — and if you want yours to work, you need to work! Dr. Michele Kerulis, professor of counseling with Counseling at Northwestern, gave us tips on how to keep a relationship exciting despite losing the spark.

Keep Dating
Sure, there are nights when we all need some serious couch time. But if every evening with your partner is on the couch, it’s a problem. Dr. Kerulis encourages couples to keep dating and courting each other. Go out and get dressed up with your partner! Not only will it be a fun experience, you’ll also feel and look gorge and your partner won’t be able to resist you.

Discuss Expectations
When you’re in a relationship, the last thing you want to do is rock the boat. But there are certain things you should discuss to avoid a disappointing or a lackluster relationship. Dr. Kerulis tells couples, “Don’t worry about scaring that person away. In the long run you’re going to find out these things about each other so why not just learn them early?” It’s better to know things early on rather than finding out three years down the line when you have a lease and a dog — even if you have these things, still have these talks with your partner regularly to be on the same page.

No Ghosting
Communication is key to a happy relationship, friendship, life, job, etc. So ghosting isn’t going to be an option anymore! Conflicts can be scary, but we’re all adults here. Dr. Keulis notes that someone is either around or they aren’t. If someone ghosts and doesn’t get in touch with you, you may want them more, but Dr. Keulis advises not to respond when someone ghosting reappears. She reminds us to “know that you deserve respect because you respect yourself.” No more relationship games, people!

Try New Things
If you and your partner are going to the same restaurants so often that they know your order before you even sit down, it’s time to change it up. Having your “usual” is fun but it’s not going to keep things interesting. Try new activities with your partner whenever you can. Invite them to your spin class, go out dancing, or take a cooking class. These things don’t have to be hard, they just have to be new and different. Teaching your partner something or allowing them to teach you something can also help bring you two closer.

xx, The FabFitFun Team