There is nothing like going back to the time when you were both like giddy schoolchildren staring at each other in bewilderment, wondering what kind of love would bud from this perfect day. Your first date was probably filled with at least a few butterflies and revisiting the place you spent your date may bring back those feelings. If it is somewhere with a distinct smell, like a restaurant or winery, the day will seem like it was yesterday, as smell is one of the strongest ties to memory. Going back to this may remind you of why you continued seeing each other in the first place.
14 A road trip and picnic by the lake/ocean
Get away for a spontaneous day trip. Even an hour outside of your city will feel like a new adventure and will take your mind off of whatever problems are sitting at home. Pack a picnic and pull over at a river/lake/ocean and simply enjoy the scenery. Being quiet together can be peaceful, and enjoying each others company will lead to some great conversation later. Pay attention to the sound of the water, the wind in the trees. Just… Be... Together.
13 Science center
Have a little fun together! Couples that play together stay together. The science center isn’t just for kids on field trips, it is for learning and growing. Some science centers have adult-only nights in case being around the little ones is not your idea of a good time. Many of the exhibits are hands on so you two can dig right into the fun and goof around together. Keep it all lighthearted and avoid competition unless you are truly just in it for the fun. Build things together, tear them down, and read all of the fun facts – the interactions here are some of the best opportunities to bond.
12 Strip club
Mix things up! Head over to a strip joint for dinner and bring a few dollars to play with. Some actually have great food. The entertainment will be sporadic through the night and allow you to talk and laugh together, while having distractions. You don’t have to sit right up in ‘perv. row’ if being that close makes you uncomfortable – there are booths and tables further back where you can watch and giggle from a distance. This is great to help you loosen up, step outside of your norm, and see another side of each other. Don’t be jealous of the girls on stage – he may be watching but he is there with you and is going home with you. It’s better to experience it with him.
11 Plant a garden
As silly as this sounds, especially for those lacking a green-thumb, it can be a really neat experience. Getting down and dirty together in a non-sexual way is just another level on which you can be close. Get your hands into the dirt and help each other plant flowers, or the plant of your choice. Not only is gardening a grounding experience on an individual level, it is also a way to bring peace between you. Don’t be afraid to get dirty (double shower later is always an option), kick off your shoes, wear clothes you don’t care about, and focus on each other in this environment.
10 Bake together
This is perfect on so many levels. Pick a recipe you both love (Chocolate chip banana bread is always a winner), and pull out a recipe book. Even if you know how to make it, it is important to work through a recipe you are not familiar with together. Have a little fun while you bake, remember, this is about the time together, not the end product. As cliché as it is, get messy and playful with flour, it’s cliché because it works! Don’t forget your aprons!
Pop it in the oven and kill some time. This could be the fun part. Set a timer and make away for a little ‘alone time’ while you wait. You have nothing to do but wait anyway, and there is even a timer so you have that extra rush of a ‘quicky’. And once the timer goes off… you have dessert (or is it second dessert ;) )!
9 Surprise sex in unexpected places
Many couples complain that the sex is routine and no longer fun. Make an effort to scout for places during your daily grind. Heading up to a wedding out of town? Pull over on the highway (in a safe spot) and take a break from driving with a little stress-reliever. Always have sex in bed? Hit up another room in the house or even the backyard if you can manage it. Just had a nice dinner downtown? Have dessert in the parkade. Little reminders of your love in spontaneous, unexpected ways may help keep things together.
8 Start a TV Series together
The ultimate sign of commitment (ok not really, but it’s a symbol). Pick a show you will both love and start with the pilot. Make a vow never to watch it without each other and set that time aside each week to watch the new episode (whether it is live or streamed). This will give you some guaranteed time as well as some new things to talk and gush about.
7 Take a class together
Similar to the TV series, this is something you set aside to do and enjoy together. Whether it is cooking or rock climbing or pottery painting, a group class with an instructor takes the pressure off of you while allowing you to enjoy the activity with great company. And in the end you come out with a new skill that you can continue doing together later, or, in the case of pottery, you have a little take-away of your effort to rekindle.
6 Make out in a movie theater
Like the teenie boppers do when they have to get away from their parents, making out in a movie theater can evoke a little passion if the movie is right. Sit in a back corner and be ‘that couple.’ Who cares if people judge, you will never see them again and adding a little spark to your relationship will be worth it. Just keep it PG – don’t want anyone getting arrested for indecent exposure.
5 Buy each other a surprise outfit for dinner
Head to the mall and go different directions. Buy something for each other to wear to dinner that night. Whether it is a full outfit or a scarf or pendent, the little added surprise will add that extra bit of excitement to your night out. Lay the gift out on the bed while you get ready and come back to put it on together.
4 Paint your bedroom wall a new colour
Maybe the bumpy road isn’t really about you as a couple at all, but more about how you feel in your current situation. Try painting a wall in your room a new colour. If you like painting, do it together, if you don't… better to hire someone. This may just spice things up a little bit from the inside and give you something new to focus on for a little while.
3 Feel good sticky notes
This can be the typical note in the lunch, but can also be as simple as leaving a sticky note on the breadbox saying ‘I know how you love your toast, ill pick up a loaf after work and we can share a PB&J sandwich after”. Keeping all of the notes positive (compliments, 'I love you' notes, helpful reminders) and scattering them around the house on various days will give you both something to look forward to writing and finding. It also lets each of you know the other is thinking about you.
2 Flirt/Tease when out in public
Sometimes people who have been dating for a long time forget to flirt. Flirting is how you got into this relationship, so why would you not continue it? PDA is often frowned upon but subtle hints for what may come later, or the classic laughing and touching during dinner is extremely important to remind you that you can have fun and that you still want to make it last. Don't stop flirting.
1 Talk it out
When all is said and done, maybe you just need to sit down and talk it out. No matter the outcome, talking about exactly how you feel, with no blame, could bring up ways to mend broken hearts. Maybe someone is doing something the other person doesn’t like, but was not aware of. If it is a simple fix, why breakup over it? Really, as hard as talking can be, communication is the only way to make a relationship last. To help, write down your concerns on a note and go over them together. But remember not to beat a dead horse or bring up issues from the past. Keep them general and use the words “I feel” instead of “you should” and do not use the words “always” or “never”.