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Relationships are all fun and excitement when they start, learning about each other, the butterflies in the stomach before seeing each other, and let’s not forget that first kiss (and all the firsts that come after that!). However once the kisses reach the hundreds mark – they start becoming pretty much the same thing, much the same as the relationship.

When the ‘honeymoon’ phase is over, everything feels pretty much the same. On one hand it’s nice when you reach the comfortable stage; on the other hand the butterflies disappear.

The trick in a long relationship is to be spontaneous, interesting and to keep the fun factor in the relationship. Here are five ways to keep things interesting in a relationship:

1. Attend and host

One of the biggest mistakes couples make is to spend every second with each other. By hosting or attending parties, braais, poker evenings or just karaoke in a local bar not only will you be seeing more of your friends, but you’ll also have an opportunity to be around each other without being attached to one another.

All too often, once couples go steady, they tend to forget about their friends and spend every waking moment in only each other’s company, which is not only bad for friendships and the relationship, it also makes one lose out on the social aspect of life. These events can be fun and enriching for all.

2. Try new places

Getting wrapped up in routines will probably lead to disaster – if you always go to the same restaurants, you’ll inevitably be spending a lot of time retreading the same ground.

By going to a new city, a new restaurant or just changing things up a little at home, you’ll be opening a wide range of new conversations. There is something revitalising about being in a situation with which you are both unfamiliar and getting to experience it together.

3. Get creative in the bedroom

Get creative with your sex life. Find new ways to put some fun, energy and excitement into your relationship. Have sex in different rooms of the house. Try different positions. Don't feel shame or fear when asking for what you want. Give yourself permission to explore each other's fantasies any way you can. Sex is part of a relationship and also an aspect that needs to be paid some attention to in order to not become monotonous.

4. Talk and laugh

Communication is a huge part of a relationship, so couples need to learn just to talk – and not only about problems. Discuss each other’s goals and try to give input.

Tell each other about childhood memories or embarrassing moments. Watch a comedy together. Just spend time in conversation and laughing together. It may not seem that important but it really is - nobody wants to reach the stage where they have nothing to say to their partner.

5. Factor in some alone time

This will give you time to miss each other, as well as just give you time to be left alone with your own thoughts and ideas. Spending every waking moment with each other is not healthy.

It will also provide some conversation topics – if you take a day for yourself, when you get back you can tell him all about it. No two people are the same, so there are bound to be things that you love to do but he doesn’t, that doesn’t mean that you must miss out though.

Relationships are wonderful, but they are hard work. You have to work at it all the time to get to the point where both parties are happy and content – when reaching this point it doesn’t mean that you slack off, you still have to put in the effort to keep things interesting. Too much of the same thing does eventually get boring and could lead to a partner straying – don’t reach that point, with a little effort you could be on your second ‘honeymoon’ in no time.

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