There's nothing quite like those exhilarating early days of a relationship when you're still getting to know each other and want nothing more than to spend time in each other's company.
After some time passes, however, and you both settle into the relationship, you get comfortable. A little too comfortable, in fact. The chase is over and you don't work as hard to keep the excitement alive.
But what if it didn't have to be that way? What if you could hold onto that early rush of romance and the thrill of discovery? Well, you can, but it will take a bit of work. If you want to keep the flame from flickering out once you've settled into your relationship, here's what you need to do.
1. Let them know when you’re bored.
No matter how comfortable your partner is, no one wants to be boring. Boredom is a red flag on either side of the relationship that something might be about to go very wrong.
Relationships hit natural ruts sometimes, but don’t accept that as an excuse. If your beloved gets the idea that you’re growing bored or even disinterested, then they'll step up their game. Let your partner know that you're planning to step up your game, too.
2. Let them know you’re not going to stick around regardless.
You love your partner, but you have your own set of needs to be met. They have to be aware of that, and don’t just assume it’s something they already know. Ask your sweetie if their needs are being met, and how you can help fulfill them.
Love is important, but the bottom line is you’re not going to be there forever if the relationship isn’t mutually beneficial. That’s why so many marriages end in divorce.
3. Raise issues the first time they come up.
Don’t be too much of a stickler, because that’s no fun. However, if your partner does something that bothers you, don’t just let it slide the first time. Take care of it then and there.
If you don’t catch it the first time, they’ll think whatever they did or said was OK and they’ll eventually do it again.
4. Make them aware that you have other options.
If you notice that your partner's been slacking off or not giving you the attention that you require, make them aware of the fact that they're not the only person on planet Earth who finds you attractive. I’m not saying cheat or intentionally provoke jealousy, but if someone hits on you in the course of your daily routine, slip it into a conversation.
5. Take the reins.
Remind your partner of what it is to be spontaneous and fun. Lead by example. Plan a fun day or weekend trip together. Crack out a map (yes, those paper things still exist) and start putting the pieces together. Show them that sitting around watching Netflix every day won’t cut it.
6. Spend time apart.
If things have gotten too comfortable, maybe it’s time to upset your usual routine. You may be spending too much time together and that’s led your partner to think that you’re always going to be around.
Take a few days off. Plan to see other friends or go to events alone. Doing activities separately will wake your partner up a little bit.
7. Make it clear you don’t need them.
As much as we love Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet just isn’t a realistic plotline for how actual relationships should go down. You love your partner and you want to be with them, but you don’t need their existence to live.
You very well could be single right now. You are choosing to be in this relationship, and you could at any time choose to leave it. You’re with them because you want to be, not because you need to be.
8. Remind them that this is a partnership.
Relationships are a two-way street, people. It’s not up to one person to do more work than the other. Each should do their equal share. You shouldn’t be ignored, but you also shouldn’t be doted on without doing your own part.
Remind them that you want your effort returned in equal measure. That’s what love is.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.