Many of us know the exciting feeling of starting a new relationship and the immense thrill that often comes with embarking on a new romantic journey. From re-reading texts that bae sent you, to getting that warm, fuzzy feeling in your tummy when thinking of your special someone – it’s true, the honeymoon phase is truly the most exhilarating part of any relationship.

When I started dating my guy, my emotions were so raw. One minute I would be so excited to see him and constantly want cuddles and attention, and the next, I would sear up in anger thinking that he had found a girl to replace me with. The first year of that relationship was filled with tears, laughter and sometimes, I had a lot of anxiety about him possibly dumping me. But certainly, there were many positives and many exciting ‘firsts’ during Year One, with my partner spoiling me with dates and buying me presents every month on what we’d come to know as ‘monthiversaries’.

Many couples don’t make it past the honeymoon phase, partly because they stop trying to impress their partners and stop doing the things that they did when the relationship was ‘fresh’. Sometimes people become so comfortable in their routines with their loved ones that the relationship just starts petering out and ends up becoming dryer than badly made scones. If there is still love and respect in your relationship and you and your partner help each other grow, I believe that type of love is worth fighting for.

Here are some ways you can keep the spark alive in your relationship:

1) Be consistent!
If your partner is accustomed to exchanging gifts with you every month, it’s important that you continue to try and win them over and are consistent in your romantic gestures. Even small, inexpensive little gifts will still mean a lot if they come from your heart. If you really can no longer afford to spoil your partner as you did in the beginning of the relationship due to financial constraints, sit them down and explain the situation and come to a compromise. If you cannot purchase gifts every month, maybe you could spoil each other on Valentine’s Day or on your birthdays. Relationships are all about communication. Your relationship should be a safe, happy place and you shouldn’t put yourself into debt to try and keep things going.

2) Cute texts
Sometimes something as simple as a cute little text can mean so much to your bae because it shows that you care enough to find out how their day is going. If you know they have an important interview, test or presentation coming up, give them a quick call to let them know you’re thinking of them and praying for their success. In relationships, it’s honestly the little things that make all the difference.

3) Surprise your bae
If you’re young and a little broke, you may not always have money to spoil your partner with expensive gifts or dinners, but honestly, romance doesn’t have to cost much. A sweet love letter or poem hidden in his/her bag, or organising a special picnic on a beach with some homemade goodies could also do the trick. The important thing is to know your partner and understand the type of gestures they would appreciate. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to improving a relationship, so it’s vital to understand your partner’s love language.

When my partner would be really broke, he would wait outside my place of work and surprise me with smoked beef chips, an energy drink, a whole-nut chocolate and some chicken pops from Spar. Then we’d hang out and watch some horror movies or animation (whichever I was in the mood for). Just the gesture and the fact that I could relax after a crappy day made me happy, not to mention the fact that food always makes me smile!

4) Try and take an interest in things they like
You may not enjoy everything that your partner does, but it’s important to listen to them and try and share their enthusiasm when they speak about their passions, fears and things that make them happy. If your special person speaks about their dreams, encourage them and show them the same love and respect that you expect when speaking about your goals and interests.

5) Argue respectfully
Sometimes when getting into a heated argument with your partner, it’s easy for the two of you to start insulting one another, but at the end of the day, this will only worsen the state of your relationship and will slowly start chipping away at the love you two share. While arguments can be a great way for two people to express how they feel about certain issues, it is important for you and your partner to respect one another. Don’t swear or call your partner names, because that could be very scarring to their self-esteem. Address the issue and why it upset you and try to come up with a reasonable compromise that suits both you and your partner.

6) Be faithful
Trust is so important in any relationship. Be open and honest with your partner and be faithful to them. If the relationship in unsalvageable, just leave, don’t ever cheat on your bae, because that one act could leave them shattered for a very long time and impact their future relationships.

Every relationship reaches a certain level of comfort at some point. You could be dating someone as gorgeous as Zac Efron or Zozibini Tunzi and you’d still get used to them after a while, but if there is still love, mutual respect and trust in your relationship, it’s up to you and your partner to fight for that love. After all, nothing worth having in life comes easily!


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Tell us: How do you keep the romance alive in your relationship?