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'It makes us feel like we've just started dating again.' How 15 couples keep the spark alive.

In a year where many of us have spent more time with our partners than usual, it's understandable that couples are in a bit of a slump.

There have been no (or limited) romantic getaways, no time to ourselves to recharge and overall, less excitement that we're all used to. 

But as celebrations near, we want to reignite that spark that is hiding underneath a really crappy year.

Here, 15 couples in long-term relationships share how they keep their spark alive. And some of them have very juicy tips...

But before you read on, watch women at Mamamia confess they weirdest place they've had sex. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia

Carolyn

"We have been married for 37 years and together 38. We are probably more in love than ever. We always tell the other that we love them and are super affectionate. Some people probably think too affectionate. For us, the key is being happy with just ourselves and opening our doors to lots of friends and family. A bit of a party house. Lots of people comment on our love."

Jamie

"I sent him one sexy photo of me every day for a week, like while he was on the bus to work and while he was at the gym. He said there was something really hot about him not knowing when it would come. Then we'd both be sending flirty messages back and forth all day."

Erin

"I've been going out with old mate for about 10 years. He travels a lot with work and I can honestly say that it has made our relationship so much stronger. Whenever he's home (he was supposed to be away for three to four months this year, but COVID did us a solid) and we're here for each other's birthdays and other life stuff (weddings! redundancies! promotions! cooking without burning!), it just feels super special. We also try and do date nights every few weeks (nine out of 10 times we just go for dumplings), and sometimes just go out and get drunk together."

Kee

"For us, it was figuring out the things that fill our cup. For me, it's exercise for my mental health and for him he is a social butterfly and loves me being by his side (whereas I'm a homebody). So I make it a priority to go with him to social things and have our friends over for lunch or dinner. And he is always up to workout with me on days when I need the encouragement, even if that means he does cardio five times a week and gets really skinny (can't relate). Doing those things for each other, small things that make a huge difference to our individual happiness honestly makes us so happy."

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Laura

"I have been with my husband for 17 years (since I was 16) and we now have two young kids. It is super hard - he works long hours and I have a business. We don’t really have a spark anymore so we have to work at it. We are in the phase of life that we are just getting through each day and I really hope when the kids are older and we have more time we will reconnect. That said, I like to make sure our sex life is ongoing as that is my husband's love language - physical."

Rachel

"Together 21 years, met when we were 15/16 so we have grown up together. He is amazing in the kitchen and feeds me... all the time and I make great jokes which he steals and makes them even funnier. So we eat and laugh a lot, in and around raising our four kids and running our businesses. We also talk, about whatever needs talking about. No holding back just open our mouths and talk. That’s a huge help in keeping your relationship alive. We’ve experienced so many tough life moments together and moved through them together. So for us, I think it’s more about undoubtedly knowing that the other has your back, will keep you from being angry and lighten any moment with can’t-breathe-properly laughter. Plus, he’s a gorgeous man who is also the best dad I’ve ever known."

Josie

"My ex and I were long distance (for a year of our relationship he was in the UK and I was here). So there was one time where he'd flown over and we were both wide awake at 4am with his jet lag/my excitement at seeing him. So we did a naked cheese and wine picnic in bed. It was so much fun that whenever we hit a slump, or even if we just felt like it, one of us would suggest 'naked picnic'? And they just got more and more elaborate with the planning, even though the first one was totally spontaneous."

Rebekah

"Seven years together, engaged and keeping the spark alive by being nonmonogamous, doing date nights and relationship therapy."

Sophie

"I’ve been in my relationship for 20 years (two dogs and two kids later) and what keeps our spark is new challenges and experiences. I’ve never been into candles and roses. We are always pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone - like travelling overseas to unusual places or even trying something different like bouldering or planting a new garden. Also - humour is our glue. We laugh together every day. But as I left the house this morning, the last thing I said was, 'don’t forget to clean up the dog vomit in the car,' so it’s clearly not all sparks!"

Jen

"We went through a phase where we would be so tired for sex at bedtime, so we started doing post-work sex to make sure we were both awake for it. So literally the moment we'd get in the door from work, before dinner or any other domestic stuff took place, we'd go straight to the bedroom. If things ever got stale, we mixed up the timings instead of just being that couple that crawl into bed and fall asleep without touching each other."

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Lily

"We've fallen out of the habit of this since COVID, but my partner and I used to have at least one dedicated 'date night' a month where we would choose a restaurant we hadn't been to (sometimes super fancy, sometimes super chill) and make a night out of it - we'd gather friend's recommendations and make a big list then work our way through the list. It's an excuse to get dressed up, go out and eat delicious food and spend quality time together - and makes it feel like we've only just started dating again."

Claire

"My partner and I have been together for six years. Every once in a while, we book a hotel room so that we can do all of our crazy sex stuff without making a mess in our own bed. It helps to spice up the relationship!"

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, Mamamia's podcast with what women are talking about this week. In this episode, Mia, Jessie and Holly discuss the pre-dinner sex rule. Post continues below.

Laura

"My boyfriend and I don't live together and I think it is a huge contributing factor in why we work and what keeps the spark alive. I can't say it better than Gillian Anderson does in this article. The 'living apart together' thing works for us on multiple fronts."

Tilly

"My partner and I have been together for three years but known each other for 15 years. We had three babies in 11 months, as well as my son from my first marriage. So four kids around makes time for the two of us difficult. But what I find helps is having a good friendship foundation first, someone you want to chat to and laugh with. We watch TV or movies together even though our tastes are very different, we go to bed together where possible, sit down and have a drink together. Usually, on Friday night we will do cocktails together, hold hands and sit next to each other outside or in the sitting area (you know, to mix it up from the regular couch!). We help each other, show affection and love regularly throughout the day. Just small stuff so that we aren’t getting caught up and bogged down in all the logistics that goes into our lives."

Romy

"These are a few of the things we do to keep this alive. We schedule sex. I know it sounds lame, but f**k me it works. We research something that we fancy doing and basically pitch it to one another and then dive in and give it a go. Then, when we're slammed for time, we love having showers together. It's good to just see each other naked. Oooft. It almost always leads to sex. Apart from that one time I slipped and whacked my face on the shower screen - resulting in a scene comparable to Psycho."

How do you keep your spark alive? Let us know in the comments!

Feature image: Getty.

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