The start of a relationship is exciting, risky, even a bit scary, and we savor every slightly out of control minute of it. That early relationship thrill comes from the high of discovery, from learning your partner’s passions and fears.
As a relationship matures, though, we tend to trade that intense feeling of free falling for contentment and security. But why can’t we have the best of both worlds: a rock solid, comfortable, deeply fulfilling partnership and a regular injection of but I barely know you mystery? According to relationship experts and some thrill seeking couples, we can.
I know that when you’re starting a new relationship it may be fun, exciting, and there are few arguments (if any). Someone even compared it to buying a new car and having that new car smell. But what happens after all the fun stops?
Here are many ways to stay in love and never stop falling:
1. Place a Bet
You and your husband have on Hootenanny to win in the sixth race. He rounds the far turn three back from the lead, but he’s closing in fast. The horses thunder past you down the stretch, and Hootenanny wins by a nose! You jump into your husband’s arms and suddenly realize you’re having a blast. The adrenaline rush, the decadence of throwing caution (and a few bucks) to the wind and the slightly sleazy atmosphere of the track or your average casino all make gambling a great way to inject a little pizzazz into your relationship.
Of course, you don’t have to wager your hard-earned cash to get the same effect: Try playing strip poker in your living room after the kids go to bed or going to a pool hall and betting on who has to make dinner for the next week.
2. Be a Little Daring
When I was in high school the in thing to do during the wee hours of a warm summer night was to sneak into the local pool and go skinny dipping. Fear of getting caught in a compromising position is guaranteed to evoke some thrills and chills, and you can bring back that feeling as adults in small ways that won’t get you thrown in the slammer.
How, you ask? The next time the two of you go to a movie, hide in the last row of the theater and fool around. Valerie Gordon, 35, of Santa Clara, CA, ups the excitement factor by showing (more than) a little skin: When the mood hits and the weather permits, my husband and I take naughty photos of each other in public places like parking garages.
3. Relive Your First Date
Your first date was a mystery that had yet to be solved. There were several juicy clues the look in your date’s eyes, the way he kissed you and plenty of nervous tension. But even though you know how that mystery turned out, returning to the scene of that first crime can bring back some of those old goosebumps.
Sharon Alex, 38, of Lake Mary, FL, suggests you plan the evening exactly as you did the first time same perfume, same innocent looks, everything. You can even dress separately and meet each other there, as Alex did: I met my husband at a nightclub, and we danced and flirted. His arm around my waist made everything seem just right.
4. Become a Master of Seduction
A little bit of forethought can awaken some of the passion in your marriage, even on an ordinary Tuesday night. Rob Czaplewski, 29, of Grand Island, NB, likes to get home from work before his wife and put a love note on the back door. Then I have her favorite music playing with all the candles lit in the living room and a bed of pillows on the floor,” he says, “and finally, the promise of a back-rub to help her relax.
Jenna Schlehuber, 42, of Moran, MI, used a bottle of cologne to build temptation. She bought her husband a scent she really liked and had it wrapped. When he went upstairs that evening to take his shower, she left it on his pillow with a card that said, Would you wear this tonight for me, and only this? Says Schlehuber, After a few minutes, I went upstairs to find him just the way I asked, waiting patiently for me to come to bed. What a romantic evening we had better than ever. And he loved the cologne, too.
5. Take a Trip to Nowhere
At the beginning of your relationship, every date was an adventure; you never knew quite what was going to happen or how it was going to end up. So one weekend, take a trip overnight or just for the day without knowing where you’re going. No packing, no planning.
Says Patty Moosbrugger, 35, of New York City, who’s been married for six years, Every now and then we just grab sweaters and sandwiches and get on a train. We get out when we feel like it and spend the day exploring wherever we land. By letting go of some of the control you have over your lives, you’ll recapture that exciting sense of the unknown you felt when you first met.