My least favorite part of a relationship is the very beginning. Although the early stages are new and exciting, they’re also difficult to navigate due to the intangible barriers we either face or put up ourselves. I prefer that stage in the relationship when I am first becoming comfortable around a person, and we are able to simply enjoy life together.

No matter what stage you are at in your relationship, I’ve compiled some evergreen tips to sparking life in the stage that you least prefer, even in marriage.

1. Read.

I put this first because I can’t stress enough how beneficial it is for anyone to read. The smarter you are, the more attractive you are, which is great news for bookworms. That’s why reading together is an activity that works two ways. First off, it leads to more attraction between you and your partner. Second, keeping up with a good book together is a fun, engaging way to keep the relationship interesting and dynamic.

2. Play.

One of the best ways to build a strong bond with someone is to have fun with them. Sometimes, however, we fail at generating ideas that will catch on with our significant other. A favorite strategy of mine is to appeal to the child within all of us, so I pick games and activities that I found fun when I was younger.

Being silly with your activities is a great bet for getting you and your partner to smile, and what made us smile as kids more than board games and roller skating? Try to tackle the fun activities you used to look forward to as a kid and experiment away.

3. Travel.

You may not be able to book an international flight anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel within your means. The simple act of driving somewhere and getting away is enough to produce some new experiences that will strengthen your relationship.

Another fun idea is to choose different ways to get from Point A to Point B. Buses, trains, trolleys or whatever you can happen upon will surely make travelling anything but boring.

4. Cook.

Cooking a meal together, while potentially disastrous, is a fantastic way to make an evening creative and delicioous. In general, creating or producing things with your significant other cements a “team” mentality in both of you, which prepares you for obstacles you may have ahead.

5. Socialize.

It may not always be easy or convenient, but opting for group dates keeps your relationship from being isolated and slipping into a rut. Try to make time for bringing your partner around your friends or friends that you both share.

6. Exercise.

If reading is a dating activity that boosts you both mentally, then exercising is clearly the option for keeping you both fit. I personally enjoy morning runs with my relationships, since it’s an excuse to see how they operate in the morning (I’m a morning person). Going to the gym is also fun in that you can encourage each other to try new things and break a great sweat.

7. Sing.

Embarrass yourselves! You don’t have to do public karaoke, but singing together in the car or at home is something I definitely recommend. For one thing, it allows you to gauge how comfortable you really are around each other. Singing together is often a great reminder that you care about the other person and don’t mind if they see you at your worst (or maybe best?)

8. Dance.

While singing is a better idea for couples that have been together a bit longer, dancing is great for breaking the ice. This is because you’re both probably learning the steps during a class, so there is no pressure to be particularly good at it. Also, learning to dance comes in handy down the road when you’re at weddings or other events. Knowing how to do something together is a major benefit to keeping a relationship healthy and ultimately happy.

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