“We decided to sleep naked.”
But your bond doesn’t have to go stale. We asked couples in long-term, committed relationships to share how they stay obsessed with each other for the long haul.
“We didn’t always sleep naked, and we still don’t do it every night. But one weekend, we decided we would drink a bottle of wine, watch a movie, cook dinner, and just spend the weekend alone together. On Saturday night, we decided to forgo the PJ’s and cuddle close in the nude when we went to sleep. It brings out a feeling of complete freedom for both of us. It’s definitely not for everybody. There’s nothing better than using the warmth of each other to cuddle. Plus, it’s a great way to wake up in the morning!” —Stephanie P.
“By going through couples counseling before getting married, my husband and I learned so much about each other, like how we communicate, how we show love, what we need to feel love, and how our histories have affected the relationship the two of us have created today. We became so much closer because of it. I’ve actually never felt closer to him than I did when we were going through the class together—and both of us think it was the smartest decision we’ve ever made.” —Samantha L.
“When you can have sex any time, there’s less of an urgency to make it happen. But sex is the glue that holds us together. It’s the difference between the connection I have with my partner and the other people in my life I don’t have sex with. We keep scheduling sex because if we don’t commit to it the spark won’t stay lit.” —Natalie L.
“One night a week, we go to our local coffee shop and sit at different tables to work. He’s a professor and I’m a youth minister, so we both have a lot of after-hours work we need to catch up on in the evenings. It’s sweet because every once in awhile, we look up and wink at each other or send a silly text from across the room about one of the other patrons. It actually fosters more intimacy than sitting at home doing our own work in our separate offices. Our anti-date nights ignite that little spark you get when you first make eyes across the room with someone and flirt without words.” —Jennifer B.
“One of the reasons we’re still going strong is because we make sure to touch each other every day. It’s not always sexual, but it’s always affectionate.” —Traci S.
“As strange as it may sound, after a year of dating and being sexual with each other, my guy and I decided to take sex off the table—sometimes it’s for 30 days and sometimes it’s for 90. During these breaks, we’re much more affectionate towards each other. We still have moments when we’re tempted to mask issues with sex, but instead we’re forced to talk things out and deal with it in real time.” —Ariane S.
“My boyfriend and I started out dating long distance and had been together for about six months when I saw a post by Jessica Biel on Instagram of her and Justin Timberlake playing board games. I thought it was so cute. We decided to download Words With Friends and have had a blast playing it together while dating long-distance. I knew he was well-read, but damn he schooled me unexpectedly with his vocabulary. It’s super nerdy, but I totally recommend board games for bonding.” —Sajel S.
“It was pretty hard to get my boyfriend to go to the first couple of classes because indoor cycling classes (in my experience) are pretty female dominant, but once we started going regularly, he and I experienced some major benefits. Forty-five minutes of high-intensity workouts seriously pump up our endorphins and get us feeling good. Cycling on the same beat to music you both love is really cool.” —Christine K.
“We established a standing Friday night date night when we got engaged, and it was great. But, over time, we started using our phones more frequently on dates. One night, we both looked at each other, said, ‘I want to have quality time with you’ as though we were reading from the same script. We both smiled and put our phones down.” —Elisabeth M.
“Recently, we started doing chores—like laundry, cooking, and cleaning—together. Working on these activities together allows us to spend more time together and makes the mundane more enjoyable! This also keeps us from resenting each other for not doing enough around the house.” —Nate K.
“What’s important to one of you may not be to the other, and if you’re not aware of what your partner prefers it can hold back your relationship. My fiancé Tommy values acts of service most while I’m a very independent person who has a hard time asking for help. When he asks me for help, it makes a huge difference for me to remember that helping him makes him feel loved, so I make sure to put time and thought into answering his questions or helping him do things. My top love language is physical touch, which is less important to him. If I’m hugging him all the time, trying to hold hands, or resting my head on his shoulder, it might not register the same to him since touch isn’t his first love language. Tommy knows that words of encouragement are my second love language and that my goals involve social media, so he knows it’s important to support me publicly on Facebook and Instagram and makes an effort to like and comment on my posts.” —Mandie M.