As Valentine’s Day approaches, many might be wondering… what is the secret to a long and fulfilling relationship? From flirty conversations in cafes to settling down in the suburbs, relationships grow and change over time and prioritising romance in the thirtieth year is just as important as in the first.
With two thirds (69%) feeling that life gets in the way of spending time with their partner* according to a new survey from Ambassador Cruise Line, it seems those in long-term relationships seriously need to pull their socks up and start putting each other first. So, to help you rekindle the romance this Valentine’s Day, Bob McGowan, Head of Experiences at the premium value, no fly operator, has compiled his top tips for a healthy and happy long-term relationship:
Prioritise quality time and make sure you’re both present
Aside from the fluff and frills of gifts, declarations of love and public displays of affection, one of the most integral parts of a relationship is spending quality time together. With over two fifths of people (41%) stating that the gift of time is one of the most meaningful presents a partner can give, it’s crucial to show your partner they are worthy of your time. This could be as simple as setting aside quality time every day to catch up on the day or enjoying a fun new activity for ‘date night’.
The best way to successfully prioritise quality time is to make it feel deliberate and ensure you have each other’s undivided attention. So, show your loved one you are dedicated to this time by turning off the TV, putting your phone on silent and actively listening.
Tell them you love them
The power of “I love you” should not be underestimated. While saying the words over and over to convince yourself of a feeling that may no longer exist won’t work, if you do feel it shout about it! Over half (51%) of those in successful long-term relationships say they keep their love alive by telling their partner those three little words.
And this expression of love can materialise in different forms. For some, simply saying “I love you” can confirm a person’s feelings. For others, this could be making the bed in morning, remembering to pick up their favourite chocolate or even just asking how their day was when they get back from work. It doesn’t matter how it’s said (or shown), but make sure your partner knows how you feel about them. Don’t shy away from expressing your love for each other!
Stop overlooking the benefits of physical touch
It’s simple and sweet but it does the trick. Humans hold hands for many reasons, with one being that it offers a sense of security.
Couples often get caught up in the big romantic displays of affection, but in fact, over a fifth of people (21%) view holding hands as one of the most romantic gestures. As long as your partner doesn’t suffer from clammy hands, give it a try. Holding hands has always been viewed as a big step in the infancy of a relationship, so whether you’re in a forty year relationship or have just started dating someone new, why not bring back that excitement? Grab your partner’s hand and feel the flirtatious excitement of the early dating days come flooding back.
Get out of the same old space
When tensions are high, the space you live in can often feel crowded with pent up resentment. Even those happily married for decades will have had moments when their home has become synonymous with stress and worry. It is therefore important to physically remove yourself and spend quality time exploring new places together, away from the stresses of daily life.
With over two thirds (69%) stating that holidaying is a great way to reconnect with a partner, heading somewhere new and investing time into making fresh memories together is the perfect way to reignite the spark in your relationship.
Renew your vows
Given over half (58%) of respondents have never considered renewing their vows, it’s clear that, for the majority, this seems unnecessary. However, this declaration of ongoing love is far more than an excuse for another party.
A relationship is a marathon, not a sprint, and going the distance requires dedication and commitment. Undoubtedly there will be a few bumps in the road along the way, so taking time to renew your vows is a lovely way to reinforce your feelings, recognise the journey you’ve been on together and perhaps most importantly, celebrate what is yet to come.
To mark Valentine’s Day this year, Ambassador has launched two wedding vow renewal packages onboard its ships, making it easier than ever to show your love and appreciation for your partner. Starting from £499, couples can choose from the Aloe or Allium Packages and can expect a ceremony, welcome bottle of champagne, wedding cake, professional photograph, certificate of the ceremony and more.
For more information or to book your own vow renewal package with Ambassador, visit www.ambassadorcruiseline.com or call 0808 1028701.