While our current culture esteems the exotic nature of non-monogamous relationships, there are many of us who want nothing more than a happily ever after with our “true love”. Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to try to tell you that a long-term monogamous relationship will bore you.
They might mean well, and there is some truth to what they say, but it doesn’t have to be that way! You may have heard it said that men (and I would argue women as well) love variety. Often times this variety comes in the form of pixelated, photoshopped women and porn, and for women, sex toys and romance novels. While most people don’t have a problem with those things, some people have reservations about them for religious or moral reasons. This can leave them thinking that because they don’t want to spice up their relationship the “conventional” ways, that they won’t be able to or that they have to resign themselves to being bored.
Nothing could be further from the truth and you shouldn’t feel like a prude for bucking the norm or for acknowledging the need for novelty in a relationship. Sometimes the easiest way to spice things up is to go back to some basics. Here are some ideas for ways you can keep your relationship fun and exciting, without violating your conscience or morals.
Sorry guys, this one is for the ladies out there.
Throughout my teenage years, I put on makeup a handful of times, and the largest amount was for my wedding. Because I have some allergies to cosmetic product ingredients, there aren’t a lot of makeup brands I can use. Due to that, I haven’t worn makeup often and when I do, it usually isn’t a lot, so when I wear any amount it seems very novel to my husband.
You might wear makeup regularly, but you can still change up your makeup enough for it to be interesting and different. In fact, I was just watching a Youtube tutorial yesterday on how to make your eyes seem bigger, farther apart, closer together, etc. Even changing the color of your lipstick can impact your whole appearance. You can do so many things with makeup these days, and I’ve definitely noticed it seems to fulfill the need for novelty in my own relationship!
This one goes for men and women. We’ve all heard it said that “men are visual”, but have you ever been around a woman when her man is in a well-tailored suit or clothes that fit him just right? She was probably fidgeting to keep herself from taking him down right then and there!
Learning how to dress well is a good skill to have anyways, and it can be put to good use for choosing a special outfit to go on a date in. How you dress and frame your body can have a huge influence on the times when you have no clothes on. A nice outfit that accentuates your features can basically serve as a long and drawn out foreplay session in which you torture your significant other because they can see just enough of what they want to be affected, but they can’t rip your outfit off in public. 😉
3. Stay Healthy
I’ve known so many couples that give out warnings at weddings about letting yourself go to the bride and groom. It is unfortunate that this is a trend. While it is true that after you get married (and sometimes before) life starts moving faster, you are still in charge of your own priorities.
Staying healthy and taking care of yourself is one of the ways you can show your spouse you are making an effort to better the relationship. In my own family, our allergies prevent us from eating a lot of unhealthy food. We didn’t have to make eating healthy a priority because it isn’t optional for us.
What is optional for us is working out. We try to encourage each other to lift weights and do various workouts. I enjoy working out, but due to my history with an eating disorder, I have to be careful that I don’t cross a line and do too much. For my husband’s part, I try to give him time where I keep our toddler so he can lift weights in peace without fear of knocking our helpful son in the head. But, when our toddler is asleep, I have been known to watch and shamelessly flirt with my husband while he works out.
There are a lot of benefits to working out and most people probably think of the physical changes that occur as a result and those will likely help your physical relationship as your body changes. For myself, I find that if nothing else, it helps me have a little more energy to stay up and spend some time (if you know what I mean) with my husband after the toddler goes to bed.
Flirting isn’t just for youngsters in love. It is so beneficial to continue flirting with your spouse after you get married! This might seem extremely obvious, but sometimes things like this can fall by the wayside and cause your relationship to lose its spark.
You might notice that married folks who get compliments from their opposite gender tend to take them more seriously than their own spouse’s compliments. In my opinion, this happens for two reasons.
One: You might not compliment your spouse often (or they might not recognize what you are saying as a genuine compliment) and they take notice and are sensitive to it when they are complemented. I am guilty of being a goofy flirt, so sometimes my husband doesn’t realize I’m serious about what I’m saying. I just happen to be delivering the message in a playful way, and sometimes that doesn’t translate to him.
Two: While it is great to have been taken off the market, sexually speaking, it is satisfying to have your sexual market value validated by a stranger flirting with you.
I don’t mention the first reason to pass judgment, but to encourage you to evaluate your flirting with your spouse (and to see if you, like my husband and I, have different ways of flirting), and as for the second, I find it is best to take this as a compliment for yourself as well. I used to get upset (and still get territorial), but this situation validates your sexual market value as well because you snagged someone who other people agree is a quite a catch. 😉
In this day and age of technology, sexting is a way that a lot of people flirt. This method carries with it the chance that any nude you send could fall into the wrong hands, so if you still want to flirt with pictures, I recommend grabbing some cute and suggestive memes to send to your spouse. Other cute ideas I’ve seen include writing love notes on the bathroom mirror, making homemade (so none of the contents violate your beliefs) sexual favor coupon books, or surprising your spouse with a date where all of the details (child care, food, etc) have already been taken care of.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by a long shot, but these are some of the most simple and meaningful ways to keep things exciting in your long-term, monogamous relationship!