Over the years, Vishnu and I have learned something very important about ourselves as a couple – we’re very routine people. Have been since the beginning. And while this isn’t always a bad thing, I’ve experienced firsthand what it can do to a relationship when ignored for a long time.
Georgia Tech football game, 2009
Two years into our relationship, Vishnu and I fell into a comfortable routine – work, dinner, TV, sleep, repeat. At first, I loved how natural it all felt. But slowly, our cute little relationship started feeling more like a roommate situation. Let’s just say that over the course of a couple of months we had many, many conversations about why neither one of us did anything to shake up our routine and what would happen if we just let things be. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that both of us needed to do our part to keep things fresh and fun. It would require a little more work than we were used to, but it was important for the health of our relationship.
Pre-birthday dinner, 2008
Even to this day, when one of us feels like things are getting too easy, we bring it up and do something about it (I’ll get to that in a minute). And trust me, with both of us busy in our own little worlds, it’s very easy to fall into a routine. After a long week at work/school, all we want to do is stay in and watch The West Wing. Again, while this is perfectly ok and normal some of the time, we want to learn/discover/try new things together. And more importantly, we never want to stop having fun!
Atlanta Thrashers game, 2007
Something else that we’ve learned about ourselves over the past eight years is that we’re a super simple couple (sometimes to a fault!). It’s all about the little things. However, this is the best way for us to be right now because time and money are of the essence.
Post-graduation celebratory dinner, 2006
So what are the little things that keep our relationship fresh and new? I’m glad you asked!
- We cook together a few times a weeks. Sometimes this means I cook and Vishnu keeps me company…just depends on how quickly I need to get dinner on the table!
- We try new restaurants (and pretend we’re food critics!). We’re so routine that even this is hard sometimes! We love Lime Fresh, and if one of us doesn’t do some pre-dinner research, we end up there by default. However, I’m happy to say that we’ve been on new restaurant roll lately!
- We work out together…sometimes! Even though we do our own thing, it’s nice to know that we’re making a healthy decision together.
- We debate. Vishnu loves a good debate, and I’m stubborn, so you imagine how fun our dinnertime conversations are! But seriously, we enjoy challenging each other’s views and find that it’s the best way to sharpen our intellectual capabilities!
- We grocery shop together when we can. I love it when Vishnu comes with me on my Sunday morning escapade around Fort Lauderdale. I’m much less frantic when he’s around, which makes for a more enjoyable experience.
- We hang out with other people. As much as I love our alone time, I enjoy group activities because they shake things up and allow our individual personalities to shine through.
- We spend time apart. I absolutely love and adore my husband, but I need my me time and/or girl time. And I know the same goes for him. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?!
- And finally, we laugh…a lot! This is the cheapest, simplest way to keep the fun alive in any relationship. (I just asked Vishnu who the funniest person he knows is and he said, “You. Duh.” Love him!)
Soccer game, 2012
Now it’s your turn. Tell me how you keep your relationship fun and fresh (doesn’t have to be a romantic one either)!
18 thoughts on “Keeping Things Fresh and Fun”
Totally smiled throughout this post…especially at Vishnu’s response about who the funniest person is :)! Love the pics too!! While no couple is perfect, you both really seem to have it together which is admirable.
Whether it’s a platonic or romantic relationship, keeping things fresh and fun is so important and all your suggestions are spot on. Doing things together (other than just watching tv) can make a world of difference…even if it is just mundane things like going to the grocery store together (although who finds that mundane ;)!!
Thanks, K! And we have a pretty good thing going, I would say. 😉 And you’re right, no couple is perfect…it’s all about working with the imperfections.
I like to think Kyle and I have found a good balance. We were going out ALL the time… which was just exhausting. Now, we mix it up. And we’re both super excited about warmer temps. We are both outdoor people, like working out outside, and there are so many more things to do in the city! So excited! But for now, I think I’ll settle for another redbox night in. 😉
Chicago is such a fun city – I really think you could do something different every night and still not have done everything! I love it.
And when are you resuming blogging, Amy!? I miss you and your posts!!
You are absolutely right!! It’s so easy to fall into routine and have it become borderline roommate territory haha. Things REB and I do are very similar to you two! We always walk the dog together so we can talk about our day and get some outdoor fresh air. We do date night once a week (no cells, no TV, just us doing whatever – going out, movie, staying in, whatevs! It’s all about ample “us” time), I have girl time with my friends (shopping, Project Runway, scary movie night, whatever it may be!), I go to Chicago to visit my sister without him – you’re right: absence makes the heart grow fonder! Cooking together is a must on non-class days! 🙂 After 7 years together, I think we’ve come to a good balance!
We were just talking about how we can’t wait to move to Miami and take after dinner walks…def. looking forward to that! And I love that you and REB have “no technology” nights. That’s awesome!
Its a constant tug-of-war to try new things and yet maintain a routine. We have found a good balance but we do try and shake up things every now and then. you guys haven’t change one bit since 2006! (:
Thanks, Tanvi! While we haven’t changed much, I definitely feel like we look older…and if nothing else, I definitely feel older! Ha!
I love this! Tom and I really try to keep things fresh too. The biggest thing is that we let each other pursue our most unlikely of dreams, and love to talk about them and encourage each other. We also love to travel – long trips or short weekend ones, eat at new places and go to fun events like wine tastings or cooking classes.
I love that you two talk about your “most unlikely of dreams.” So romantic!
I have noticed that too with my boyfriend although we been dating for only 7-8 months. For first few months, we were busy exploring new places, restaurants etc but now we are comfortable with our routine. We talk a lot about it and always look for new little activities we both enjoy- making new recipes, go to events, hang out with friends esp on weekends because like you said- i love him and his company but its always a fresh feeling to hang out with other friends too. Its so important to enjoy things alone sometimes too. I use GROUPONS alot. I loved all those pictures you shared – young and in love and still going strong 🙂 adorable!!!!!
Groupon and Living Social are great. They’re a great way to find new restaurants. And thank you…I do love him a lot!
I’m not quite sure what I loved more in this post… Your awesome tips for keeping things fresh, or the make-my-heart-melt pictures of you and Vishnu. Can I just say both and move right along? Yes I can 😀 Seriously, though, thank you for the tips. I’m not currently in a relationship, but I find these tips helpful even when it comes to the relationship I have with myself… err… daily life? I tend to fall into routine really easily as well, and while it can be comfortable, it definitely makes things a lot less exciting. I just got back from Hawaii where my routine went out the window completely, and I find myself feeling so much more refreshed and ready to tackle new things. I’m really going to have to pay close attention to prevent myself from falling into the trap again… thankfully spring is coming and some change is in the air!
Thank you, Amanda! And you’re right…most of these apply to the relationship we have with ourselves too. It’s always good to be aware of our emotions and shake things up when necessary. 🙂
such a sweet post, i loved that you shed light on this topic. you guys do a lot of things together and that is key. With my husband things can be a bit routine, but i’m more into trying new restaurants and he’s more into activities. i think we end up doing the restaurant thing a bit more. 🙂
Eating a meal is an activity, right!?
Awww that’s so cute and I totally agree with this post – After 5 years of marriage and 12 years together all up – routine definitely becomes part of your life. I love the tips you have there – for Evs and I – it’s doing things outside the box to try and shake up our lazy-people mentality (you know, when you’d rather stay at home than go out!). And that could mean dinners out on a weeknight or events or (Comedy festival, marathons etc) and definitely spending time apart is a big one. Right now though, I’m cherishing the routine a little and the “us-time” we have before baby comes 🙂
Yes, yes…get all the you + Evs time you can! I’m sure it’ll be a bit harder to come by for the next few years! 🙂