When you’ve been in a committed relationship with someone for several years, you tend to get comfortable. The nuances of the relationship have worn off and though you care about and love your partner, it’s just not the same. Suddenly, there’s distance between the two of you. You start dreading the monotony of what has become your life and long for the passion, happiness, and romance that you once knew (and see in other relationships). Before you know it, you’re arguing about everything, not communicating at all, and the feelings start to fizzle.

This is true for every relationship. As you’ve probably heard at least once or twice committed relationships take work. It means sticking in there when the feelings of lust and infatuation have worn off. Learning who your partner is and how to love them just as they are. It also requires you to put continual effort into making each other happy. If you feel like the spark has left your relationship and you want that old thing back, consider trying some of these tips.

Make the Relationship a Priority

As you get older and have more responsibilities your relationships unintentionally take a back seat. You’re busy raising children, holding down a job, and simply trying to navigate life and your partner and their needs (your needs as well) are minimized.

You can change the vibe of your relationship and bring back that spark by making you and your partner’s commitment a priority. Schedule meaningful time together, have daily check-ins, communicate more, reduce (not eliminate) time spent with friends, take off from work, just make sure your partner knows they are the priority.

Look Good

Ironically enough, when most people start dating, they pay close attention to their appearance making sure they look attractive and feel good. This exudes a level of confidence that attracts others. Yet, once they have been with a person for years, the pressure to look good and feel good fall off.

You can get the spark back in your relationship by looking great. It not only boosts your confidence but gives your partner something to look at. Buy new underwear like bras, boxers, or flirty briefs, get a new haircut, buy a new outfit, or even invest in a new fragrance and watch the difference it makes. Throw in a little routine exercise and self-care practices and your partner will light up with lust every time they see you.

Plan Some Fun

When you’re all about work and survival, the relationship is no longer fun. You become bored with your partner and the joy you feel. It is often during this period of boredom and monotony that some start looking elsewhere and even being unfaithful.

Bring the excitement back to your relationship by planning fun things to do. Try to remember what things made you guys happy before and do those on occasion. Take the day off and hit the beach, go on a vacation to a romantic destination, invite friends over and host a game night, just do things that are fun for both of you.

Maintain Your Own Identity

It can be very easy to become so consumed with your relationship that you lose yourself. You know and do nothing outside of your relationship with your partner and this can become a problem for you and your loved one. They, start to feel like you’re needy and they are solely responsible for your happiness (which is impossible) and you start to become emotionally dependent.

Get back to who you were. Go out with friends, learn new hobbies or indulge in old passions, find your own identity outside of the relationship, spend time alone, just do what you can to maintain who you are. This makes you more interesting and makes the time you do spend with your partner a lot more appreciated.

Getting the spark back in your relationship can take some time depending on how long you’ve been dealing with issues, but it’s not impossible. As long as the love and respect are still there, you can make changes such as those above to try and bring about change within the relationship. What you’ll come to learn over time is that maintaining romance and happiness in your long-term relationship means making small changes as you evolve.