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Cheat sheet: Romantic relationship maintenance

Relationships are a lot like car engines: Complex, a little messy and oh-so-powerful. To keep them running their best, they need a lot of TLC. From filling the tank with quality gas to regular tune-ups, wheel alignments and full-blown under-the-hood checkups, the better you take care of your car — or in this case, your relationship — the better condition it will stay in for a longer period of time.

Woman playing chess with husband

Keep your relationship running its best and avoid the need for major repair by following this maintenance routine:

GAS: Weekly TLC

Choose 2+

  • Go on an actual date.
  • Have morning before-work sex.
  • Give/get a foot rub.
  • Pay a genuine compliment.
  • Engage in an really passionate lip lock.
  • Belly laugh.
  • Do an extra-courteous gesture, such as de-icing the other’s windshield, making a favorite breakfast, etc.
  • Watch a favorite TV show together.
  • Play a board game.
  • Take a 20+ minute walk together.


Choose 3+

  • Give each other a “get outta jail free card.”
  • Do the other person’s assigned chore (trash duty) or typical errand (dry cleaning pickup).
  • Prepare an at-home spa night (alternate months), complete with music, candlelight, massage and foot soak.
  • Have a romantic home-cooked meal.
  • Give the other a day all to himself, if you have kids.
  • Go on a double date.
  • Get waxed/trimmed in all the right places.
  • Balance your budget (if you cohabitate).
  • Go on a girls’/guys’ only night.
  • Have a lazy day together.
  • Immerse yourselves in something cultural, such as the theater, a street fair or a museum.
  • Do a relationship checkup by simply asking each other how everything is and if anything could be improved upon.


Choose 4+

  • Go on a spontaneous adventure, if even just for the day.
  • Set mutual goals.
  • Learn something new together.
  • If you have kids, go on a weekend getaway without them.
  • Give a “for no reason” gift.
  • Get a makeover (yes, guys too!) to feel renewed and re-attracted to each other.
  • Take a break from each other (visit friends/family, or take a solo vacation).
  • Volunteer together.
  • Have sex in a new place, try a new position or visit an adult sex shop.
  • Make a homemade card or write a poem for the other.
  • Visit a place that is significant to your relationship (where you met, where you first kissed, etc.).

tips to spice up your love life

How to revive your sex drive gives the scoop on how to put the spark back into your relationship.

more couple time ideas:

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