Staying married is easy. Staying happily married is another ball game altogether. And one that takes some effort. When you are newly-weds, married life seems like an adventure with the thrill of discovering your partner every day. But as time passes, with children and other responsibilities in the picture, the spark slowly fades and you end up in a routine with your partner, where you keep dancing to the same song and can predict all the steps.

If you are bored of living the same monotonous drill that has become your marriage, it is time to infuse some freshness into the relationship:

Go on a Date – Rediscover yourselves and each other. Meet for a drink or play pretend games and pick up each other at the bar. Talk about anything except for your family, kids, bills – what you deal with once you get home. Remember how the initial days of courtship were and aim to recreate that magic…

Express your love more often by gestures, kisses and more importantly, words! Say “I love you” and look into each other’s eyes when you do so.

Keep in touch…literally. Touch your partner more often when out in public. Holding hands, impromptu hugs, touching face, hair, shoulder…anything. These non-sexual but comforting actions tell your partner how much you like being connected to them. Don’t shy away – let your children see and feel how much you love, care and respect each other.

Keep surprising your partner – Stop taking your partner for granted. Plan a surprise at least once a week. It can be anything – as simple as a love note and a flower or as extravagant as a weekend trip to an exotic location.

Do things on a whim! Let that be walking in the rain or bunking work and going for a movie. You need to put the craziness back into your relationship.

Take up dancing – it is never too late to put on your dancing shoes! Choose to learn any form of dancing involving couples like salsa or ballroom dancing or tango. This will not only help you shed your inhibitions but also connect with each other on a different physical and passionate level.

Ask your partner to teach you something that they are good at…cooking, painting, changing tires. This shows that you acknowledge their mastery over something and are willing to learn from them. You end up spending more time with each other and start appreciating their skills. Remember to be patient with each other or this exercise is futile!

We have heard of whispering small nothings into each other’s ears. Now do small nothings. Read out favourite poetry or books aloud. Write letters. Gaze at the stars. Go for a stroll on the beach. Cuddle up and watch the rain.

Start paying attention to yourself – Don’t be lazy about your appearance. Your partner is important enough for you to shave before the movie date or put on your Sunday best.

Small things make all the difference to keep that spark alive. Get out of your comfort zone. Stop making excuses of lack of time and energy. Find a solution to those excuses. Your partner and your marriage are worth that effort!