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Summer may be cooling down, but there’s no excuse to let the temperature drop in your relationship. As we head towards the autumn months, here’s how to keep the heat, whatever stage may be in

One month
While you may be basking in an early, heady whirlwind of fancy dates, remember to keep things ‘simple’ too. Instead of always going to a stylish restaurant, have a night of ‘eating out’ at home and cook up a meal you know your partner might choose in a restaurant. Not only is it a sweet and thoughtful gesture, it’s also a good way of upping things from just dating to being a bit more ‘relationship-y’.

Three months
At the end of an evening together, rather than heading straight home go for a late night walk together. A few months into dating someone new, it can be easy to focus on physical attraction above a deeper connection. The romance and calm of a night-time walk (location dependent, obviously) provides the perfect time for you and your partner to talk about anything and everything, and to truly appreciate each other, one on one.

Six months
By this point, you should feel nice and familiar with your partner which obviously can be great – but it can also mean getting that bit ‘too’ comfortable. If your evening routine has become nothing but changing into old T-shirts and watching TV together, make sure you do something about it. Turn the screen off, and make time to discuss your day, future plans or simply just enjoy each other’s company. Switching the TV (and computers and phones and iPads) off, can ensure you keep your relationship switched on.

One year
A full year into dating, it is not uncommon to fall into a romance drought. But while you may just take this as a sign of how secure things are, never underestimate how much taking your partner for granted can ruin relationships. So make time and effort to still go on dates, and consider the smaller things which really ignited your relationship in the first place too – buy them that silly book, send them the funny link, run them a bath with their favourite oils. Whatever it might be, just show them you still care.

Two years
You probably feel you and your partner know each other inside out by this point, but remember love doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Try to experience the relationship in a new context, be it visiting a far-flung country together or simply starting up a new hobby. Seeing your partner in a different light can remind you of the shining reasons you fell for them in the first place.

Five years
Escaping from a well established routine can be a simple but effective way of retaining the spark in your relationship. We don’t just mean weekends away, changing things in an everyday context can have the most powerful effect. Change the clothes you wear, the restaurant you visit or even the TV programme you choose to watch; little things that can stop you falling into a comfortable – but dangerous – rut.

Ten years
Reaching this milestone is admirable, and clearly indicative of strong foundations in a relationship. Remember to keep building on these though, or things might crumble. You have a decade of memories to draw from, so why not surprise your partner with small monthly (or weekly, depending on your budget) presents that remind you of something you both loved. That said, never stop creating new memories too – just because you’ve known each other for so long, doesn’t mean you have to stop exploring what makes you both tick.
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