Is Your Relationship Romantic Enough? Remember when you and your partner were first dating? Things were new and exciting. There was a great deal of effort being put forth to keep each other interested. Over a period of time, long-term relationships can experience lack of fulfillment as boredom can set in after the “honeymoon period.” After the initial stage of any relationship, we enter into and remain in the “conflict resolution” stage where the stresses of life can affect even the strongest of connections. Long-term relationships do take work. Life is full of ebbs and flows. Relationships experience the same. The secret to keeping love alive is in putting forth the effort that you did when your love was new.
As a Marriage Counselor, I help couples who have been in long-term relationships where one or both have taken each other for granted and stopped putting forth that effort. As we are in the 21st Century and most everything we learned from the past about men and women and relationships has substantially changed, for the better, in my opinion, there was once the understanding that women married for financial security and men married for access to regular sex and continuation of his family line. These days men and women marry or couple up because they want to love and feel loved and cared about. When you want a relationship to go the distance romance is necessary to keep it from becoming a roommate situation. As a Couples Counselor, I often hear “I love you but I’m not in love with you,” as they don’t have the intimacy that is needed to feel the “in love” state they once felt when courting. Of course, it’s not realistic to feel this way all the time but it is important to know you want to feel this way with your partner.
Romance includes small actions that convey affection, adoration, thoughtfulness, and love. Actions of novelty for no other purpose than to enhance the feelings of joy and connectedness. Rekindling romance can be done by being mindful of some of the following:
Bonding – experiences that bring you closer to each other through acts of affection, giving gifts, reminiscing, good dialogue, laughter.
Intimacy – sex and intimacy is a healthy part of relationships. Engaging in sexual activities more often can increase romance and lead to intimacy.
Humor – a sense of humor and being funny is key to romance. Laughter brings about endorphins that help connect and bond.
Nostalgia – sharing memories by reflecting on the past is priceless. Sifting through old photos, listening to music you both listened to when you first met, revisiting places from the past all enhance bonds.
Adventure – spontaneity promotes a sense of adventure like hiking, getting lost on a drive, visiting an adult bookstore or going on an exotic vacation can create romance.
Passion – So something that involves strong feelings of enthusiasm, and joy or powerful and compelling feelings of love and desire. Talk about fantasies, whether or not you act them out.
Fun – just go have some fun whatever you choose. Don’t think about the “shoulds” or whatever else may hold you back.
Some of my couples have been together so long they have forgotten what it’s like to make the effort so I have put a list of ideas that have proven successful not only for myself but for their relationships, as well.
- Leave post it notes on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator door saying “I love you” or “last night was hot”
- Men ask your gals out on a date and make it romantic, not just go out to dinner in your house clothes.
- Ladies send your guy a note sealed with your lip stained kiss.
- Have your favorite song playing on the stereo when your spouse returns home from work.
- Send sexy texts (sexting messages) that can be suggestive of intimacy for the evening.
- Cook together without cell phone distraction.
- This could sound cheesy but…buy a lottery ticket, give it to your spouse with a note that says: “I hit the lotto when I married you!”
- Bring home flowers.
- When out in public flirt with your spouse by winking and smiling at them from across the room.
- When having sex set the mood in the bedroom by lighting candles and/or incense, put some soft music on and do a lot of kissing and gazing into each other’s eyes before actually becoming physical.
Remember it’s not so much what you do as how much effort you put in to what you do. It takes care, forethought, and creativity to be truly romantic. Whether you’re starting a new relationship or trying to keep things fresh with a long-term significant one contact me at (858) 735-1139.