Even the best relationships require effort to keep romance and excitement alive. Otherwise, you can end up feeling more like roommates than romantic partners. At that point, sex and intimacy die down, excitement dwindles, and people often feel that something is missing in the relationship, despite loving their partners.
You and your partner may enjoy feeling comfortable together. You don’t have to dress up for each other, or make any effort to be anything but exactly yourselves together. This comfort can feel amazing! It’s important in a relationship to feel comfortable, safe, and accepted. However, it’s also important to believe you need to impress and romance your partner from time to time, and that they should do the same for you. When you foster romance in your relationship, you can stay “in love,” rather than just feeling love for each other. It’s the in-love feelings that will keep you together for the long haul.
To keep the romance alive in your relationship, practice the following tips:
1. Have date nights every week.
It’s so important to have regular time alone with your partner, away from the kids and stresses, whatever they may be. Spend the money on a babysitter, ask a friend or family member to watch the kids or walk the dog, and go on a date once a week. You need time alone together to create space to slow down and connect without distractions. Also, make sure you put away your cell phones on the date.
2. Celebrate your relationship every chance you get.
A lot of people are anti-Valentine’s Day, but Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to go all out on romance with your partner. If that’s something you would have done when you were just dating, do it now! If you never did it, there’s no better time to start. If Valentine’s Day just isn’t your thing, make sure you choose other opportunities to wine and dine each other. This should be done in addition to date nights. If you want your relationship to feel exciting and romantic, be exciting and romantic.
3. Hold hands.
This may seem trivial, but holding hands is skin-to-skin contact, and that promotes intimacy. It’s a way to connect physically and can also help promote a relationship that is romantic and not made up of two buddies or roommates.
4. Have sex.
Schedule it if you need to. People often resist scheduling sex, because they believe it “should” be spontaneous, but that’s not a realistic expectation. What do you do regularly in your life that you don’t schedule? Schedule it, anticipate it, look forward to it, and make it fun.
5. Make time for self-care.
Make sure you’re taking care of yourself, so that you don’t take your problems out on your partner and your relationship. See a therapist, move your body, meditate, work on strong friendships and community. Don’t look to your partner to solve your problems or be the sole source of your happiness. Your partner can be an additional source of joy, but if you’re not happy with yourself and your life, you need to do your own work rather than expecting your partner to solve your problems. That’s not a realistic expectation and can put a heavy burden on a partnership.