Has your relationship flame slowed to a flicker? No spark there anymore? Whatever happened to the passion you used to share, the endless conversations, lingering embraces, laughs and fun times?
According to psychologists, there is a time in a couple’s relationship that either one or both people come to a point when they ask themselves questions such as, “Is this all there is?” What happened to the romance? Reaching this point in a relationship may just be the right time for the couple to take a step back and reflect, really think about where their relationship is going.
The first idea is to relearn how to have fun spending time together. Living in a society that’s more and more centered on the individual, it’s easy to explain how the routine of marriage can often be its downfall. Our busy work schedules, daily chores, conflicting agendas and children often get in the way of romance. If you catch yourself losing interest or notice that your relationship seems to be on the back burner, you have some work to do. You must make time for romance. It doesn’t happen all by itself. Never take your partnership for granted. That is the first step in the wrong direction.
“Relationships are not easy. They must be worked on all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed!” ~ Larry James, from the book, “How to Really Love the One You’re With“
There is a line in my “romantic” wedding ceremony that says, “Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.” Not doing that comes up a lot when a couple comes to me for relationship coaching. Think about it. What was one thing that you enjoyed doing together when you first met that you no longer do? Each of you should consider making a list of several things, then agree to begin doing them again. You may be surprised what happens. A display of love and affection is at the top of the list of the beginning of a romantic encounter. Never allow your relationship to become routine. Be spontaneous.
By the way, relighting the romantic flame doesn’t have to have anything to do with sex… and it’s okay of it does. However, making love is a better idea. Research shows that couples who can sustain an active sex life, tend to live longer and be happier.
“Love is like a campfire: It may be sparked quickly, and at first the kindling throws out a lot of heat, but it burns out quickly. For long lasting, steady warmth (with delightful bursts of intense heat from time to time), you must carefully tend the fire.” ~ Molleen Matsumura
Here are a few ideas that may rekindle the love you have for each other so that both hearts are again on fire!
Once each day give your partner an unexpected, extended hug. Not a quick hug but one that has the power to express your love without words. It is also important to say, “I love you,” out loud at least once a day… more often is better. Those 3 little words are most important to hear from your partner.
Occasionally surprise your partner with a romantic greeting card. Send it my snail-mail. Keep your ears open for ideas for gifts that they may have talked about.
A meaningful kiss works wonders. Catch them by surprise and instead of a peck on the cheek allow your lips to linger on theirs. In other words, plant one that shows that you mean it.
A surprise date at a new restaurant works too. Reserve time for each other. Plan a weekend getaway. Remember your first date? If you have children you may have to do some advance planning. Go to a movie your partner has expressed a desire to see. Do things for each other that will emphasize how much you care. Do your partner’s chores for one day and let them do something special they’ve wanted to to.
Have a surprise renewal of vows ceremony. Here are some ideas. Recommit your love for each other. Recently the husband of a couple I married nearly 5 years ago called me and scheduled a renewal of vows ceremony as a surprise for his wife on their 5th anniversary. You should have seen the look on her face when, after seeing me sitting at the bar at Sassi’s sipping a diet cola, her husband announced that I was there to help them recommit their wedding vows to each other.
Another husband surprised his wife with a renewal of vows ceremony in a hot air balloon. She thought I was just another passenger along for the ride until we were at about 4,000 feet and her husband suggested that they renew their vows. When she turned around, there I was with my little black book.
“Take a walk together: Walking is not only good exercise, but it also allows for you and your partner to be together and reflect on the day’s events. Getting fresh air and exercise is important for maintaining good health, so making this an activity (at least once a week) that you can do with your partner will be beneficial in more ways than one.” ~ Jan Rakoff, LCSW
Be playful. Play a game or put a 5000 piece puzzle together. Hold hands and run through the sprinkler in the back yard. Find ways to flirt with your partner and show them you are interested in connecting with them in a romantic way. Flirting has a way of bringing back the old memories. An unexpected phone call or text message to let them know you are thinking about them is a great idea. Turn off the TV, light some candles, put on some of your favorite romantic music and just talk. Laugh together.
Writing love notes to one another is a very romantic thing to do. A brief letter or poem in your own handwriting is a powerful way to rekindle the sparks. A shoulder rub, back or foot massage, or a back scratching session, for no particular reason makes your partner feel good. Go to bed early and cuddle beneath the sheets – do spoons. The goal is not sex but affection and emotional connection. There is something very special about going to sleep at the same time with each other.
It’s never too late to rekindle love and romance in a stale relationship. You must begin today! Small gestures can leave a big impression. It really comes down to a conscious choice and commitment to start over. Make an effort to connect physically, spiritually, and emotionally with your partner as often as possible. Don’t wait for your partner to make the first move. Go first!
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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