How can I keep romance alive?

Over the years, it can be easy to fall into a romantic rut with your partner. With everyday stresses putting a strain on your bond, romance might all but disappear from your relationship, replaced by routine sex and shallow conversation. But it doesn't have to be this way.

Consider these tips to refuel your passion and turn your love story into a real page-turner.

Talk About It: Too many couples end up in strained situations because they're hesitant to talk about what they want. While your partner probably knows a lot about you at this point, he or she isn't a mind reader. How can you expect your significant other to know what you want to do on Valentine's Day or what kinds of moves you like in bed if you don't tell him or her? Be as open as possible about what you like, and make sure to ask your partner about his or her feelings.

Make Time for Romance: After working all day, taking care of the kids if you have them and spending a little alone time to refresh your mind, you might not have a lot of time or energy to devote to your partner. This could lead to rushed sex and minimal conversation before you fall asleep. Instead, carve time out of your schedule and dedicate it specifically to romantic activities with your significant other. This could be as simple as watching a movie on the couch together or as elaborate as a weekend getaway. Schedule regular date nights and put them on your calendar. Isn’t your relationship worth at least as much effort as a visit to the dentist?

Elevate Everyday Activities: It's easy to transform the most mundane of daily activities into a romantic rendezvous. For example, jump in the shower together when you're getting ready in the morning and offer to help your partner wash up. Get out your fanciest plates, light a few candles and sit at the table for dinner instead of eating it in front of the TV -- it doesn't even have to be a fancy meal. Instead of throwing on your comfiest sweatpants and baggiest T-shirt before you get in bed, slip into something a little more provocative. At the end of a midday conversation about who's going to pick the kids up from soccer practice, slip in a hint about what you want to do to your partner that night. You'll have him or her thinking about it all day.
Kristin Zeising, PsyD
Sexual Health
Keeping the romance alive is all about showing up as an interested partner and bringing your sexual energy to the relationship.  Instead of waiting for them to initiate romance, take the initiative and bring the spark yourself. You can create excitement and energy in your relationship by just switching up your routine or doing things that are unexpected.
  • Send sexy texts or emails during the day to let your partner know you’re thinking of them.
  • Do something outside the norm - if you typically give a quick peck on your partners cheek before leaving the house, give a long lingering kiss instead. 
  • Give sensual massages. Take turns exploring each other’s bodies and give feedback about what feels good.
  • Regularly point out what you enjoy/love/appreciate about your partner. A little acknowledgement can go a long way!

It's not just about lingerie and love notes, experts say. Remind your spouse that you think he or she is worth the time and energy that you devoted at the beginning of the relationship by not taking your spouse for granted. This could mean taking care with your appearance or taking time to surprise your spouse with a favorite dessert. Call to say, "I love you." Do simple favors, like picking up the kids.

Pam Hays
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Keep YOU alive!  If we allow ourselves to become deadened, our thirst for a life of love and romance will wane, if not disappear!  Be the best "YOU", you can be.  It takes more than physical health.  Our emotional and spiritual sides need to be nurtured and attended to also. 

What is your passion?  What makes you feel like a kid again?  What makes you smile or laugh?  Be sure to take the time to bring those things into your life and keep them there.  Develop a healthy way to handle stress and to accept adversity as a tool for learning.

Candles, rose petals and beautiful music certainly help.  But, they won't take the place of a healthy self-esteem that is open to not only giving, but receiving love!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.