In a healthy long-term relationships, romance isn’t saved for birthdays, anniversaries. Hectic times can happen to any of us, but it’s always important to check in with your partner and let them know you’re thinking of them. It’s incredibly hard to keep the passion alive when we’re juggling raising kids and having to drive them everywhere, possibly dealing with illness and therapy appointments, financial stresses and job responsibilities. All too often romance is the last thing on our minds after a long day of running around. But when life spins out of control, there’s lots of simple little things you can do to keep romance alive when life gets crazy.
Romance With Your Words
Let’s start with words. Those can be either spoken or written words or even texts. Tell your spouse that you love him or her every single day. Tell them how much you appreciate what they do. It doesn’t take much time or effort, but makes a big difference in your spouse’s day. We all want to feel appreciated and hearing some thoughtful expressions of love and appreciation will do just that.
If you’re on the shy side or you’re not around your partner much during the day, share your romance with written words or texts. Write a little love note and hide it in your partner’s lunch box, brief case or purse to find during the day. Send them a quick email or text to let them know you’re thinking about them. Or you could even go old school and write a love letter. No matter how you do it, use your words and keep the romance alive.
Romance With Acts of Kindness
Of course it isn’t just about the words. You can also show your love and appreciation in the things you do for your partner. Pay attention throughout the day and see what you can do to make his or her life easier. Go get gas in the car or ask them if they need anything while you’re out. Surprise your significant other with coffee in bed in the morning, or send them off to take a nap or a long shower while you take care of the kids. How big or small your shows of affection are really don’t matter as long as you make it a point to do something special for your loved one each day.
Romance With Physical Affection
This is all too easy to put on the back burner. Keep the fire burning by kissing your partner every morning or and give them a quick hug while you’re both fixing coffee. Again, this doesn’t have to be a big deal. Sure it’s nice if you can take 30 minutes to give your partner a long massage but on crazy busy days it’s easy for exhaustion to take over. While the days may be busy, there’s always time to work in quick hug, a kiss or holding hands when you can. And don’t forget about things as simple as snuggling on the couch while you watch TV after a long day of work and raising kids.
How to Work at It Even When It’s Hard
Some days it’s a lot harder to be romantic than others, isn’t it? We all have crappy days and sometimes just don’t feel like putting in the time and effort. Do a little something anyway to nurture your marriage. Marriage takes work as does keeping the romance alive.
As I mentioned earlier, that doesn’t mean you have to go all out all the time. It’s perfectly normal to get tired, have a bad day and you should let your partner know when you’re feeling that way. But when that single day turns into weeks and even months (or more) it’s time to get intentional and renew the love, passion and romance in your marriage.
- When things are in dire straits it isn’t easy to make the first move. It’s especially hard when you just aren’t feeling it and your spouse isn’t helping. It’s hard when you’re feeling stressed, didn’t get enough sleep and are upset with your significant other about forgetting to put the laundry in the dryer or something else they forgot. It’s going to take hard work and lots of intention to rekindle the romance in a marriage worn down by the responsibilities and worries of everyday life.
- Start small. You’re not going to fix everything that’s wrong in a day. Begin by making small gestures, like a kiss and a compliment. Show some affection and interest and demonstrate how much this relationship means to you. Get away from the house, and over coffee or quiet dinner have a conversation about the lack of romance and what the two of you can do together get the spark back.
- Slowly work your way up to more romance. The most important thing is to spend quality time together. Feed the kids dinner first and then sit down to a romantic candle light dinner just for the two of you. Better yet, go out. Find a babysitter and go out to watch a movie together. Once a year, try to get away for the weekend.
Forcing yourself to be romantic when you’re not really feeling it is well worth the effort. It shows your spouse that you still care and still want to make him or her feel loved.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Think of it more as some inspiration to help you get started. Give one or two of these ideas a try, but you might want to come up with things to do that are meaningful for both of you. Just keep making that effort to do something every day to keep the romance alive.
For further reading, here’s some book recommendations: