Romance is common in the early stages of a relationship but quickly fades when the chase is over. But that could become very costly in the end because it doesn’t take too long before a relationship suffers from a lack of romance. Ultimately, keeping romance alive is crucial if you want a lasting intimate relationship. This post will show you how.
Whenever somebody tells me that they don’t feel that attracted to their partner anymore, what I hear is that there is a lack of romance and a lack of emotional connection.
But first, what is romance?
A quick Google search reveals that romance can be defined as,
A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.
This is typically the type of feelings we experience at the start of a relationship.
Everything feels exciting fused with some sense of mystery, all of which translates into what we call “being in love.”
The challenge many couples face, however, is when this initial stage of infatuation passes, and they enter a new stage of the relationship that requires more skills to ensure sustainability and ongoing feelings of happiness and fulfilment.
Many couples ride the initial wave of euphoria but aren’t prepared for what comes next when that wave crashes on the beach.
Oftentimes they find themselves in a situation of disillusionment, frustration, a sense of stuckness, or a complete lack of motivation to keep going in the relationship.
Now depending on the different choices people have made during the initial stages of the relationship, this next phase can come with a lot of headaches, stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and general feelings of being cornered.
Here in New Zealand, we call it being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
A type of impasse, where you can’t go back and you can’t move forward.
It’s not a very comfortable place to be in.
Yet, there are other couples who also experienced this initial phase of infatuation or “passionate love” as some experts call it, but still moved to an even deeper level of love in their relationship once it passes.
So, not only do they experience romance at the start of the relationship, they go on to create more and deeper levels of it once everything normalises again after a few months.
They find ways of keeping romance alive despite moving out of the infatuation phase.
Which begs the question, what do they do differently?
Now, I think that a complete answer to this question is by no means simple or even one-dimensional, but rather contextual and multidimensional.
However, there are certain patterns we notice with highly happy couples who create extremely happy and fulfilling relationships despite facing many similar challenges as unhappy couples.
So, what is the difference?
What are some of these patterns or clues we observe with highly happy couples?
Well, one major clue or pattern we notice, is that happy couples tend to keep the romance alive in their relationship despite the passing of time, increasing responsibilities, and general change of the landscape.
There is honestly more to this than that, but let’s just stick with that for now.
Keeping the romance alive in your relationship will come down to consciously and actively choosing to do so.
You might not always feel like it, deem it important, or even have the time to do so, but if lasting happiness and fulfilment in your relationship are important to you, you will have to make it a priority.
Because not doing so can simply become too costly in the end.
And the more complicated your life together becomes, the higher the price will be in the end.
Fortunately, keeping romance alive in your relationship does not need to be complicated at all.
In fact, there are many simple and easy things anyone can do to reintroduce romance into a relationship in order to strengthen your love life.
And in the next part of this post, I will share with you 12 easy things for creating lasting intimacy and keeping romance alive.
Again, there is more to this, but these are a good start.
Keeping Romance Alive: 12 Easy Things for Creating Lasting Intimacy
One of the first things that go when there is an emotional disconnection in a relationship, is physical closeness.
Couples stop touching each other.
They also stop making eye contact.
So, keeping romance alive demands physical touch.
That doesn’t just mean sex, but touching, hugging, kissing, dancing, cuddling and so on.
Many of these “lesser” forms of physical touch can be more rewarding than empty sex.
So, start with holding hands.
It is free, easy, and can be done nearly anywhere.
It requires no effort, but it is extremely meaningful.
Holding hands is a simple and easy way to start adding a little more romance to your love life again.
Now, I don’t like shopping but in the context of keeping romance alive, it all comes down to what you’re shopping for.
Shopping for a new shovel at Mitre10 isn’t all that romantic, but shopping for perfume, jewellery, sex toys or lingerie together can be very romantic.
Just leave the kids at home.
Romantic shopping together isn’t a family outing.
Give a quick compliment
Giving compliments still goes a long way in a relationship.
And the right type of quick compliment can be very romantic, depending on the nature of the compliment.
For example, “I love the way you mowed the grass this week” isn’t necessarily going to turn up the romantic energy.
But “I just love the way you look in your glasses; you look hot” might just do the trick.
Take a short road trip. Get out of town and explore someplace new
One of the common things I hear from unhappy couples in our coaching sessions, is that life is either 1) too busy to spend time together or 2) when they do spend time together, it’s boring as.
As humans, we all have an intrinsic need for variety or some uncertainty.
When things become predictable, they tend to lose their impact and we start looking for things to spice or shake things up.
Therefore, one of the easiest ways to keeping romance alive in your relationship is to constantly look for novel ways to introduce some sense of variety into your life.
Boredom is poison to a relationship.
When we become bored, we tend to come up with all sorts of ways to get in trouble.
So, if you’re serious about keeping romance alive in your relationship, start thinking variety.
Take a short road trip.
Get out of town and explore something or someplace new.
It can be a nature area or a café famous for its desserts.
There’s just something romantic about hopping in the car and going on a little adventure together.
Turn off your phone
I know this goes without saying, but if you want to keep the romance alive in your relationship, you must start giving your partner your full attention.
I’ve heard from so many couples how they might be physically together but for all technical purposes, they are not.
And one of the biggest culprits making it easier for us to be distracted or absent-minded is our phones.
So, if you know your partner craves your attention, then turn off your phone and put it away.
Your little games and meaningless text messages will still be there in an hour.
They won’t go anywhere.
But unless you give your partner the attention they want and deserve, they might.
Because nothing says “You’re NOT that important to me” like having a conversation with someone while staring at your phone.
Most couples go on dates during the early stages of their relationship.
Funnily enough, it’s one of the things that tend to disappear once couples have been together for a while.
Yet, it’s one of the simplest and most powerful ways to reconnect on a consistent basis.
Now, when people hear “date night” they typically come up with all sorts of excuses like lack of babysitters, busy evenings, long days and so on.
But the point is not a date at night, but rather dating.
Like in going on dates.
Spending time together alone.
Spending a romantic time together alone.
Doing fun stuff.
Like you did at the start of your relationship.
Now, I appreciate that relationships evolve and life tends to become more complicated the longer we’re together, like in the instance of having kids.
But that does not negate the necessity and need for spending time alone.
Keeping romance alive demands that.
So, start going out on dates just like you did back in the early days.
Even the traditional dinner and a movie can be romantic if you haven’t done it in a while.
Share a big tub of popcorn and hold hands in the dark.
But if that’s not doable, make plans to go out on weekends or simply meet somewhere for lunch during your lunch break.
Here’s the thing …
If something is truly important to you, you will find a way to make it happen.
So, whatever excuses you just came up with, in your mind, find a way around them.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, this might be a good one to remember.
I appreciate that they are sometimes expensive and aren’t very practical, but that’s part of what makes them romantic I suppose.
What type of flowers does your partner like?
You do know, right?
A small gift
A small, random gift is always kind and appreciated, and especially if this is your partner’s love language.
It can also be quite romantic, but again, that depends on the gift.
A 10-pack of pencils won’t score a lot of romantic points but a new vibrator or a scented candle just might.
Since we all live with our phones in our hands nowadays, this is a very simple but effective way of keeping romance alive.
A romantic text out of the blue is a great gesture that can enhance anyone’s mood.
Even a simple, “I was just thinking about you” text can brighten your significant other’s day.
Personally, I love flirting with my wife via text messages and emojis.
We have our own secret code language which is unique to us but is really meaningful.
The idea is to not overthink it but to do it with the right intention, whether that’s communicating love or being playful.
Show how excited you are to see them
We love it when people are genuinely happy to see us.
That’s why we love coming home to a dog.
They’re always happy to see us.
So, show your partner how much you care by displaying a bit more enthusiasm for his or her arrival.
A kiss and a hug always go a long way in the romantic sense.
Think about how a parent greets a toddler they haven’t seen all day.
That’s the general vibe you’re shooting for.
A hug or a kiss at an unexpected moment can be very romantic.
Especially when it’s non-sexual (specifically for women).
The general rule of thumb here is that the more surprising, the more romantic it is.
Cook a meal together
This doesn’t mean you need to cook up a storm like they do in the Hollywood movies.
This is just another way to spend quality time together.
Cooking is essentially a secondary issue here.
This is about connection.
And it can start outside of the kitchen.
You can go shopping for ingredients together and then share the cooking duties.
It doesn’t matter what you make.
Again, it’s not about cooking, it’s about connection.
Plus, you never know what dessert will bring.
Keeping the romance alive in your relationship does not need to be complicated.
When we overcomplicate things, we tend to put them off.
We don’t do them.
And we suffer the consequences.
At the end of the day, there’s plenty any motivated person can do to rekindle the romance in their relationship.
It doesn’t have to be overly expensive, complicated, or mushy.
There are many simple, kind gestures that are romantic.
The point is to make it a priority, a focus point, and a conscious decision to do it consistently and regularly.
Just avoid allowing your relationship to slowly drift off into a rut because once there, it can become very tricky to get out of it.
Plus, it’s completely unnecessary to let that happen because you create a lasting connection very easily when both of you work hard to keep the romance alive through simple, little, romantic actions and gestures.