Did the Sizzle Fizzle? 7 Ways to Get the Romance Back in Your Marriage
Married people often talk of reigniting the spark, fueling the flames, and getting back that loving feeling. Take heart, romance is not as far out of reach as you may believe.
Check out these 7 ways to get the romance back in your marriage:
- Prioritize: Schedule time for love. Romance will not happen if you don’t make time to slow down, switch gears, and focus on each other. To reignite romantic feelings amid your responsibilities and personal needs, you’ll need to clear your schedule and create an atmosphere that puts romance back at the top of the list. Let the other people in your life know that the circles and hearts on your day planner are not to be trifled with. Make time with your partner sacred. You’ll be amazed at how romantic you feel anticipating your time together.
- Pay Attention: Appreciate the past, but remain mindful and present. Romance might seem like something you’re trying to get back to…something you used to do before kids or back when your careers were less demanding. Of course, those were good times and can definitely point you in the right direction, but do try to focus on the current moment and the current state of your relationship. Romance happens in the here and now. What makes your spouse happy now? What scent, tastes, and sensations make him or her smile? It may not be the things that he or she enjoyed a year or ten years ago. Be sure to look closely and listen well.
- Admire: Spell out your affection. Speak affirmation. Sing your spouse’s praises. Words are a powerful aphrodisiac. Use loving language as routinely and supportively as you can. Remind your partner often how much he or she means to you as partner and friend. Praise him or her in public. Find opportunities to talk him or her up. As you look for ways to share how good you feel about him or her, you’ll likely find your loving feelings will increase.
- Touch: Don’t hide how you feel! If you and your partner are out of the habit of demonstrating affection for each other, look for ways to get the romance back in your marriage by communicating your desire to be close physically. Cuddle for a minute or two before turning over to go to sleep in the evening or rolling out of bed in the morning. Actually look at each other and hold the hug a beat longer before you head out the door. Connecting physically is vital to romance. It reassures you that your bond is secure and fuels the fire for more intimate connection later.
- Reimagine: Expand your definition of date night. Basically, this is a call to be less boring. Dinner and a movie can be kicked up a notch in the name of romance. Opportunities for romantic interludes abound. Look in the community section of your local publications or recreation centers. What’s happening around you? What experiences would you like to share together? Take turns planning dates. Surprise each other. Research indicates that sharing new experiences significantly increases relationship satisfaction.
- Connect: Intentionally choose to live a life together that constantly intersects. Today’s technology tempts us to live parallel lives. Romance lives in the constant connection of your worlds. Resist the urge to sit on the couch or lie in your bed, staring at your smartphones or tablet, checking emails or social media posts. Instead, do what you can to attend to each other. Find ways to share a laugh. Look for little ways to check in and let your partner know that he or she is on your mind.
- Forgive: Decide to give up grudges and communicate honestly. Romantic, loving relationships deal promptly with anything that may be interfering with effective communication. It is very difficult to feel emotionally connected when resentment is in the way. Are there ways to be more compassionate and understanding of each other? Try to let go of minor offenses and old hurts. With the help of a counselor or therapist, resolve areas where you are stuck.
If scented candles, long conversations, and intimate nights are few and far between, don’t settle for more fizzle and and less sizzle. Find more ways to get the romance back in your marriage and creatively seek out more. You deserve a future full of friendly warmth as well as passionate fire.
Robert Menuet, LCSW, is a therapist who practices in the Greater New Orleans, Louisiana, metropolitan area. He specializes in Marriage Counseling, Couples Therapy, Relationship Therapy for Singles, Couples Therapy For One, and he consults and treats couples who work together in family business. He has 34 years of experience and has been trained in couples therapy and mediation at the Washington School of Psychiatry and Loyola University College of Law.