Get advice on how to keep your relationship alive.
Dependability, respect, trustworthiness, responsibility and commitment can be considered a partial list of what's needed to make a relationship succeed, but what about couples who love romance? How do they keep it alive? According to Dr. Ginger Blume, Ph.D., these ingredients lay a solid foundation for a couple's relationship, but even the most loving of relationships can falter or become stale. Changes may arise in a relationship, but that doesn't mean that passion and romance should disappear. Romance can become more powerful and enjoyable the longer a couple is together if they put energy and effort into it. Couples need to spend time together in fun and romantic ways. They need to develop a sense of commitment and security as well as have meaningful communication. This will allow them to open up to each other to achieve a higher level of intimacy.
When a long time has gone by without intimacy, a couple may become less likely to do anything about it. Each person is waiting for the other to take action. The stalemate will continue and each person will feel more resentful if someone doesn't reach out. Couples need to get beyond their disagreements and conflicts and realize that the core problem is their need to be cared for and loved is not being met. The more that couples put into their relationships, the more they will get back.
A couple needs to talk honestly and openly about what works for them and what makes them feel loved and romantic. Communication needs to facilitate an understanding, compassionate and cooperative method for relating to one another. Open and honest conversation between a couple will help them educate, nurture and protect one another. It will also help couples resolve their differences in a peaceful manner.
There are everyday behaviors that each spouse can do to make the other feel treasured. Each should engage the other's spirit by maintaining eye contact when having a conversation. Each person should remind the other, at least once a week, that they love and appreciate them. Finally, it is important to do small things to make the other person feel special and nurtured. These can be as simple as massaging tired shoulders or offering to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work.
Making the time to have fun together is an important part of keeping a relationship strong. This includes activities that both people enjoy, such as dancing, bowling or going to a game. The couple needs to be realistic about the amount of available free time they have. If it's only an hour, the couple should not plan a day's worth of events. Consistency in spending time together will build trust and help lay the foundation for a stronger relationship.
Meaningful communication happens when a person shares their feelings, makes requests instead of demands on their partner, listens carefully and encourages their loved one. Communication should occur during a time of peace, not out of fear or blame.
For someone to truly feel intimate and close to their partner, they need to be able to share their fears and embarrassments. According to Women's Therapy Associates, these vulnerabilities can be triggered by daily events and develop when people are young. A high level of intimacy is only possible if there is a strong foundation of trust and safety in the relationship. Someone's vulnerable thoughts should never be used to manipulate or humiliate for any reason.
A scavenger hunt is a fun way to build suspense. A partner can hide notes for the other to find, leading them to meaningful places and perhaps ending at the couple's favorite restaurant. Couples can also hide notes in each other's lunches or in their cars, with instructions on where to meet without stating a reason why. Flower petals can be spread out on the floor or bed to entice romance. Dr. John Gray recommends using a Romance Planner to plan activities. Ideas include giving a partner a back rub, picking up take-out food and showing feelings with music or poetry.
Partners should set time aside to be alone without distractions. Even if a couple can barely etch out any time together, it's essential for the good of the relationship to allow time to be sensuous. Planning a candlelit dinner or checking into a hotel can set the stage for partners to give each other pleasure.
According to Lenore M. Pomerance, M.S.W., a psychotherapist specializing in relationships in Washington, D.C., couples who have been together a long time often stop touching each other. It is essential to reestablish contact if partners want to keep the romance alive. They should brush up against each other or touch each other's bodies when passing in the hallway. These seemingly small gestures will go a long way in regaining intimacy.
Taking a shower or bath together may sound cliche, but it goes a long way in instantly sparking desire and intimacy. A romantic bath with candles is great for people who can set aside the time. If not, one can jump in the shower with their partner for a similar effect.