February 5, 2009

February 5, 2009
Keeping Romance Alive - Tips to Nurturing Your Love

Welcome to another day in my life. And what a cold one it has been. Here in Jacksonville, we barely made it above freezing before nightfall hit and the temperatures starting plunging to the teens again tonight.

I get a lot of emails from those of you who read my blog about relationships and finding someone. So I decided to write the blog for today on keeping romance alive and tips to nurturing your love.

In the beginning of any relationship, keeping romance alive is easy. The excitement of new beginnings and the passion of a new relationship breeds romance on its own and there is usually enough romance to satisfy any couple. Everything is wonderful all the time and there is never a dull moment. When you have been in a relationship for a long time, however, keeping romance alive is a task that you and your partner need to work on. Taking each other for granted and the routine of daily life can eventually snuff out the flames of love. After all, you are a couple committed to loving each other, why is romance necessary?

Keeping romance alive is essential to maintaining a loving, close relationship. No matter how secure you are with your partner, nurturing love and fanning the flames from time to time is essential to a long-lasting commitment. Make it clear that you would commit to your partner all over again and that you still have feelings for him. Ensure that your relationship will stay exciting and alive for many years to come. By taking the time to make your partner feel special, you reinforce the notion that your life would be missing something if the two of you had never met. Here are some ways to work on keeping the romance alive.

1. Recreate your first date.
Can you remember how nervous and excited the night of your first date with your partner made you feel? Do you recall the feelings you had while getting to know your partner, the small gestures you made and the words you said? Can you remember the times you touched his hand, or glanced away shyly?

Your first date led to a lifetime of love. It is a special memory of a moment that marked the beginning of a new journey in your life. Take the time to recreate that memory. Go to the same place where you had your first date and try to reconstruct the moment as closely as possible. The key is to recreate the atmosphere you shared together.

Do not talk about the kids, the mortgage or next week’s upcoming events. This time is about you and your partner and what attracted you to each other in the first place. Try to discover something new about your partner. Even if you have been together for ages, you may be surprised at what you do not know about your partner. Keeping the romance alive by recreating the moment you first fell in love can be an incredible experience!

2. Send love notes – MANY love notes Do not underestimate the power of a love note when it comes to keeping romance alive. Finding an unexpected note "just because" can change the entire mood of the day. Finding a reminder that someone cares or is thinking about you is bound to make your partner's day better.

Love notes can make a big impact as well. While certainly a note tucked into a lunch or a briefcase is always appreciated, just a bit more effort can generate a lot more excitement. Try writing something a little suggestive or a bit racy to bring on a blush and get your partner thinking of you.

Leave little notes tucked about the house reminding him of different things that you love about him (keep them tame if you have kids!).

If you have a shower, write “I Love You” in the steam on the mirror. The message will reappear when he takes his shower. Do you have fresh snow on the ground? Walk in a heart shape where he will see it and leave his initials. Simple, creative reminders such as these will go a long way toward nurturing your love.

3. Have a couple’s weekend.
One of the best ways to reconnect with your spouse is to indulge in a weekend away every now and then. Having the luxury time to spend together without the usual pressures of home and family will allow you to rediscover all the reasons you got together in the first place and just enjoy each other's company.

The trip does not have to be long or expensive. Being on a tight budget does not mean you cannot indulge in a weekend away and keeping the romance alive on getaways can be cheap. Find a nearby town, rent a room for a night and just spend time together. Scour the internet for hotels bargains. Investigate nearby campgrounds and national parks for opportunities to camp. Check out the possibility of a home exchange. Have a weekend together alone in your own home. Check out local attractions that you never stop to see. Stay home, eat popcorn and watch your favorite movies in bed.

The caveat – NO housecleaning, cooking, or home repair allowed. Make your getaway a time to remember how much fun it is to be together. It can be an amazing experience.

4. Don’t forget regular date nights!
When is the last time you went on a date with your partner? It has probably been a while.

Make "date night" a part of your weekly routine and you will find that it helps with keeping romance alive. Date night is probably one of the simplest ways of nurturing your love.

Ideally, date night is one night per week where you and your beloved head out on the town to enjoy a great meal and a movie, go to a gallery opening, or a wonderful play. Realistically, most budgets cannot stand the strain of weekly events or have to factor kids into the equation. In those cases, just adjust your perspective a bit.

Have a date in your own living room. Choose a night for date night and keep the appointment as you would any other. Feed the kids and put them to bed. If your children are older, send them to their rooms to entertain themselves with strict instructions not to disturb you. Now, all you need is your favorite movie and some excellent takeout. Sit together in the dark, eat, cuddle and enjoy!

5. Plan a big surprise.
Planning a big surprise for the one you love can be an excellent way of keeping romance alive when romance is the last thing your partner expects. While a surprise day is not something that you can undertake on a regular basis, it is an excellent way to celebrate a joyous event, mark an important anniversary or create a new memory. It takes a little planning, but the rewards are worth the effort.

Think of something that your partner has always wanted to do. Now, make a plan to get it done and surprise your loved one.

If you can stand the suspense, the payoff will be worth it. Drop a few hints to build the anticipation. Planning a surprise is much like the early stages of dating. You are keeping your partner off balance, curious and wanting to know more. It is a thrilling experience!

There are plenty of other ways for keeping romance alive in a relationship. Use your imagination and creativity and think about the little things you miss in relationship. There is no reason that you cannot make those things happen instead of wishing they were happening. Your romance can be sparked with something as simple as a handpicked bouquet of flowers from the side of the road as you are driving home (yes, men like flowers too) or a quick call to your partner at work to say, "I miss you. Wish you were here." Romance is essential to keeping your relationship alive and the smallest tokens of affection will lead to a lifetime of happiness.

So there are my tips. What about yours? Inquiring minds want to know.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab