9 ways to keep romance alive in your relationship
Do you feel like your relationship is stuck in a rut? You can keep the romance alive with just nine simple steps, says Jo Middleton
The early days of a new relationship are thrilling. You skip from one adorable romantic gesture to another; giddy with excitement, unable to believe you’ve found this person, someone who makes you feel so special and alive.
Fast-forward six or twelve months and the situation is often rather different:
‘Did you remember cat food?’ One of you asks first thing in the morning as you stagger down to the kitchen, hair dishevelled and pyjamas on back to front.
‘No I forgot,’ says the other, slightly resentful that it’s become their job, even though they already remember to put out the bins every week.
‘Great,’ says the first partner, annoyed as they switch on the kettle, accidentally on purpose only filling it with enough water for one cup of coffee. ‘I suppose I’ll have to go and get some now.’
Okay, so perhaps not everyone finds themselves simmering with quite as much obvious resentment as me on a Monday morning, but I’m sure you get where I’m heading with this. The thing is that everyday life is kind of tedious, and chores have to be done – it can’t just be spontaneous picnics and secret love letters all the time, it’s just not practical.
However, just because normal life does, at some point, have to resume, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the romance alive. There are plenty of little ways to keep the romance in your relationship, while still making sure that the cat gets fed.
Here are nine top tips to help get you started. You’re welcome.
1. Create in-jokes or pet names
Having funny names and jokes, even unspoken rituals or habits, can help to create a unique bond between you and create the feeling that it’s you two, as a team, against the world. This sort of intimacy is important and shouldn’t be underestimated.
2. Break from tradition
As comforting as these habits and rituals are, it can also be good to break from tradition sometimes and surprise your partner with something new. If, for example, your wife always does the food shopping, take the initiative one week by ordering it and having it delivered. You’ll be surprised at how romantic it can be when a partner takes over your chores!
3. Take on a challenge together
This could be something as simple as a crossword, a physical like a marathon or a mental challenge like escaping from an Adventure Room. Solving a puzzle or facing a challenge as a team does wonders for your togetherness.
4. Do things as individuals
Yes it might seem like a contradiction, but having hobbies and interests that you pursue individually is great because it gives you things to talk about and the opportunity to explore your personal passions. It’s always attractive to see someone pursuing an interest that they really love.
5. Pay attention to your partner in work or social situations
Try to see your partner as others see them and it could help spark romance. Are they brilliant at their job? Do they sound confident on the phone? What do they do in social situations to make other people feel at ease? Taking the time to notice these things, and to imagine yourself seeing your partner for the first time, can help you to remember why you fell in love with them in the first place.
6. Buy each other gifts
This might seem like a bit of a cliché, but it works! In my experience, it works best if the gifts are very personal; they don’t need to be expensive, but they do need to show that you’ve been thinking about the other person. A second-hand book by their favourite author, picked up in a charity shop, shows that you know something about them, and can be far more romantic than an expensive but anonymous piece of jewellery.
7. Maintain an air of mystery
I have a rule in relationships – bathrooms are private spaces. I’m sorry, I know that a lot of people are happy to be more relaxed about this and consider it to be a sign of how well they know each other, but for me, it’s a massive romance killer. Some things in life should just be private. No boyfriend needs to see me shave my legs or pluck my eyebrows. Let’s keep a bit of mystery, shall we?
8. Pay your partner a compliment
When you see someone every day, you can start taking them for granted, so don’t forget to make a point of telling your partner when they look nice, when they’ve done something you’re proud of or when you’ve really enjoyed spending time with them. As humans, we thrive on praise and positive feedback, and instinctively want to do whatever it takes to get more of it, so if you want more of a good thing, make sure that you acknowledge it.
9. Send a link to this post to your partner
That way they’ll know exactly what they need to do, and you’ll end up with double the love!