How long has it been since you’ve felt the emotions that romance evokes?
You know: Love. Passion.Intimacy.Connection.
If it’s been a while, I’ll start by saying that you’re far from being alone. As relationships and marriages progress from year to year, the courtship transitions from one of love and romance to one of companionship for many. There are wonderful things that blossom from deep companionship, but the shift from a passionate romance can be unsettling for some.
It’s important to acknowledge that disconnected feeling if it’s something that you think you’re missing. Your partner may very well be feeling the same way. Love and romance don’t have to die as your marriage carries on. Like a flower planted in the ground, its beauty can last for a long time if you tend to it and make it a priority.
Check out 4 fresh ways to bring back the romance in your relationship below :
1. Put your phones down
If you picked up a book filled with relationship advice from 20 years ago, you would likely never find such an insight. But with so many of us getting lost in our phones, we have a tendency to disconnect from the people that are physically in front of us.
One day or night a week, commit to putting your phones away and spending some “unplugged” time together. Play a game, have a glass of wine, or read a book side by side. You’d be surprised at how much closer you’ll feel once you remove the barrier of your smartphone.
It may only be able to fit in the palm of your hand, but that little electronic device has built a wall between you and your spouse. Putting it down will allow for your romance to be reborn.
2. Write each other love notes
Take yourself back to middle school, well before you had a smartphone to punch an emoji into to show someone how you felt. When that cute girl smiled at you or when that silly boy showed you some attention, you wrote them a note and slyly passed it across the class.
How quickly did your heart race when you gave or received these notes? Now that you’ve grown up—and have learned a lot of better words to describe your feelings—get back to writing love notes.
Tell your spouse how much you care about them. Let them know that they mean the world to you. Pour your heart on the page and try to express to them how they make you feel. You don’t have to be a wordsmith; you just have to be willing to show some vulnerability. Being open in the form of a quick love note will induce that loving feeling that your middle school self-enjoyed every time you wrote sweet nothings to your crush.
3. Go on a date—and make it random as possible
Doing something that is outside of the norm for you and your spouse will allow you both to be more conscious of the experience. It will also raise dopamine levels in your brain as you experiment with something new.
If you’ve been to Chili’s 3,521 times, it’s going to be hard to trigger any fresh and new romantic vibes.If you went to a different restaurant—or even better a different city or town—for dinner, you’ll have a new experience to embrace together. The new shared experience will connect you on a subconscious level, making the romantic vibes a natural byproduct.
Don’t stop at picking a different restaurant, though. Go out of town, plan something last minute, and go out of your way to be spontaneous. The further you step out of your relationships comfort zone, the more novel the experience will be.
4. Plan your romantic gestures
Now that we’ve covered spontaneity and its importance in your marriage, let’s go in another direction: planning, preparation, and having a game plan. Anyone who’s ever given marriage advice has probably said to incorporate romantic gestures whenever you can. But here’s the problem: humans are forgetful, habitual, and imperfect people.
If you haven’t bought your wife flowers in years, you’re not going to remember to start getting them now. If you haven’t bought your husband tickets to the game on Sunday since you were newlyweds, a grand gesture like that won’t be something you think to do out of the blue.
For that reason, it’s important that you schedule when you’re going to give your spouse some love in the form of a romantic gesture. Don’t wait for the feeling to strike you; write it down in your phone or your calendar so that you remember to actually do it. Some people will think that it’s not as romantic to plan for your gifts and gestures, but guess what’s even less romantic? Not acting on them in the first place.
Bringing back the romance may be a difficult road to travel, but it’s a worthy journey to saddle up for. Your marriage and companionship aren’t broken, it just needs a little kick in the pants.
Infuse it with spontaneity. Put your phone down and actually enjoy spending some quality time together. Plan your romantic gestures so that you don’t forget to make it happen. Don’t be afraid to get crafty and start writing each other love notes like you’re kids again.
But most of all, if you want things to change for the better, you have to be willing to make some changes yourself. It might feel awkward trying anything that’s mentioned above, but give it a try and see how it affects the romance in your marriage.
I think you’ll find that it will bring back that loving feeling you’ve been longing for.