February 14, 2011

The Secret of Keeping Romance Alive: Tips for Busy Couples

The Secret of Keeping Romance Alive: Tips for Busy Couples
 
It's Valentine's Day and our thoughts center on love and romance. Ironically, while romance is one of the most sought after experiences, is also one of the most misunderstood. Today we are going to try to clear up some common misconceptions and offer some tips for busy couples who would like to rekindle the spark and create more romance in their relationship.
 
Common Myths about Romance:

  • Romance is about flowery words and extravagant gestures. Many guys think they just "aren't romantic".
  • Romance naturally diminishes with age.
  • Romance must be spontaneous can't be planned. Planning ruins it.                                                                                                                                                                           ... and one more thing....
  •  Romance isn't that important. It's a luxury.

The Truth about Romance :

  • Romance is about love, affection and caring, i.e. It's the experience of feeling valued and cared about not simply desired. Anyone who loves his/her partner can be romantic.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Romance needs conscious effort and novelty to thrive. If romance declines it is because of neglect and boring routines not because of advancing age or the passage of time. The antidote for the romantic blahs is not taking one another for granted and loving surprises which express caring and a going out of one's way to please.
  • Romance requires planning as well as spontaneity. While spur of the moment romantic gestures are great, the demands of job and children can eat up any spare time and energy. For romance to be sustained. acts of kindness and consideration require intentional effort and must be planned ahead and put into the schedule like any other important event.
  • Romance is essential to lasting love and happiness. Studies show that marriages who keep romance in their relationships last longer and are happier than those who don't.

Tips for increasing Romance

1. Kissing, tender affection. (that are not solely a prelude to sex) and saying the words I Love you. Be direct and communicate your love in ways that s/he will appreciate.

2. Listen, Pay attention to and learn what your partner likes.

3. Try the unexpected gestures of kindness and consideration that make life easier for your partner. (e.g. vacuuming or doing the dishes.)

4. Make romance a high priority in your marriage. Plan, schedule and build a structure for romance. Romance needs to be seen as a regular part of your overall life not just something that happens once in a while or when you have time. Make reservations in advance. (e.g. getting the hard to get tickets for the show she wants to see or restaurant she wants to dine at.)
 
Many folks either despair that the romance has gone out of their marriage or there is nothing that can be done to bring it back. Following these simple tips can help you not only to increase the level of romance in your marriage but also deepen your appreciation of how precious having a loving relationship is.

Rev. Michael Heath, LMHC prepared these remarks for Bridge Street 2 14
 

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