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As the years go by, relationships go through ups and downs. Periods of ebbs and flows with feelings, excitement, and novelty. When you’re committed to someone, you have to make effort through these seasons; finding ways to stay connected and close, and keep your relationship at the forefront of your lives. You might call this keeping the romance alive, or keeping the love burning. To us, it’s the simple idea of creating and maintaining romance in a relationship.
It’s a simple concept, perhaps, but definitely not always so easy to do. So today, we’re bringing you 8 ideas for how you can prioritize the romance in your marriage. You’ll note there’s nothing on this list that instructs you to simply “be more romantic.” That’s a nebulous idea, for one, but also, being romantic or acting romantic doesn’t come naturally to many of us. So instead of that idea, we’re offering practical solutions. Our best relationship advice for couples looking for more romance in their relationship is to prioritize certain things in your life and make a genuine effort. When you do that, you’re likely to find that romance abounds.
Here are our 8 suggested actions:
Figure out what romance in a relationship means to you both
Step one involves finding out what romance means to both of you. This has to be number one, because without it, you might be doing lots of things you consider “romantic” but which are barely registering to your partner.
So how do you figure out what romance means to your partner? We’ve got a few suggestions. The first: just plain ask them. This is especially true for men: ask your partner what she finds romantic. Women often tend to have more set ideas of what is and isn’t romantic to them, so by asking directly, you’ll know when you’re on the right track.
Asking directly doesn’t remove the spontaneity of the romance, either, in my opinion. While it’s a nice idea to hope your partner “just knows” how to be romantic or “just knows” what you’ll love and enjoy, this is rarely the case. We can’t expect our partners to be mind readers, so the best way to access the romance you desire in your relationship is to figure out what it looks like to you and tell your partner clearly and succinctly.
Maybe you don’t know what you find romantic. That’s okay, too! Part of pursuing romance in relationships can be experimenting with new things. You can also go a bit more scientific with it by learning your own and your partner’s love languages. (More on that in our 5 love languages summary here). Understanding love languages helps you discern what makes your partner feel most loved and then do those things. Really, this is the core of what it means to “be romantic.”
PS: Take our 30-day relationship challenge to grow closer to your partner in just one month!
Find ways to keep flirting
A second way to prioritize romance in your relationship is to seek out ways to keep flirting with one another over time. Don’t let the flirtatious interest end after you’ve been together a few months/years, or after you’re married. In fact, after those milestones, it is more important than ever to keep flirting with your partner.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. Your flirting doesn’t need to be fancy. In fact, the point is to show your partner that you’re interested in them and attracted to them. Keep flirting fun and natural. Compliments, cheeky sweet remarks, and other little words and actions go a long way.
Flirting also goes beyond words. Being flirty with your spouse can also mean planning regular date nights and looking forward to them together.
Celebrate occasions big and small
Romance is in the little things. One of the best ways to keep love alive in your relationship is to pay attention to special occasions (and even the not so special occasions). In other words, find ways to celebrate your love on a regular basis. Spend quality time together, and make it a celebration. Mark these occasions with a champagne toast, a little love note, a sweet conversation about a memory, or a special meal). What occasions, you ask? Everything and anything! Your relationship can be full of celebration.
The idea of celebration is important because it not only recognizes the significance of your partnership itself, it also highlights each partner’s individual achievements and qualities. Celebration creates magic in your life and in your relationship, and reminds us over and over to find immense gratitude in our love and our relationship. That’s something to celebrate.
Read Next: The Ultimate List of Real Relationship Goals
Have adventures together
It should come as no surprise that we take adventure very seriously here. After all, it’s one of the things we love best!
As a couple, finding opportunities to have adventures together is super important. Big adventures like epic vacations or going bungee jumping are great, but adventures can also be small things. Taking a cooking class together. Learning a new language. Going on a road trip. Having a staycation. Putting together a blanket fort in your living room.
From the most intense journeys to the simplest shared activities, it matters less what you do than that you just do it together.
When you do something new or unfamiliar together, it strengthens your bond in a lot of ways. Some activities will build teamwork and a sense of connection. Others will simply help bolster your romance because you get the opportunity to see your partner in a new way, a new light. Personally, watching my husband express a different side of himself is very exciting to me, and I feel like I’m meeting him for the first time all over again. So create opportunities that give you the chance to have that experience!
Don’t stop learning about each other
Can you ever truly know another person? I think so, but there are always more things to learn about your partner, and that is really exciting.
One of the clearest ways to be more romantic in your relationship is to remain curious about your partner. Don’t assume you know all there is to know. Also, don’t underestimate their ability to change. Commit to digging deep and discovering all you can about the man or woman you married.
Note that this is more about your attitude than about your actions. Learning about your partner will be an ongoing process that will happen throughout the life of your relationship. This learning will happen when you’re having adventures with them, when you’re spending time together on date night, or even when you’re in an argument. What a wealth of knowledge you will amass!
Retain an attitude of curiosity as you go, observing and welcoming your discoveries about your partner. This continued investigation keeps things interesting and ensures you never come to the end of all their is to know, feel, and encounter about your beloved.
Express your love: loudly and often
Being romantic goes beyond flowers, poetry, and grand gestures. At its core, romance involves simply being loving to your spouse or significant other. Make them feel treasured, appreciated, and adored.
You can express love in countless ways. Why not find out how your spouse most feels loved? What is his or her love language?
Why not just try expressing love in different ways, too? Don’t be afraid to be creative with showing the way you feel.
But at the end of the day, the easiest ways to express love are those that feel most natural. For most people, this involves sharing words of love or expressing love through physical affection. Hugs, holding hands, even something like simply placing a hand lovingly on your spouse’s back can say so much about your feeling for them. These tiny gestures speak volumes.
To keep romance sizzling, these are some of the most essential things you can do. Focus on taking time each day to give love to your partner. It only takes a moment to say I love you or to give a meaningful touch.
Read Next: 100 Reasons Why I Love You
Make your partner feel incredibly special
Similar to the previous tip, take time each day to make your partner feel appreciated. This differs from making them feel loved (although the two are closely linked). Making them feel special means showing them that they are valuable to you: that their time is valuable, that they are a priority in your life and in your day.
There are many ways to make a partner feel special, but one that I recommend is to recognize his or her gifts and contributions. Say thank you for something your husband did around the house. Let your wife know you see and appreciate how hard she works. If you want to have more romance in your marriage, it starts with recognizing the small ways your partner makes a big difference.
A second suggestion is to give your partner your undivided attention whenever possible. We all want to know that our loved ones are listening to us and value what we have to say. An excellent way to show this is to take the time to really listen to what your partner is saying and expressing to you. Authentic listening shows that you value your partner’s opinions and this respect is something we all need.
Make romance a habit
Is spontaneity the most romantic attribute? Maybe, but spontaneity is not always easy or practical. Habits are what add up to help a relationship be its strongest and most loving.
So make these practices a habit. Get in the habit of relationship rituals you do every day together, like sharing a good morning kiss, having a morning conversation over coffee, or spending some time just relaxing in bed together.
These habits will be there for you in good times or in bad times, keeping your partnership solid.
Read these next:
- Things to Do Every Day to Strengthen Your Marriage
- Words of Affirmation Love Language: A How-To Guide
- Why Friendship in Marriage is So Important (And How to Keep It Strong)
Amy Hartle is the co-founder and owner of Two Drifters, where she blogs about romantic and couples travel, relationships, honeymoons, and more. With a Master’s in English and a BA in Musical Theatre, Amy loves to write quality content as well as to entertain, and she hopes to do a bit of both here on the blog! Amy is happily married to her husband Nathan, and when not working on their sites, Amy & Nathan can be found cuddling, reading, and enjoying delicious lattes.