Knowing how to keep the romance alive in your relationship or marriage on a day to day basis can be hard. You know, when the washing machine is broken again, the kids are playing up and work hours are long and exhausting. Sometimes it can feel like we are ships that pass in the night, only coming together when both partners are tired and maybe feeling just a tad grumpy. Weekends are full of jobs, kids’ activities and family obligations.
Let’s face it, our busy daily lives are just not conducive to romance. Couples are constantly under pressure and it’s no wonder we all struggle to keep the romance alive in our relationships and marriages. However, it can be easier than you think to keep the romance alive in your relationship – and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either.
Easy Tips to Help You Keep The Romance Alive
Encourage public displays of affection
Let your kids – and the rest of the world – see that you love one another. Always give your partner a kiss and a hug when they leave or return. Touch your partner’s arm, brush their hair out of their eyes, hold their hand and always, always kiss them goodnight.
When your partner speaks, look them in the eye and really pay attention. There’s nothing worse than realising you have just said, ‘Yeah, sure honey’ and not being able to remember what you have agreed to – except perhaps having to repeat something you have already shared for the umpteenth time. We all need to be heard and acknowledged.
Let Go Of The Past
We have all heard couples dragging an event from the past into a disagreement in the present – in fact most of us have done it ourselves. Everyone makes mistakes and we have to move on from them. Leave the past where it belongs – in the past!
Even fundamental disagreements about important things are not as important as the foundation of your relationship. How badly do you really want the thing you are arguing about? How badly do you need to ‘win’? Is it important enough to risk cracking away at the foundation of your relationship? Or would it be better to find a solution that works for you both? I’ve always found the latter to be a better choice!
Say I’m Sorry When You Need To – And Even When You Don’t
I am probably one of the most stubborn people on earth, and climbing down off my high horse when I get upset is something I find very difficult. I don’t think my husband will mind me saying he’s a tiny bit stubborn too. We’ve both found that sometimes ‘acting as if’ can make you feel that way too. In other words, sometimes I do not want to apologise at all, but if I make myself do it, even if I don’t feel I’m in the wrong, the results are amazing. I start to feel more kindly towards my husband and remember all the wonderful things he does for me. Is winning an argument or being ‘right’ really that important? When you really love someone, it’s almost always really not.
Life is too short to take everything seriously. Try to keep the atmosphere light and laugh at one another’s jokes. Life isn’t always funny, but look for the humour in stressful situations – it can be hard, but even battlefield humour is better than none at all.
Spend Time Together
Make time together an absolute priority. While time with friends is important, it’s your relationship with your partner that needs nurturing more than anything else. Organise a monthly date night, even if it’s just dinner together with a bottle of wine and some candles after the kids have gone to bed. (For Date Night Dinner Ideas click here!) Or spend a couple of hours together one afternoon doing something you both enjoy. A lot of museums offer free entry and a walk in the park costs absolutely nothing. Agree not to discuss your kids or stressful situations during this time together. (This is harder than it sounds, but well worth it!)
Speak Well of Your Partner in Front of Others
We all have tiffs and disagreements, it’s part of being human. If you have a bone to pick with your partner, pick it with them, not your friends or relations. Never, ever criticise your partner in public or behind their back no matter how cross you may be. Equally, don’t use social media to air your grievances or shame someone. Discuss the things that drive you crazy about each other privately and try to work out manageable solutions. Or embrace the beauty of agreeing to disagree and work out a way of moving forward between you.
Remember You Are Both On The Same Team
This is beyond important, particularly when things get tough. Kids – and even some adults – are specialists at “divide and conquer” and this can cause real tension. Abraham Lincoln’s words, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” are really appropriate here – even though he wasn’t talking about that kind of house! Solve your differences in private and always, always present a united front when you are with others.
Say Thank You and Offer Praise
Even if they are doing something you have both agreed is ‘their job’, make a point of saying thank you to your partner. Praise them for a job well done, whether it’s cooking dinner or taking the kids out for a while to give you a little time to yourself. Making each other feel appreciated is a key way to keep the romance alive.
And Most Importantly – Enjoy The Journey
Every relationship goes through ups and downs. Using the tips in this post can help make the challenges a bit less daunting, but they are unavoidable. Work through the difficulties you face together. Learning from them can deepen your love for one another – and that is the best way to keep the romance alive that I know!