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relationships-101-recognizing-romanceTips for recognizing romance in your relationship.

With Valentine’s day approaching, it has got me thinking about romance. We often hear people complain that there is no romance in their relationship. I say we need to make our own romance and appreciate when it presents itself in unexpected ways.

Here are some ways to build your relationships and maybe add a little romance into your lives every day.

Ways to Spice Up the Romance

  1. Look your partner in the eyes each day - Think about when was the last time you really looked your partner in the eyes. It is amazing the connection you can have by just taking a few moments to do this simple thing together.
  2. Put a little effort into your relationship – I have heard people talk about the romance of an affair, how exciting it is, and have watched them put a lot of effort into this new relationship. If they put half as much effort into their existing relationship, they may really have had something.
  3. Appreciate your partner for who they are – Not everyone is a ‘natural’ romantic. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by expecting something from your partner that is just not going to happen. Your mate may be doing little things all the time that could be seen as romantic, but get missed because they are not what we traditionally perceive romance to be.
  4. Communicate, communicate, and communicate! - Express yourself to your partner. Don’t nag them with “You never do anything romantic for me” or similar complaints; they may not have any idea what that really means or what you expect. Instead, let them know what you like! There is nothing wrong with letting your partner know what you would like them to do, and encourage them to do the same. You might be surprised.
  5. Hug and kiss your partner every day – This may sound like a no-brainer, but it is amazing how many people don’t do this every day. Kids, work, housework, and a host of other responsibilities can leave us frazzled and dropping into bed each night without having connected with our partner on this basic level.
  6. Tell your partner you love them – Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to let your partner know you love them. Saying these three simple words with feeling may be one of the most romantic things you can do – add that hug and kiss, too!
  7. Surprise your partner – Now and then, surprise your partner with little gifts or notes. They do not need to be extravagant to be special. Bring them a coffee at work, present them with a single flower, put a note and a chocolate in their lunch bag, send a quick message letting them know you are thinking about them -- you get the idea. Really, these are more just little acts of kindness and consideration for your mate rather than what we traditionally think of as gifts. Believe me, these can go a very long way!
    I had a boyfriend once that would bring me flowers every few weeks. Some of my friends would comment on how sweet it was. Sounds romantic, right? The thing is, he bought flowers after he had been a jerk about one thing or another – so they were “suck up” flowers and not really a romantic gesture but one of guilt. Blah. Who needs that?
  8. Thank your partner - Don't foget to say thank you when your mate does something nice for you. Also, let them know you appreciate them -- you can be specific, mentioning a good characteristic or something they have done recently that pleased you.
  9. Make time for your partner – I know this can be so hard with all the other demands on our time, but it is so critical. Even an hour or two a week can have a big impact on your relationship. It doesn’t have to be a big “date night” either (although those are good sometimes too). Go for a walk, sit in the park, or just chat. The point is, just be together and connect with each other.

Remember too, that as we continue to grow and change as individuals, our relationships will also change. Keep the lines of communication open and really talk to your mate. If you feel more like roommates than lovers, it’s time to work on your relationship together if you want to remain together. The first step to an improved relationship could be just incorporating some of the things I have mentioned above.

Love is in the little things, in the day-to-day details of our lives.

My husband is not romantic in the traditional way. In fact, we joke about it at our house. Sure, he has on occasion brought me flowers and done a few of the traditional things we associate with romance, but it doesn’t happen often. However, when I was recently sick with a cold and my nose was raw, he went out and bought me some of those tissues with the moisturizer in them. This is more typical of my husband; the quiet and unassuming little things he does on a day to day basis that shows he really cares about me. I’ll take that kind of romance any day.

Wishing you lots of love in your life!

For more tips, check out Maternity Corner.

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