Topic: Creating Ongoing Romance
you are in the romantic love stage, you can rely on traditional
gifts like roses and candy. But after you’ve been living together
for a number of years, your gestures of love have to reflect a more
intimate knowledge of each other.
Valentine’s Day reflections
approach Valentine’s Day with a certain amount of ambivalence.
As much as I like the idea of a day that celebrates relationships,
I also find myself resisting what feels like “romance-on-demand”
As someone who has been partnered for many years, I sometimes feel
at a loss when it comes to celebrating this special day. The flowers-and-chocolate
version of romance promoted in advertising seems more suited to “new”
romances –- not my twenty-something year old marriage.
I’ve been pondering the whole notion of romance and what keeps
it alive. After consulting some of my favourite books on relationship,
I’d like to share some ideas and suggestions for creating ongoing
romance. I hope you find them helpful.
1) Don’t confuse the “Romantic Stage” of
your relationship with that of ongoing Romance.
of us fondly remember the early “Romantic Stage” of our
relationship, when life was euphoric and our partners seemed perfectly
suited to us. While we may not have been aware of it, we had help
with our romantic feelings. Our bodies were being flooded with the
“love drug” PEA (phenylethylamine), which produces a natural
high, where everything feels wonderful. During this stage of relationship,
we didn’t really “work at” romance. It just seemed
sometime between three and six months, couples usually experience
a change. The euphoric feelings begin to wear off and a couple finds
themselves living in the real world again -- in relationship with
an imperfect partner, who has habits which annoy and who fails to
anticipate our every need. At this point, if we stick around, the
real work of relationship and creating ongoing romance begins.
Commit to making a conscious effort to foster romance.
and physical bonding that occurs during the Romantic Stage of relationship
lays a strong foundation of attachment. It is this foundation which
provides the bonding and motivation for a couple to move on to the
work of forging a life together.
book entitled Hot Monogamy, marital therapist Patricia Love defines
romance as “the way that you demonstrate your love and respect
for your partner on an ongoing basis.” Romance is all about
the words and actions you use to let your partner know just how important
they are to you. These words and actions don’t JUST HAPPEN.
It requires initiative on our part.
Find out how your partner likes to be loved, and do that.
to express love to others in the way that we would like to receive
love ourselves. If being taken out for dinner at an elegant restaurant
spells romance for me, I may assume that my partner feels the same
way. I may assume that he’d prefer an elegant dinner out, when
he would actually feel most loved by receiving a home-cooked meal
in his sweats.
Gary Chapman says in his book, The Five Love Languages, “Truly
connecting with a loved one comes down to one simple fact: You need
to know and speak his or her love language.” Take the time to
learn HOW your partner likes to receive love. Stretch yourself to
give them love in a way that they can “hear”.
Inject some excitement and adventure into your relationship.
things have become just a little too routine and predictable, it
may be time to step out of your habits and try something new and
different. This might take the form of a trip to somewhere new and
exciting, taking up a new hobby or activity together (dancing anyone?)
or simply breaking free of your usual routines by doing something
slightly outrageous or uncharacteristic.
your imagination. Trade sides in bed. Be a tourist in your home
town. Do something unexpected to surprise your partner. When you
set an intention to have more adventure, the most mundane of activities
can be transformed!
Revive your ability to play and flirt.
Patricia Love interviewed middle-aged men about what romance meant
to them, they all agreed that playfulness was a key ingredient. Lightening
up and having fun together can put you back in touch with the playful
romance of the early days of your relationship.
you play with your partner, you remember who you are to each other
– beyond your roles as parents or workers or responsible adults.
Rediscovering each other as playmates can be a great enhancer of
your sex life too!
Appreciate your partner’s romantic gestures.
you want more romance in your relationship, it’s important
to encourage and appreciate the romantic attempts your partner is
already making. Acknowledge them with a word, a smile, a touch.
Don’t miss what is offered by looking for perfection.
you ignore the attempts your partner is currently making to express
their caring, then they are unlikely to feel encouraged to do more.
Appreciation has a contagious quality to it. A word of appreciation
can start a chain reaction of the most positive kind.
kind to yourself and your partner this Valentine’s Day. No matter
how you choose to mark the day, decide in advance that your gestures
of love will be “good enough”. Give up expecting “perfection”
– from yourself AND your partner. Instead, I invite you to appreciate
the real, unique, human beings that you are – and this precious
relationship that you are crafting together.
Monogamy by Patricia Love and Jo Robinson
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Conscious Dating by David Steele
How To Make Love All The Time by Barbara De Angelis
I was recently
interviewed for an article in Canadian Health Magazine. If you’d
like to read about Eight Simple Rules for maintaining a good love
relationship, check it out at:
Vollett, Life and Relationship Coach, delights in working with pro-active
individuals who want to make positive changes in their lives, their
work/business or their relationships. Her clients appreciate her ability
to listen deeply, her compassionate wisdom and her support in moving
forward. Shirley offers a complimentary intro session for those who
want to explore how coaching works and how it can help. Click on a
link below to contact Shirley or visit her website at http://shirley.vollett.com
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