How to Keep Romance Alive After Valentine’s Day

Posted by on Feb 15, 2014 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on How to Keep Romance Alive After Valentine’s Day

7 Ways to Express Your Love All Year Long

Valentine’s Day often encourages couples to make an enthusiastic effort at acknowledging their love and connection; but one day a year is not enough to sustain a relationship.

Year-long romance is not about spending money; expensive gifts or costly dates are not required. To keep your relationship fresh, the only essential things are a bit of time, awareness, and creativity. Invest your energy in the following seven ways to see them pay off richly in your relationship:

1.     Show your affection and appreciation for your partner.

This cannot be overstated! There are potentially dozens of opportunities that can demonstrate how much you value and appreciate your partner.  You can do this through touch, you can do this with words, and you can do this with little gestures or gifts. Little things aren’t little at all: a hug, a smile, unexpected notes, or a well-timed thank you help to show affection and appreciation.

2.     Carve out time to be together.

It seemed effortless in the beginning, but as you became more comfortable and secure in your relationship, novelty and spontaneity may have faded into routine. Other things like work and family naturally gain our attention over time. Still, it is important to make the effort. It is impossible to feel connected if you do not make a point of spending time together.

3.     Mix things up.

Again, it’s not unusual to fall into routine. Avoid spending time together in the same ways over and over again. You don’t want things to become stale. Keep it fun. Add some novelty. Try making a list of things you enjoy doing together. Also, list individual interests that the other is willing to try. It can be something as simple and inexpensive as checking out a new TV show or restaurant; take a walk in a park or see a local theatre production. Variety is key.

4.     Take turns planning time together.

Be sure that the responsibility for planning time together does not always fall to the same person. This way, one person is not overly burdened and the task remains enjoyable. Here again, your list of potential activities will be very helpful.

5.     Know what works for your partner.

Be careful that the activities you plan are not just those that you enjoy. Often, we plan for others the gifts, surprises, or activities we want our partners to plan for us. Know what your partner likes and plan a time that is meaningful for both of you. Discuss what matters to both of you for easier planning.

*It should be noted that general gender differences play a role here:

As a general rule, women usually like to know they’re loved, while men want to know how much they are desired. Balanced planning will fulfill the needs of both partners.

6.     Remember what first sparked your love.

It can be enjoyable to recall what drew you to your partner during the initial stages of your relationship. Spend some time reminiscing about the things you did together during the early days. It can be a lot of fun to revisit special places, recreate a special event, or give gifts that spark a fond memory.

7.     Give up a grudge.

Resentment and grudges kill romance and connection. They get in the way and build walls. It is very difficult to feel emotionally connected when resentment exists. Consider a few ways to let go of old hurts:

  • Try to understand your partner’s point of view.
  • Recognize that your partner loves and cares for you.
  • Let go of minor offenses.
  • Decide to forgive.
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