Remember the excitement of courting, when you felt flutters in your heart and butterflies in your belly in anticipation of seeing each other—or sometimes merely thinking about each other?....Your romantic feelings may have gradually begun to fade….Eventually you may become resigned, believing that initial feeling of romance could not be rekindled. You may think, “I am just not in love anymore, or certainly not the way I was.”
Excerpted from Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating & Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship. Jim Sharon, EdD and Ruth Sharon, MS, Skylight Paths Publishing, 2014.
It’s so easy and so very common for the grind of daily routines and tasks to detract from quality, enjoyable connection in your love relationship. This is likely to be particularly true for those of you who have been together for a long time. Often we relegate special moments together to special occasions, such as vacations or passionate lovemaking.
The good news is that many kinds of ordinary gestures and activities can serve to revitalize or refresh your connection. The advent of spring is especially timely and fortuitous for such a mutual rebirth.
Here are some simple examples of ways to regularly enhance and energize your relating, any of which will increase your intimacy together:
Offer sincere, unqualified compliments, best done face-to-face.
Write sweet love notes and vary where you place them, e.g. on your partner’s pillow, in a cabinet, or in a dresser drawer.
Greet and offer goodbyes to one another with notable presence and perhaps in a spontaneous manner, via words, kisses, hugs, and/or touches.
Have an extended conversation about a topic that you rarely, if ever, engage in.
Demonstrate genuine curiosity about some aspect of your mate’s past or current life, thoughts, beliefs, feelings, or dreams through questions and deep listening. You may also decide to disclose related items about yourself.
Wear some type of stand-out outfit that grabs your mate’s attention, ranging from something cool or funky to beautiful to seductive.
Flirt unabashedly with your lover in enticing (not off-putting) ways.
Initiate doing and completing a chore or project that is beyond what you usually do.
Prepare a special meal or snack for your beloved—usually enhanced by creating atmosphere with candlelight and music, or eaten in a different setting, such as the bedroom or outdoors.
Surprise your partner with an unexpected gift, activity, or experience. These need not be fancy or expensive.
Give your lover a bubble bath (perhaps with wine or champagne) and/or a partial or full-body massage.
Suggest something different on an in-home or on-the-town date night.
Plan a unique outing or excursion together. Three-day weekends interspersed between longer (or more exotic) vacations can be very meaningful and satisfying!
Think outside the box together in a creative problem-solving attempt.
What else do you already do to spark your relationship? Can you add something brand new for yourselves to this list? I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Relationship Coach,
Jim Sharon, EdD is a licensed psychologist and couples' coach who has over four decades of professional experience serving thousands as a counselor, as a life and relationship coach, and as a seminar and retreat facilitator. Dr. Sharon has authored two books and many professional publications, most recently, Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship (with Ruth Sharon, MS), published by SkyLight Paths, 2014. Jim and Ruth have been married since 1970, have raised three adult children, and have two young granddaughters.