Tag Archives: romance

How Important Is Romance In Your Marriage?

Thanks to Grace Pamer for today’s Guest Post!

For those unromantic souls out there who see marriage as a social contract, something that makes society work and nothing more, romance is clearly not an issue. But for most of us who fell in love with a wonderful person, then married him or her as a pledge of commitment and fidelity to that person, romance in a marriage is extremely important. It can be the rock on which the marriage is based, and it can sustain a long marriage through trials and dry spots when the natural and normal difficulties arise. When two people live a life together, they will inevitably have problems that come from being in that situation, and romance can help to solve those kinds of problems.


Depending on how long you have been married, or how tolerant you can be, familiarity will definitely set in, and the result can be boredom. Getting bored is a human condition, and if you find your formerly charming and entertaining mate is becoming stale and all too familiar, you need some romance in your lives. When this happened to a couple I know, they decided to take a weekend off from normal life every other month or so and do something completely new, something that would put them in an unfamiliar but romantic setting. By going to an opera together and spending the night in a downtown hotel, or spending a weekend hiking and camping, they found that they each became more interesting people to each other. The key is to find a romantic activity that is outside of your zone of familiarity, and to make sure that it is as romantic for both of you as it can possibly be. If you make the effort, it can turn that boredom around.


Habits are hard to break, but even worse is when they slowly grow into common behaviors and you have no idea how it happened. Most married couples in the early years of their lives together communicate in a healthy way, because that’s how they got to know each other and to be able to stay together. But as time goes by, communication can slip, and the partners take each other for granted. They forget how to talk and how to express their needs, so their needs go unmet and resentment grows. To stop this, my wife and I decided to do some research on how to communicate better, after admitting that it was a problem, of course. We found that a simple book of romantic conversation starters was a very good way to let romance fix the problem. By talking more and learning how to really communicate, our romance level skyrocketed – and that was a very good thing.


There is not enough time in modern life to take care of everything that needs to be taken care of, romance and marriage included. When time is an issue, stress is the result, and a couple who are overstressed are going to be under-passionate and romantic. By making a conscious effort to reduce the stress in your lives in a romantic way, a major problem can be addressed and solved. Most of the standard stress-reduction methods can be turned into chances for romance with a bit of imagination. Take a yoga or meditation class, and then practice together, making it a quiet but romantic date. Set aside a time to listen to calming romantic music with some candles and cushions, and let the stress fade while your passion flows.


Sustaining a marriage is something that requires work, cooperation, and commitment. But a married couple is already accustomed to those things; it’s what a successful marriage is about, after all. When you decide to use romance to sustain your marriage, you also decide that it is worth the effort, and your partnership will be stronger and last longer.

About today’s guest poster: Grace Pamer is the author of Romance Never Dies, a blog which gives insights into the art of putting together great marriage proposal ideas.


Thanks again, Grace, for those great tips. Readers, please feel free to share your ideas in the comments for infusing romance into your marriage!

Lori Lowe is the founder of Marriage Gems and author of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. It tells the inspiring, true stories of couples who used adversity to improve their marriages–from overcoming drug addiction to cancer, infidelity, religious differences, family interference and infertility, among many others. It’s available at Amazon.com and in all e-book formats at www.LoriDLowe.com.

Photo by Photostock courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

How to Keep Your Marriage Alive with Exciting Dates

Thanks to Sarah Fanning for providing today’s guest post! While going on dates with your spouse is not a panacea for the perfect marriage, too few couples make time and effort to spend together having fun. See if some of Sarah’s suggestions prompt some creativity for you and your love.

Guest Post by Sarah Fanning:

When a couple has been married for a number of years, things can become a little boring. The truth is that when a couple is together for a long time, the relationship can end up feeling like it’s stuck. But if two people are willing to put in the work, there’s no reason why the spark can’t be re-lit in a marriage.

Relationships require effort. To keep a marriage fresh, both people in it need to be committed to fully being present in the relationship. Time must be set aside to spend together, without the kids. The couple has to take time to remind each other what it was like when it was just the two of them, before there was a family to support and a mortgage which had to be paid. The best way to do that will be to always carve out a space where they can remain physically, emotionally, and spiritually connected with one another.

Here are a few fun date ideas for the married couple looking to keep that spark alive and well.

1. Cook together
Send the kids to the grandparents’ (or neighbors’) and schedule a candlelit dinner at home for two. Find a recipe neither of you has made before then learn to prepare it as a team. Turn the TV off and turn on the music and just hang out together as you discover something new together. As the food is being prepared, there will be opportunities to talk, laugh, and enjoy being together. Once the dinner is finished, sit down and enjoy the meal by the light of the candles.

2. Take a road trip
Going on a weekend road trip is a great way for a couple to get away and find some alone time. No matter where you live, there’s bound to be an interesting spot perfect for a weekend getaway. It could be a spa retreat or a camping trip, the main point is to get away and try something new and interesting as a couple.

3. A “rolling back the years” date
Many times when a couple has been married for a while, they stop doing the things they used to do when they first began dating. Having a “rolling back the years” date is a good way for a couple to have fun and recapture what it was like when they were young and in love. Go skating, bowling, or hiking and have fun reminiscing about those early days. This is a good way for a couple to call to their remembrance what made them fall in love with each other in the first place.

4. Have some fun
The sky’s the limit when it comes to deciding on what to do during the time spent together as a couple. Be creative and think of new things to experience together. The goal is to have fun, learn new things about the world, each other, and ultimately, strengthen the bond in the marriage.

Sarah has worked in the relationship industry and currently works for a dating agency in London called Lovestruck. During this time, she has improved her knowledge to help those looking for relationship advice and understands how important it is to keep relationships alive by using your imagination and initiative to show your partner how much you care for them. Good luck and have fun!


Thanks again, Sarah. As a reminder, research continues to support doing NEW, EXCITING things as a way to increase your oxytocin levels and increase the strength of the marriage bond. If you have other exciting dating ideas, feel free to add them in the comments.

Lori Lowe is the founder of Marriage Gems and author of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. It tells the inspiring, true stories of couples who used adversity to improve their marriages–from overcoming drug addiction to cancer, infidelity, religious differences, family interference and infertility, among many others. It’s available at Amazon.com and in all e-book formats at www.LoriDLowe.com.

Photo by photostock courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

Rules for Reconnecting with Your Spouse

 A big thank you to Wanda Collins from Christian-Marriage-Today.com for today’s guest post!

 If your children, employer, cell phone, or computer are getting more “playtime” than your spouse, it’s time for a little marriage intervention.

Like a lot of us, you probably lead a very busy life. But if your busy lifestyle is coming between you and your spouse, something’s got to give.  You see, a marriage cannot run on autopilot; it needs your time and attention to soar. Thus, it is essential that you learn to create balance in your life by loving harder, working smarter, and making your marriage a daily priority. Consider these Rules for Reconnecting with Your Spouse:

 Rule#1: Set Boundaries with Your Children

It’s crucial that you find time to invest in your children but investing in your marriage should come first. Teach your children to respect and appreciate mommy and daddy’s time alone. After all, your marriage is a heritage for your children and their children. So, provide them with the healthiest example of married life that you possibly can. Go a step further and explain to your children, in an age appropriate way, how important your time alone is and how it benefits them in the long run.

Rule#2: Shut it Down

Although technology provides us with many conveniences, these conveniences can also become habit forming. My advice is to create a new habit. Try shutting down all electronic devices, such as your cell phone, computer, and television at the same time each night. Once you are unplugged, give your spouse your undivided attention. Use this down time to simply talk with your mate. Try not to discuss bills, children, or work.

Rule#3: Make Time for Sex

I recommend you put sex on your calendar.  This may sound prudish but planning sex has many overlooked benefits. For starters, you can negotiate how often the two of you have sex during the week. This way both partners are satisfied. Scheduling sex also eliminates the old excuse of not being in the mood because the two of you have all day to mentally prepare and get in the mood. Sex is no longer “Hit or miss,” pun intended.

 Rule #4:  Put Date Night in Your Budget

My husband and I would sometimes skip date night because we thought we couldn’t afford it.  We made paying bills and saving for the future a priority over investing in our relationship.  I’m not suggesting you skip paying your utilities this month.  What I am suggesting is that the two of you set aside an agreed upon amount of money each month for date night. That way, date night doesn’t become a burdensome expense. Keep in mind you don’t have to over spend to have fun. Date night can be both fun and inexpensive.  Side note: Sitting in front of the television is OK occasionally, but technically is not a date.

 Rule #5: Just Say No

 Don’t say “No” to your spouse. Say “No” to anyone who attempts to give you added responsibilities that will upset the balance in your life.  That includes saying “No” to yourself. Some of us are workaholics; we have difficulty unplugging from work. Force yourself to stop doing whatever it is that you do and give that time to your spouse instead. By the way, you should also feel free to say “No” to bringing work home with you.

Rule #6: Be Creative

One couple told me that they created special email accounts just for the purpose of flirting with each other through out the day. They started by choosing sexy usernames, and then proceeded to email each other sexy suggestions to stay connected during the day.  Here’s an idea: After implementing Rule #3, you can use your special email accounts on the days that you have designated for sex. Flirting all day will prepare you for the real action later that evening.

Rule #7: Pray Together

Praying together is one of the most intimate things you can do as a couple. Not only is joint prayer an act of intimacy, but joint prayer is also a powerful weapon against the attacks of Satan.  So, make praying together a daily routine for reconnecting with each other and with God.

Rule #8: Just Do It!

It was Nike who first coined the phrase “Just do it!” back in the late 1980’s.  Although marriage is a life-long commitment, life is shorter than you realize. So, instead of simply reading this article and thinking about the ideas, take an active approach and put these rules into action.  Like Nike says, “Just do it!”

Thanks for the great advice, Wanda! These are all rules I try to abide by in my home. How do you choose to reconnect with your spouse?

Photo by Arvydas Kniuksta

3 Tips to Warm Up Your Marriage This Winter

Women’s Health Magazine had some good suggestions in its September 2011 issue that I thought I’d share. These cold winter months are the perfect time for giving your spouse some extra attention.

  1. Pretend you just met. Author and psychologist Terri Orbuch, PhD, says couples often stop asking “get to know you” questions, because they think they already know each other. However, since we all change and develop, we need to be constantly checking in to keep the daily connection growing. So, instead of chatting about your daily agenda, spend some time pretending like you just started dating. Ask what he would do if he won the lottery or what her favorite book is. Or, ask about positive family memories or what the best ball game was he ever watched. Anything that would spark a good conversation. Don’t assume you know all your partner’s responses even if you’ve been married a long time.
  2. Tweet responsibly. Avid tweeters tend to have shorter relationships—10 percent shorter, on average. If you’re big into social media, learn how to disconnect from technology and truly connect with your spouse. (Based on a survey of 100,000 people from OKCupid.com) Be sure the time you tweet isn’t time taken away from being one-on-one with your spouse.
  3. Be intimate at least weekly. Frequency of sex is a marker for successful relationships. The average American couple gets busy two or three times a month. But increasing this to once a week generates as much bliss as earning an additional $50,000 in annual income, according to researchers from Dartmouth College and the University of Warwick in England. They even explain the reasoning behind the statistic. “Couples who like each other end up in bed more often, says the study author. “And it’s the liking-each-other part that increases joy.

If one of your goals for 2012 is to give your relationship a shot of inspiration, read my book, First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage , which tells the stories of a dozen amazing couples who used adversity to improve their marriage. Go here for links to Amazon print version or e-books for Kindle, iTunes, Sony, Nook or PDF. If you already have the book, don’t forget to email me for your 7 free marriage improvement gifts, including everything from an e-book to improve your sex life to date night suggestions, an iPhone app with daily marriage tips, a marriage refresher workbook, a video to hone your communication skills, and tips for how to connect on a daily basis with your spouse in just 15 minutes a day.

Photo by Ambro courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Have an Affair with Your Spouse

As a follow up to Are You Jealous of Your Friend’s Divorce?, I said I would offer some research-based advice to make your marriage exciting and satisfying so that you wouldn’t be tempted by other options outside your marriage. So here are some tips with further reading:

Plan New, Exciting Activities
I’ve said it before, married life isn’t dull, or at least it doesn’t need to be. Two interesting people will lead and interesting life together. It may take a nudge to get us out of our comfort zones on occasion, but don’t be afraid to make a change, try something new, learn a new skill, volunteer together, etc. Read Choose Exciting Over Pleasant Activities to Boost Marriage, then along with your spouse make a list of things you would each like to do that are exciting. Rate each activity 1-10 for pleasantness and excitement. Find something that you both find moderately pleasant but high on the excitement scale. Then, put it on the calendar and make it happen.

Shun Boredom Both In and Out of the Bedroom
Read Banish Boredom from the Bedroom with 7 useful tips from the author of Hot Monogamy, Patricia Love. Boredom outside of the bedroom can be just as deadly. Research shows conflict isn’t the only cause of divorce; boredom can kill a marriage. Being bored reduces closeness and slowly decreases marital satisfaction. Find shared fun activities and new adventures to keep your relationship exciting. Research shows that if partners experience excitement from other sources (such as participating in new, challenging activities together), this shared experience can reignite the passion in your marriage!

Keep Romance Alive
Read 7 Ways to Create Sparks Every Day for tips on keeping those romantic flames burning.

Bottom Line
If you can only focus on one thing, spend more dedicated, quality time with your spouse. Remember why you fell in love and focus on those positive attributes.

What are your biggest challenges in keeping your relationship fun, interesting and exciting? Most people will say time is their biggest challenge. Make your marriage a top priority if you would like to increase your happiness in love and life.

Photo by savit keaw tavee courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

How to Make Everyday Marriage Feel More Romantic

I’m the first to admit everyday marriage can lose its luster. Monday mornings are particularly difficult for most families. We have all our “have-to-dos” running through our minds. We’re lucky to spare a second for a brief peck on the cheek.

Here are a six ways to make your week feel more romantic.

  1. Leave a small note for your spouse somewhere they will find it during the work day (in their brief case, on the washing machine door, on the bathroom mirror). You can just say, “Love you” or you can say you enjoyed the weekend, or thank them for any small thing. Or, go the extra mile and make or buy a card and either mail it to your honey or leave it for them. If you’re very short on time, at least send a text or email.
  2. Make plans to have some time to connect during the week. Can you have a short lunch together? Or have a drink on the patio after the kids are in bed? Fit something into your schedule to talk about something other than how to manage your schedules.
  3. Ask for what would please you. Even though we often perceive that our spouse knows what we are thinking after all this time together, it’s not true. If you want to go out more, or if you need a little down time after you come home for work, or if you’d like to be surprised more, or have him bring home chocolate, share this gently with your partner while you’re having quiet time. (Don’t snap about it after getting into an argument over who was supposed to empty the dishwasher.)
  4. Touch more. The U.S. is very unaffectionate compared to other cultures. Many families are also very non-touchy. But research shows couples (or even friends or sports teams) are strengthened by more touching. Make an extra effort to give a touch, a hug, a kiss, a pat or any kind of affection throughout the day, not just as a precursor to making love. How many times did you touch yesterday?
  5. Plan something soon you can both look forward to—a visit to a new museum or restaurant, snuggling to watch football on Sunday, or going on a bike ride together after work one evening. It’s great if you also have something more long-term, like a vacation getaway, to look forward to. Having something positive on the agenda helps you on those Monday mornings when things are feeling way too hectic.
  6. Think positive, grateful thoughts about your spouse even when you can’t be together. When you’re stuck in an endless meeting, or driving carpool, or waiting at the doctor’s office, think positive thoughts or say a prayer for your spouse. Positivity and gratefulness (as well as prayer) have all been shown in research to benefit relationships.

It’s so easy to let the busyness of life push the priority of our marriage down. But tiny investments in time and attention can pay dividends.

Photo by photostock courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Does Reading Romance Novels Stifle Real Romance?

“Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series

Some experts have recently suggested reading romance novels fuels unrealistic expectations about love, and are as addictive and as damaging to relationships as pornography.

I’d like your input on this subject. Do romantic novels, movies, and shows make you feel more romantic toward your partner, or do they cause you to expect constantly “romantic” behavior from your partner, thereby causing you to be more dissatisfied with your relationship? Are you waiting to be swept off your feet and showered with rose petals?

To be honest, I had never given much thought to romance novels’ impact on a relationship or marriage until a few reviews came out like this one. I had, however, thought a good deal about how the fairytale mentality so widespread in our culture creates unrealistic expectations. Romantic comedies and TV shows like The Bachelor, which often end in a fairytale-like proposal, also fall under this category of creating unrealistic expectations.

Psychologist Dr. Juli Slattery reports she is seeing more and more women “clinically addicted” to romantic books, and that for many women these novels promote dissatisfaction with their real relationships. Some experts claim there are parallels between what happens to a man when he watches pornography and what happens to a woman when she reads a romance book. While other experts say addiction may be too strong a word, sex addiction expert Paula Hall agrees that romance books can become an “unhealthy preoccupation.”

This article profiles a 24-year-old advertising executive in London who describes how she enjoys the ideal fantasy world of romance books, in which “the men are always strong, handsome providers and everything is done for mad, crazy love.”  Her constant striving for the perfect relationship found in these books has led to multiple failed relationships. Of her last relationship, she said she put too much pressure on them both to live “a fairy tale” but learned the hard way that real life isn’t constant romance. Her inability to be satisfied ultimately destroyed what had been a good relationship, and now she’s left looking for her “Prince Charming.”

Fans of these romance novels tell a different story, suggesting that high expectations for romance isn’t a bad thing, and that women are smart enough to know the difference between fact and fiction. Some say believing in love and a happily-ever-after ending is a good thing to hold onto. A 2005 study even found out that women who read romance novels are less likely to divorce.

Some evidence suggests the recent boon of electronic readers has fueled the growth of romance novels, because readers don’t have to be ashamed to carry their book around. Even the recession did not damper sales of romance books.

So, what’s your take? Do you think the romantic books, movies and TV shows of today are fueling unrealistic expectations, or do they help you feel romantic toward your partner?

Additional Info:

If you’re interested in more reading on this subject, I found this honors thesis by Jennifer Bunn at Boston College from 2007 on the effects of romance novel readership: “Results showed that women in their late teens and early twenties had very high ideals and expectations when it came to relationship characteristics, but did not have many dysfunctional beliefs or romantic ideals. They tended to be very satisfied in their romantic relationships, and were more satisfied when their actual relationship resembled their ideal relationship. Results of this study also indicated that women were not just solely drawn to romance novels that supported their currently held beliefs, but postulated that such an attraction could also have originated from their own hopes and desires for their actual relationship. The content of these books influence the thoughts and perceptions of millions of readers around the world, making it into a very powerful medium. Similar to television, romance novels portray reality in many unrealistic ways, therefore influencing the perceptions that readers have about social constructs and relationship standards and expectations.”

At What Age Does the Romance Peter Out in a Marriage?

“Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series

For all the talk about menopause and the fear many men and women have that it will impede their sex lives, it’s the husband who usually determines how long a couple’s sex life lasts. I wanted to share an excerpt from Joe Beam’s Blog on sex in later life because this fact was a surprise to me, and it might be for you as well. (Joe is a national best-selling author who has been interviewed on many TV news programs.

“My friend Dr. Barry McCarthy is not only a brilliant expert in matters of sexuality, he also is really nice guy… Barry first opened my eyes to the fact that men are as complicated as women when it comes to sex. Early in my sexual studies I was this naive, “Well, guys are guys. We don’t have to worry about them, so let’s focus on helping the women with their sexuality.” Barry gently corrected my thinking on that.

Then he told me that for most couples it is the husband who determines when their active sex life ends. He says that 1/3 of men quit having sex at age 65. Another 1/3 at 75. He didn’t talk about that last 1/3 but I imagine we can just call them “men who die happy.”

Experience with couples affirms Barry’s knowledge. (Of course, Barry’s knowledge is based on scientific research and long experience, so they didn’t really need affirming.) By far, no matter what the age, I am asked by more women than men about how to get their spouses to be sexual again. These are women in their 20s through their 80s. (One 80-year-old caller to my radio program told me that she had outlived five husbands and the guy she is dating now is in his 50s. When she asked if I’d like to see her picture, I replied that I DEFINITELY would.

So, guys and gals, at what age in life should we cease being sexually active?


Before that, no matter what the age, it contributes to the health of husband and wife, to their bonding, to their fulfillment, and to their relationship. Thinking that stopping sex is the thing to do because you are now XX years old is wrong. You can have sex into your hundreds.

Just be careful that you don’t break a hip.”

So whether you’re in your 20s or your 80s, Joe’s admonition gives us motivation to keep the romance blooming throughout our life-long relationship. Does it surprise you that men seem to determine how long their sex lives lasts in most marriages?

Related Link:

This article by the Daily Mail in the U.K. discusses how several couples maintained passion-filled lives after 60, and why they and several experts believe that is the glue that keeps a marriage together. “The Kinsey Sex Institute states that the average 18 to 29-year-old has sex 142 times a year; 30 to 39-year-olds 86 times a year; 40 to 49-year-olds 69 times a year; and the over-50s have sex 52 times a year. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Growing older in a committed relationship doesn’t have to mean a slow slide into celibacy and slippers.

Photo courtesy of Stockvault by Christian Steiniger

Can lack of thoughtfulness and romance lead to affairs?

I was impressed with the romantic nature of a soon-to-be groom who worked with the Washington Post crossword puzzle editor to have a proposal for his girlfriend worked into the weekend puzzle. Knowing his girlfriend enjoyed the crossword puzzles each Sunday, he carefully planned a proposal that was perfect for her. Truly a romantic gesture. (See story on CBS.)

Most of us are already married, but if we took a bit of that ingenuity and used it in our gift giving or surprises, that could really spice up our lives. Maybe your sweetheart always goes to the same coffee shop in the morning, and you could arrange to have the server give her flowers with her morning cup of Joe. Or maybe your marathon-running hubby could be greeted at the finish line with a large group of friends and family to celebrate.  For a special anniversary, you could run an ad in the paper or post a tribute on their favorite blog.

I admit I’m not so creative in my own life. Even brainstorming these ideas is making me tired. The last nice thing I did for my husband was buying him a special griddle pan he wanted for cooking steaks indoors. And letting him sleep in, which is a big one for someone who often works nights.

The gift of sleep isn’t such a bad idea, even if it’s not so creative. So many of us are regularly exhausted that it’s bound to detract from the energy we give each other. So, perhaps thoughtful efforts are a close second to those ultra creative ones—picking up dinner on a busy night, offering to help with the kids’ or bedtime routine, or offering to run some errands.

In a recent article that uncovered why women cheat, a male writer went undercover (with his wife’s permission) and joined an online site for married cheaters and pretended to seek out women for an affair. I won’t share the link simply because it shares way too much information that would be helpful to would-be cheaters, and that’s not what this blog is about. However, I’ll share a few insights about what cheating women said were lacking in their marriages that led to their cheating. (To be clear, research shows more men than women cheat in their marriages, and far more men join online cheating web sites. It just so happens that this male writer did an expose on female cheaters.)

One interesting aspect of the article was that the writer found himself feeling more than a little tempted when he actually met with attractive, successful women who were willing to cheat. His own wife became jealous that he even “fake” wined and dined several women (individually) over lunch. After all, when had he shown her such attention lately? The project caused a major marital fight, because even pretend cheating feels an awful lot like cheating, doesn’t it?

This brings us to the more important conclusion of the piece, which is that many women are seeking attention from others because they believe they are not getting it from their husband. Even when they have no intention of leaving their marriage, they feel they “need” to get that attention from someone. Some women were willing to flirt online and didn’t take it further than that. Others were willing to meet in person and pursue real relationships. Most often, women told him that they had lost the passion in their marriages, that their husbands no longer pursued them and showed interest in them. Granted, these are women who are capable of lying and cheating, so their husbands may actually be doing all they can on their end. However, the writer felt it was an important enough conclusion to pass along to men to remember their wives are women first, spouses and mothers second.

My take is that no wife or husband can justify an affair because they feel as if they are not getting enough attention. Infidelity is one of the most difficult issues a couple can face, although it can be overcome. Trust is a precious commodity in a marriage. Neither should men or women simply just accept a loveless relationship in which they feel ignored. Many more useful solutions exist, beginning with honest communication about the seriousness of one’s feelings. Loneliness inside a marriage is a major burden.

How did a post about fun tips on how to be thoughtful and exciting turn into one about cheating? I didn’t plan it that way, but it does underscore the importance of putting a little excitement, passion and thoughtfulness into your relationship.

Right now, put three things on your calendar to do for your spouse within the next month that are romantic, thoughtful or exciting. Try to keep your spouse’s specific desires and interests in mind. If you need simple ideas, read 6 Tips to Make Romance Easy & Automatic. Have a happy Easter to all those who celebrate it!

Photo courtesy of PhotoXpress.com

Resurrect Romance in Your Relationship

 “Keeping the Sparks Alive” Series

Romance is a state of mind. If you have the right mindset, you can make cleaning the bathroom romantic; if you have the wrong mindset, you can turn a moonlit stroll on the beach into a fight.”

I couldn’t agree with Gregory Godek more than this intro to 1001 Ways to Be Romantic. When we consider how to keep the romantic fires of marriage burning, we may be looking for a quick fix or a list of three things to do. And with the right attitude, those three things might make a big difference, but the key is the heart we put into our actions. I’ve shared hundreds of tips on this blog, but the tips themselves aren’t the secret, it’s what you put into the tips that can elevate your love to new heights.

If a man brings home flowers once a month because his wife convinced him that this is an obligation of marriage, the romance may not be present. If a husband brings home wildflowers cut from a field or a book from his wife’s favorite author because he was thinking about her and wanted to do something special, then she will feel the romance.

Even so, Godek says some obligatory romantic gestures should always be followed by spouses—celebrating his or her birthday, getting a gift for Christmas (if you celebrate that holiday), and remembering and celebrating your anniversary and Valentine’s Day. He says these are important must-dos and should be overlooked. Just because they are obligatory doesn’t mean we can’t do them with love!

The fun “optional” romance includes everything else you might do—big or little surprises, candlelit dinners, sharing a bottle of wine on the deck and making a toast to your future, planning a getaway together, sending a card, giving a massage, writing a love note (sticky note or long love letter), buying flowers just because, drawing a bubble bath for two, lighting candles and cooking a special meal, greeting each other at the door each day as if you’ve been apart for months, or any other sweet gesture you can think of.

Romance is a balance of two concepts, says Godek: 1) Actions speak louder than words. 2) It’s the thought that counts. These are two sides of the same coin.

Romance is worth the effort because it will improve your relationship. It will make you feel more loved and secure, and it will make your spouse feel more loved and secure.

Read Celebrate each day in your own way for more on living with an attitude of celebration and romance.

We are one-fourth of the way through the year. How are you doing with planning romance and celebration into your life and marriage?

Photo courtesy of PhotoXpress.com