And yet, when it comes to relationships, knowing how to fan the flames of love or rekindle a love where the fire has grown cold takes patience, practice and persistence. Is that the kind of love you and your mate desire?
It seems far too many people are giving up on good relationships in the hopes of finding someone better.
Why not stir those burning embers and reawaken the romantic love that first set your heart aflame? A good relationship is an investment. As with all good investments it takes time to pay big dividends. Yes, things may fluctuate even in a good relationship, but like all good things, we only get out of love what we put into it.
Can’t you add a little more romance into your relationship? Husband and wife psychology team Drs. Judith Sherven and James Sniechowski, authors of “Be Loved for Who You Really Are,” compiled some practical advice for keeping romance alive.
“Celebrate together. Celebrate your relationship with simple romantic gestures every day. Make breakfast in bed, leave love notes on the bathroom sink, take a walk after dinner. Use your creativity — the possibilities are endless,” they said.
“Say ‘I love you.’ Don’t be stingy with your love. Make a commitment to express your feelings in some way every day. Perhaps it’s a special squeeze before you get out of bed or a phone call in the middle of the day, just because. Pick up your sweetheart’s favorite dessert on your way home from work.
“Savor your good fortune in finding one another by going on a date one night a week just to be alone together. Incorporate the universal symbol for romance — flowers — into your love life.”
The couple also recommend setting a romantic dinner table, surprising your mate with a bouquet at work and commemorating important dates.
“Build your castle together,” they said. “Make a fun time out of working around the house and yard together. Play your favorite music and sip your favorite beverages.”
Elaine Hatfield, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Hawaii who has been studying love since the 1960s said what keeps marriages and other long-term relationships together is that “passionate love must come back intermittently, like small sparks that keep the relationship smoldering.”
God’s Word support such findings. Regarding their wives, husbands are told at Proverbs 5:19: “You should be attracted to her and stay deeply in love.” — Contemporary English Version.
Other translations of this verse indicate romance should be alive and well with married couples. The New International Version reads, “May you ever be intoxicated with her love.” The New World Translation says, “With her love may you be in an ecstasy constantly.” Being romantic can help couples reap this blessing.
In fact, Christian husbands are supposed to love their wives as their own bodies and not just provide for them materially, according to Ephesians 5:28. How can a relationship be nourished in love?
Sharing heartfelt sentiments with each other over candlelight, reading a romantic poem or playing a romantic game might heat up your relationship. Others use rose petals in creative ways, feed each other grapes, take a romantic walk, see a play or a romantic movie together or even offer their partner a massage without any strings attached.
Psychologist Sue Johnson, author of “Hold Me Tight,” said, “The need to feel deeply loved is born with us and never goes way — although too often we forget how to really connect with our partner. Love demands the reassurance of a touch. Most fights are really protests over emotional disconnection. Underneath the distress, partners are desperate to know: Are you there for me?”
Why not make it a point to reassure your mate how much you love them right now? Ask him or her what could you do to make your relationship better? If ideas are shared, listen. Try not to be defensive or offer excuses — just listen. Then agree to make some changes and assure your mate you will do so right away.
Other experts encourage couples to turn down the lights, light some candles and play some romantic music. Kiss your partner like you mean it. Make your relationship your top priority. Laugh together. Slow dance. Find small ways to be romantic each day.
“The most important thing is to create loving memories every day,” said Dr. Judith Sherven. “And, you’ll enjoy a lifetime of romance.”
Many people believe a relationship cannot thrive without romance. What do you think? Couples willing to keep the fire burning with daily doses of a little romance may find increased happiness, more contentment and a stronger bond together.
By working at being romantic, you may be able to reclaim passion into a relationship that was stuck at simply being compassionate. So what are you waiting on? Take a chance at romance!
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