If you're like most people involved in long-term relationships, you probably long for the romantic spark you once felt. Maybe you're not sure why the spark is gone. Or perhaps, like many people, you blame your spouse. The truth, though, is that your life was much different when you first met your spouse. And like most newly-dating couples, you probably did much to impress one another. With the changes of time, the challenges of a shared life, and the inevitable frustrations of living together, romantic love can steadily shrivel until there's nothing left. By dating your spouse as you did once upon a time, you can relive the early days of your relationship and get back that spark you thought was long since gone.
Romance Your Spouse
When was the last time you took flowers to your spouse? If you can't remember, you've got a serious problem on your hands. To have romance, you have to offer it, whether you're a man or a woman. Commit to three months of romance, and you may be surprised to see how happy you end up feeling in your relationship. Some things to try:
- Dress in a way you know your spouse loves. And listen to your spouse's beauty and fashion advice (so long as the tips aren't mean-spirited or unreasonable, such as demands to lose weight). Is your wife begging you to get your hair cut? Do it. Hubby ready to see your hair long again? Put down the scissors.
- Do something nice for your spouse every single day. No exceptions and no excuses.
- Commit to a weekly date night, and put it on your calendar; we take our commitments more seriously when they're written down, and research suggest that date nights really do work.
- Give your spouse small gifts, such as flowers or candy, once per week. Strapped for cash? Try picking flowers outside, giving your spouse a back rub, or even writing a weekly love letter.
Get to Know One Another (Again)
In the early days of your relationship, you probably talked about everything imaginable – values, goals, sexual desires, plans for the future. As you've gotten to know one another, though, you've probably begun taking basic facts about your spouse for granted. Knowledge about one another is the cornerstone of intimacy. Want to get to know one another all over, reliving the mystique of those first intimate conversations? Try working your way down this list of questions.
Do Something Adventurous
In the early days of your relationship, that “spark” you felt was actually a pang of anxiety. As your certainty about your relationship has grown, though, the spark has likely waned. Studies suggest you can get it back by experiencing the anxiety of adventure together. Capitalize on the gorgeous year-round climate in South Florida and go water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or hiking. When you face – and surmount – unfamiliar challenges together, the challenges of marriage suddenly seem less daunting – and perhaps even a little fun.