Activities to reawaken your romantic senses
Too many couples pay less attention to the romantic side of their lives while other aspects receive a higher priority. Sure, raising children, establishing a home, and getting ahead in your career are important for you both. And, life comes at you in seasons and it’s to be expected that some things or events just demand more of your time and attention at certain times.
Yet, putting your romantic lives on the back burner and living like roommates rather than as lovers is not good for the long-term health of your relationship. This is just as true if you are working empty nesters or an active senior couple who has fallen out of the habit of seeing yourself or your partner as a lover.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Romance and intimacy are all about making and keeping connections alive with your partner. Connections using your five senses can help.
1. Hand-holding - is something most couples do when they are first dating, but an activity many couples stop once they’ve been together for a while. Yet hand-holding brings people together both physically and emotionally.
Walking down the street or in a mall or in nature holding hands connects you in terms of posture, pace and shared experience. Holding hands when you are sitting watching TV is also a way of sharing experience.
2. Hugging - Hand-holding can lead to hugging and snuggling, especially when you are sitting together.
3. Kissing – Don’t forget that kiss on the way out the door combined with a have a good day. What about your arrival home? Do you offer a kiss and a how was your day?
4. Sleeping in bed - Do you sleep far apart? Or even in separate rooms? Or do you tend to spoon and snuggle up? There might be some valid reasons for separate rooms (such as health issues) but if this is the case, do plan to make up for the physical contact prior to going to bed to sleep.
Taste and other connections
5. Sharing food can be very intimate and fun. Exploring new foods together can be an adventure and feeding one another bites from your plates is a lovely tactile experience.
6. So too are nostalgic things you like to do together that help remind you of how you became a couple.
7. Some couples "nest" by shopping together to choose things that will make their house feel more like a home.
8. Your taste in music can bring you closer together as you sing along to old favorites and new. Extra points if you have an “our song.”
9. Some couples like to have pleasant sounds in the bedroom, especially the sounds that wake them up, so they are not jolted out of their sleep each morning. Bird song, the patter of rain, and other soothing sounds can give you a chance to snuggle in bed before facing another busy day.
10. Shared smells can bring a sense of closeness. Perfume and aftershave are known for their allure, provided you don’t use too much of them and the other person likes the fragrance.
11. Scientists also posit that pheromones can affect how a couple reacts to each other.
12. Then there is aromatherapy. This ancient healing method uses highly concentrated botanicals known as essential oils to elevate the mood and re-establish balance and harmony. Citrus scents like lemon and neroli (orange flower) boost the energy. Lavender and cedar-wood are more soothing. Combine with massage for a romantic evening together.
13. Not everyone fills their house with photos, but it is always a good idea to have at least a few around the house to remind you of all the good times you have shared.
14. Some of the photos can be romantic, to remind you of what you first found so attractive about each other. You can include a wedding photo, and/or a snap from your honeymoon.
15. Some photos can be action shots of shared activities that should help you bond and make you feel closer.
16. Create a shared album online from the photos you take on your phone. Looking through them will remind you of all the fun and romance you’ve shared together.
Ideas for romantic date nights
Both men and women struggle with romantic ideas for a date night that puts romance back on the front burner, especially if they’ve been in a rut for any length of time.
Here are ten ideas that should work, and which don’t have to cost a lot.
1. Dinner for two
Depending on your budget, you could go out to your favorite restaurant. Or, you could plan to cook a nice multi-course meal, complete with wine and dessert, that caters to your tastes. Even if you are not a great cook, there are a lot of meal kit services that deliver everything you need in one package to make an (exotic) meal of your choice for a fraction of the cost of dining out.
2. Evening picnics
This is ideal when the evenings start to get longer. Head to your local park, beach or beauty spot with a picnic hamper full of your favorite treats. If it’s within walking distance of your home, you can share some champagne or even cocktails.
3. A late-night opening
Most museums and art galleries stay open late one night of the week. Take your loved one to the exhibits and plan a nice meal out or at home.
4. Movie Night
Go out or stay in with a pile of DVDs or streaming. You don’t have to see a romantic movie, but it can help.
5. Couples day at the spa
Some spas have couples' nights and special couples' rooms and other features to set a romantic mood for the evening. Choose from various forms of massage and other therapies. See if they also serve food and drink at the facility.
6. Trip to the gym
This may not sound that romantic, but the truth is that exercise elevates mood and gives a good boost of energy. Competitive couples can find it sexy to face off over various activities. Others find it fun to take classes together, such as spinning or Zumba.
7. Ballroom dancing
Even if you have two left feet, this can be an activity your partner will really enjoy and be fun and romantic as well. Dress up or down and bring your sense of humor and fun with you.
8. Sporting events
Again, this is not always sexy or romantic for everyone, but spending quality time together on a shared activity makes it easier to get closer and bridge any gaps that have formed because you’ve been putting romance on the back burner instead of making it a priority.
9. A Concert
This is perfect if you both love music. If the price of tickets is very high in your area, look for open air concerts in the local parks.
10. An overnight getaway
Try a weeknight in a nice hotel, complete with room service and a trip to the hot tub. You can usually get an affordable room rate and won’t have to worry about anyone bothering you once you hang up that "Do not disturb" sign.
This is ideal for couples with children who can get a sitter or the Grandparents to look after them overnight while you lay the ground for the romance and intimacy that has been lacking in your relationship. Check Groupon and similar sites, or travel sites, for special deals.
Listen to each other - really listen
There is little in life more romantic than your partner wanting to confide in you their hopes and dreams. But listening is a vastly underrated skill.
Many people are in such a hurry to explain their ideas or express themselves they rarely let anyone else get a word in.
If you struggle with communication issues or if your partner is not as forthcoming as you feel they might be, perhaps it’s time to assess how good a listener you really are.
A good listener
Here are a few illustrations of the difference between a good and a bad listener.
We are all busy, so, "Have you got a minute," is often the way we open conversations with family and with friends. They mention what is on their mind, and your response is likely to be one of several things, all unlikely to be conversation openers, but rather, communication closers.
You might go into full problem-solving mode, but it’s important to consider not only the other person, but the reason they are speaking to you. Your partner might not want you to "solve" their problem. They might just want you to be a willing ear and really hear them.
You might respond negatively with an abrupt, "I really don’t have time for that now." The risk is in shutting down the conversation not just at that point, but forever.
A different approach might be to say, "I’m just finishing up something. Can you please give me X minutes, and then I will give you my full attention?"
Listen without judgement
Telling someone what to do after they have told you something is judging them and the situation. However, this is rarely helpful because we aren’t all the same, and what may seem like a minor issue to you could be a big deal to your partner.
A good listener will therefore not comment, or problem solve, unless they are asked to do so.
Repeat what you think you hear
For a bad listener, what the person says is not always what you hear. Again, this might be a value judgement on your part, such as that person is a complainer, is never happy, and so on. This devalues the person’s trust when asking for help, and real communication will not take place.
An alternative is to really listen to the person, and when they are finished speaking, to repeat what you think you have heard. You might phrase it like, "So what I think you’re saying is that you’re worried we haven’t been spending enough quality romantic time together, and you would like us to schedule a regular date night without the children around."
If you’re correct about what you’ve heard in the example above, you might be furious that they are complaining they are not getting enough time with you; you already think you have plenty of quality time, and so on. Remember, this is their perception of the truth and they hope you will be willing to discuss the issue and work with them to resolve it.
You’ll never know what’s on a person’s mind if they give you the silent treatment, so practice being a good listener and see how much your relationship improves
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it valuable as well as relevant regardless of your age. Please share it with anyone you believe needs it.