After 30 years of helping people be with people I have seen that passion and romance are inversely related. Passion derives from a lack of safety and is based on negative feelings of excitement-anxiety and compulsiveness. Romance is different. Romance can drive healthy relationships and give couples the excitement they need to drive the sexuality, romance, attention, and affection they desire in a relationship.
If any of the above rings true for you I have some helpful advice. Here are my top “5 ways to keep the romance in a relationship”
1. Realistic Expectations: It is a general rule that happier people have more realistic expectations about life. These people understand that various stages of life will bring different levels of romance and sexual activity. The childbearing years, for example will differ greatly to the years spend dating and being just a couple. Its all about how we perceive” the experience: rate it good and you will feel happy; rate it bad and you will feel disappointed.
2. Physical Contact: I hear this a lot- “We are in separate rooms in the evening doing our own thing”. Instead of engaging with each other-people spent time with metal-TVs/ computers/iPods/Blackberrys. These limit the amount of face to face contact that couples with each other. Here’s a general rule-bodies with bodies increase good energy; bodies with metal drain our energy.
3. Periodic Reconnections: Connecting with each other during the day is crucial but keep it short and sweet.. Phone, email, text are all ok, but don’t fill your partner in on all of life’s details/highlights. Save something for your face to face interaction or there will be little to talk about.
4. Shift Gears: Change “hats” when you reunite with your partner/home. I say, change your venue, change your clothes, . . leave work behind. Do not enter a new domain on a business call on your cell. If you work at home, keep it separate-out of the bedroom and out of defined ‘family’ areas.
5. Spice things up in the bedroom: A common recommendation: watch a video together, talk about sex (many couples have difficulty with this), try a different position, or even plan a romantic night together.