The beginning of February is always filled with heart balloons and boxes of chocolate in every store you go into, commercials for jewelry, kids Valentines, and…PRESSURE! Romance can be so CONFUSING and many couples struggle with prioritizing it. What is romance anyway? Some keywords found to describe this elusive concept through a quick Google search is “a medieval tale”, “adventure”, “mystery”, “excitement”, “chivalric love” and “supernatural”. Well, that clears things up! Romance is supernatural! As in magical and superhuman! No wonder we mere mortals struggle with it so much! Whew! Anyone else feels relieved? Let us help!
We understand that the commercialized version of Valentine’s Day amps up the pressure to perform and be superhuman! So, #elevatingrelationships wants to help out with 4 K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sexy) tips that you can begin incorporating this month to supercharge the romance quota in your life.
Be a hero for your partner:
Medieval knights with heroic qualities and adored princesses might be what movies are made of but you don’t need to be a knight or a princess in medieval days to heat things up. A simple, modern day hero will work. How? Be a hero for your partner. A hero is someone who is admired for their outstanding character and achievements. So, what qualities are you displaying on a daily basis? Are you being kind, compassionate, a good listener, a helper, gentle, thoughtful, etc.? These qualities go a long way in increasing the romance in the relationship. Also, what are you doing with the sole purpose of pleasing your partner? Are you willing to scrub a tub, make a glass of water for your love, or bring home flowers “just because”? Or, perhaps get a babysitter and plan a date? Being intentional about being a hero for your wife or husband (or girlfriend/boyfriend, fiancé, etc.) is really about how you interact every day. Not just on February 14th. So, think about something simple that your partner really enjoys and do it. You probably don’t have to look very hard to figure something out. Think about a recent request for help, a honey-do list, or something your partner has profusely thanked you for in the past. And, do more of that! Then, sprinkle your everyday actions with a little kindness and compassion and like magic, romance will appear!
Be adventurous, mysterious and exciting:
There is a bit of science connected to love and romance. Excitement, mystery, and adventure can release a lovely cocktail of hormones that invite euphoria and feelings of love. The central nervous system is triggered to release this sexy combination of dopamine, phenylethylamine, and norepinephrine when couples try something new and exciting together. Got the message yet? TRY SOMETHING NEW TOGETHER! Break out of your routine. This automatically screams ADVENTURE and EXCITEMENT. We did this one year by each of us alternating months to plan a new outing/activity (Groupon and LivingSocial was our bestie). We added the MYSTERY by surprising each other each month with the actual plan. We found all sorts of new things to try- from horseback riding lessons to pottery wheel classes to exploring different cultural festivals to spa treatments to mini getaways. The goal was to do something we haven’t done together before. To get this right, each partner should agree in advance that it’s ok if it is not a “preferred activity”. Why? Because same ole’, same ole’ is off limits here. It’s about trying something NEW. You don’t even have to LOVE the activity to stimulate the LOVE hormones. You just need to try something new and different together and set an intention to be adventurous and exciting together. So, use your resources- try Groupon or LivingSocial or searching the internet for local events and activities and get to planning. Your romance is bound to increase as you begin to plan, anticipate and engage in new activities with one another.
Charm your love through the power of touch:
Alarm clocks, deadlines, meal prep, routine, old resentments, feeling yucky in your body, etc. can all lead to the lack of touch in relationships (both non-sexual and sexual touch). Romance is often hard to find when touch is absent from the relationship. Conversely, frequent touch has been documented to increase overall feelings of love, satisfaction, connection, and wellbeing (including increased calm and decreased stress). Hello! TOUCH can equal ROMANCE and DECREASED STRESS! Who doesn’t want that?! So, we encourage you to get reacquainted with the act of touching your partner! How? By being intentional on a daily basis about adding more hugs, cuddles, hand holding, face nuzzling and casual touch to your day and night. For example, when you’re talking about your day (hopefully, you are doing this-see below!), try to stand or sit close enough that you can reach out and touch a shoulder or arm or hand. Perhaps gently move a piece of wayward hair or kiss a forehead or playfully slap a booty as you pass one another. Spoon each other in bed or slow dance to a favorite song. Offer a back rub or foot massage. Play footsies on the couch at night as you watch a show. Say hello and goodbye with a kiss. So many options! If you want to enhance romance, let your hands, feet, arms, and lips get to work!
Enhance your love story through face to face convo:
Face to face conversations often takes the back seat to texting, email, and a quick cell phone call. While technology is helpful in so many ways, it should not completely take the place of your communication. Make sure to carve out time to have conversations with each other face to face. This allows for inviting and engaging eye contact, body language, tone, and physical proximity to be part of the mix and all of this can add to an increased connection. Research supports that ongoing conversations about each other’s hopes, dreams, and daily life adds to overall connection and love. Basically, an open door invitation for ROMANCE to enter your life. Not sure what to talk about? Try the Gottman Card Decks app developed by The Gottman Institute (John and Julie Gottman are lead researchers in the area of love and romance and all things related to making a relationship work!). The app gives you a variety of categories to choose from including daily subject matter, hopes and dreams, expressing needs, and sexy intimate topics. So, for increased connection and romance, try to be intentional about having face to face time. We suggest a minimum of at least once a week but daily would be great too! It doesn’t have to be hours long. Think quality over quantity. If you are a busy couple, try to start with 5 minutes a day of some face to face time to catch up because 5 minutes is better than no minutes! Remember, you fell for that face at some point, so to increase your romance, make sure to look at it every now and then when you talk!
Watch our video here!
Bonus Tip #1:
Don’t wait till February 14th… Romance is ongoing. Valentine’s Day can be a special day that you recognize love but love is something that is nurtured on a daily basis. So, try these tips out frequently to allow romance to bloom on a daily basis!
Bonus Tip #2:
Chocolate, balloons, flowers, and cards don’t hurt- just make sure that it is personalized and intentional. If you get a card, don’t just sign your name. Write something that you appreciate about your partner. If you buy chocolates, say something about how your partner has made your life “extra sweet”. If you get balloons, mention something about how your partner adds light and joy to your life. If you choose flowers, perhaps pick out a flower that was used in your wedding or something unique and mention something special about your partner that makes life with him/her exciting and fun. Why? Because personalizing the gift adds an extra bit of romance.
We value love and romance and we appreciate how it enhances our relationship and we hope you find ways to incorporate more of it into your lives. From our couple to yours, we @elevatingrelationships wish you all a happy, fulfilling, loving and ROMANTIC month!
Written by husband and wife team Lori Brewster, LMFT and Rashawn Brewster, MS, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, and co-owners/co-therapists of Elevating Relationships, LLC where they provide couples counseling to couples who are seeking to elevate their relationship through enhanced communication, conflict resolution skills, healing from difficult situations, navigating challenges and building/rebuilding trust, intimacy and romance (and much more!). Call them at (954) 903-1676 to find out how to start Transforming your Life and Relationship starting Today!