By Sharon Gordon
Johannesburg - Bring Romance Back
This just does not come naturally to some of us. I am about as romantic as a hand grenade but that doesn’t mean that I can‘t appreciate it. Many couples tell me that they want more romance in their relationships. And, no, it's not just women, men crave romance, too!
People don't always realize that if they want more romance, they have to take an active role in making that romance happen. Instead of sitting there and waiting for romance to fall into your lap, I may be one of them, why not take steps to make your relationship more fulfilling and intimate this very day?
Be more direct
If you want to spend more time together or if you want to make a weekly date night, simply say so outright: Don't bother playing games or trying to make your partner guess what you want. Better yet, book the restaurant and tell your partner where to meet you — it's romantic, proactive, and completely unexpected. You don’t have to operate outside your comfort zone if you don’t want to. It’s often the simplest things that make the difference.
Share daily appreciations
It's hard to feel romantic with your partner if you are focusing on all the things, they’ve done wrong. You will feel much more connected if you instead shine a light on the wonderful things they do. Daily appreciation is a key part of a healthy relationship. Compliment your partner's body, eyes, parenting skills, intelligence, wit, kissing prowess … anything. If you’ve ever heard of the languages of love and you know your partner's language – use some of that.
Small gestures make a big impression
Island vacations and five-star dinners are certainly romantic, but it's the little gestures that feed a relationship and keep your connection strong over the years. Whether it's making coffee for your partner or getting the car started on a cold winter's morning, the little gestures show that you truly care. Having said that, I wouldn't mind a grand gesture or two.
Give your partner the gift of "me" time
Romance can be hard to come by if your partner is exhausted and overworked. If your partner is stressed and on the verge of a meltdown after a harrowing workweek, give the gift of "me" time by booking a massage appointment while you watch the kids. You could also simply help to cross things off your partner's to-do list by doing the grocery or dry-cleaning run on your own.
Have a staycation
No time or money to go out of town on an extravagant trip? No problem. Hire a babysitter for the night and hit a local hotel for a romantic staycation. Pretend to be tourists and take in a dinner or a show, and then spend the rest of the night enjoying your kid-free, adult-only hotel room! Don’t forget to take all the accessories. A toy or two from Lola Montez won’t go amiss. Visit our store or buy online www.lolamontez.co.za
Put special care into your appearance
In long-term relationships, it's not unusual for the lingerie to get replaced by sweatpants or the gym to get replaced by couch-surfing. At the moment my attire is overalls and old Ts and I know I don’t look particularly fetching. All of this can chip away at your self-esteem and your own sexual desires, not to mention that of your partner. Put a little extra care into your appearance — even if it's just a swipe of red lipstick or a new haircut, trimmed beard. It will inspire more romance for both you and your partner.
Nag less, flirt more
It's a simple equation and one that is bound to add up to more romance. It might be annoying that your partner drips water on the bathroom floor or always leaves the light on, but nagging about little things such as this is often futile and only serves to chip away at your romantic connection. If you know something really bugs your partner, like leaving socks on the floor, try picking them up once in a while. It will go a long way.
Remember the excitement
Think about what gave you butterflies in your early days of dating: Then find ways to bring those little things back, whether it was spontaneous sex before work in the morning or steamy date nights at out-of-the way restaurants.
Focus on the present
Anything that keeps you from being present is going to affect your relationship and your mood, whether you are stressing over the fight you had with your sister yesterday or whether you are dreading a work meeting scheduled for tomorrow.
All that worrying is not only useless, but it will only serve to keep you from true inner peace and connecting with your mate. Try yoga or meditation to help keep you grounded, and remember, if you want more romance, the best way to create it is by being present with your partner — right here and now.
Have a gorgeous weekend. Do something that makes you feel loved.