When it comes to romance, what story are you telling yourself? “I’m just not romantic, it’s not who I am,” or, “My spouse doesn’t respond to romantic gestures.”
You may believe you aren’t a natural when it comes to being romantic, so you’ve given up trying.
Romance: The Secret Sauce of Marriage
It’s highly likely that you have skills you’d forgotten about, simply because you don’t use them anymore. Saying “I’m not romantic” is an easy excuse for not trying.
Which is too bad for at least two reasons:
1) Romance really is a key ingredient to a healthy, happy marriage.
2) Romance is a skill, not an inborn trait.
Romance is incredibly important in intimate relationships. It creates opportunities for intimacy that almost nothing else can. So without it, the intimate connection you have with your spouse tends to wither.
Also, because it’s a skill and not some innate talent – it can be learned. Sure, some people are more naturally romantic than others. But it’s not as though you are born with a “romantic gene” or you’re born without one. People who aren’t naturally romantic can certainly learn how to be by practicing the right skills.
If you feel like your relationship is getting stale, or worse, you and your spouse have really experienced some distancing between you, one of the fastest and easiest ways you can improve your marriage is by reigniting the romantic spark you once had.
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And no doubt, at the beginning of your relationship, there was romance aplenty. So all you need to do is bring those old skills back to life, and become the romantic person you once were – no matter how brief a time it was.
Now, before you begin searching for a reason why you “can’t,” let’s nip that in the bud right now: you don’t have to wine and dine your spouse at fancy restaurants like they do in the movies (though you can if you wish to).
You can be romantic regardless of what your budget is. Also, if you think your spouse is “just not responsive to romantic gestures,” you may be surprised: there are a wide variety of gestures you can make, and no doubt your spouse will respond, just as they did when you first got together.
All you need are a few simple strategies that will help you show your spouse you care by being attentive to his or her needs, which is really what romance is. One definition of romance is: ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people, and also, a strong enthusiasm for something.
Who could resist someone who is “strongly enthusiastic” about them?
So, it’s time to go back to school, very briefly, and get a crash course in romance for the self-proclaimed unromantic.
Doing romantic things is about making your spouse feel special, which has the pleasant side effect of increasing the intimacy between you.
Romance Tip #1: Call to Say “I Love You”
When was the last time you called your spouse to tell him or her “I love you?”
In fact, you probably don’t call your spouse at all during the day unless you are trying to figure out whose job it is to pick up the kids after school or cook dinner that night.
If that’s the case, simply taking a couple minutes out of your day to call your spouse and say “I love you” can start to make a difference in your relationship. Pick up the phone, call your spouse and say, “I just called to say I love you, and I’m thinking of you. I look forward to seeing you tonight.”
You could also send an email, or a text message. The entire phone call or message might be one or two sentences – literally 45 seconds to a minute in duration. Anyone can sustain romance for that long, right?
It’s hard for anyone on the receiving end to resist such a simple message, but it will act to move you in the right direction: toward each other.
It shows you’re thinking of him/her during the day, even when he/she isn’t with you. That means your spouse gets the feeling that they are an important part of your life even when you aren’t together. And that’s what romance is all about, taking the time to do something special to make it clear to your spouse that you truly care for him or her.
Romance Tip # 2: Leave a Love Note
Another wonderfully romantic thing you can do for your spouse is leave him or her a love note that contains an expression of love, caring, compliments, or flirtation.
For fun, you can hide it in a place where you know your spouse will discover it at some point during the day. The note can be as simple or as involved as you wish: maybe just “I love you,” or knock it out of the ballpark and write a poem.
A written note is a nice gesture because it’s another way for you to share the tender feelings you have for your spouse so you can improve the connection the two of your share. Many recipients of these notes have been known to treasure them so much, they save them. That just depends on whether or not your spouse is the sentimental type, but listen to the feedback to see if your spouse is one who responds well to the written word.
Romance Tip # 3: A Flower and a Card
Giving your spouse flowers is one of the most traditional romantic moves you can make. In fact, some unromantic types even think it’s a bit cliché. But your spouse probably won’t care if it is a cliché: flowers are a romantic gesture that anyone appreciates.
You can keep it simple, maybe just buying or picking one or two flowers. Tie some ribbon around them, or get a simple, inexpensive vase. Then attach a little note to the package.
Being romantic will get easier with time. In fact, I bet you will get to a place where you actually enjoy being romantic again. I know it may be a little hard to believe right now. But it will happen if you put in the effort and time.
My best to you as you reignite your marriage’s spark using these romance tips.
What was the last romantic gesture you did for your spouse? How did they respond?
Do you think your spouse is open to romantic gestures? Has she/he been in the past?
Do you think attempts at romance will at some point turn things around in your relationship, bringing you closer together?
Please share your ideas and personal experiences on this topic with other members of the community.
Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,
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