Before the glow of Valentine’s Day becomes a distant glimmer, let’s take a moment to consider our love lives. How often do you really, honestly and truly take the time to romance your significant other? Hopefully the answer is more than once or twice a year because keeping the spark alive in a relationship is essential for its long-term survival. Yet, when you’re up to your elbows in work, chores, kids, or any of life’s other daily demands, romance often takes a back seat. In the moment, that can seem understandable and even natural. But let too many of those moments get ahead of you and you might wake up wondering why the romance is gone (or why they’ve left). Although it might seem “unsexy,” you have organize your life in a way that leaves room for you to nurture your relationship.
Sarah on “The Spontaneity Myth”
“I wish I could say that organizing yourself to express and renew your love was as natural as breathing and not something you have to put on an already very long and seriously unsexy to-do list. But the reality is that as the demands on your time and energy pile up, which they tend to do when you grow up, your desire and even your ability to spontaneously romance your partner diminishes. Because things like love notes and romantic dinners aren’t ‘urgent’ in the deadline sense of the word, it’s easy to push them off until some mythical moment when the spirit moves you. Unless you organize your schedule to include the time to reconnect romantically, it is significantly less likely to (i.e. won’t) happen.”
Alicia on “Make Time to See the Forrest”
“At the beginning of a relationship, two people spend lots of time dreaming about their future together. But as time wears on, each person naturally gets caught up in the daily grind. Dreaming about the future, whether that’s future vacations, dates or even retirement activities, takes a back seat. It’s important to stop periodically, lift your proverbial heads up out of the weeds, and make sure that you reconnect with the big picture together.” Here are some simple ideas that might help you and your loved one fan the flames on a more regular basis.
Give Yourselves a Homework Project
This might sound a little crazy, but bear with us. Before your next date night (even if your date night is at home) give each other the following assignment to complete. Write a note that is at least one page (approximately 400 words) to your significant other detailing all of the reasons why you are grateful to have him or her in your life. Be as specific as possible about the reasons why he or she is special to you. Then on the date, read them out loud to each other. If you want extra credit that you can cash in if you ever hit a rough spot, do this once a month or once a quarter and save all of your old love notes to each other in a binder so you are never far from the feelings and sentiments that brought you together in the first place.
Have an “Offsite”
If you’ve ever worked in the corporate world, you know a thing or two about off site meetings. Usually full-day affairs, they are designed to get the team together in a non-work environment to develop a strategy for moving forward or tackling a thorny problem. It may seem a bit dorky to have an offsite for your personal life, but there is something to taking a day with your significant other and making sure you’re on the right path. So arrange a babysitter and book a day for yourselves to catch up, reflect on the state of your union, and map out future goals together. You’ll finish the day refreshed and with a renewed sense of partnership.
Make a Love Note Calendar
Love notes are a nice idea, but how often do you actually scribble a little note of love to your partner? Grab your calendar and highlight four days in the next two months that you will give your loved one a note. Make sure you also schedule in a trip to the card store and time to write a thoughtful note.
About Sarah Welch & Alicia Rockmore
We are the co-founders of Buttoned Up, Inc.(www.getbuttonedup.com), a company dedicated to helping stretched and stressed women get themselves organized and co-authors of “Everything (almost) In Its Place.” We welcome your thoughts! Please visit us at www.getbuttonedup.com and follow up on twitter @getbuttonedup.