Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend shares five ways to renew the romance.
1. Make a Date!
Back in the day you and your partner seemed to have more passion because you actually set aside time out of your very busy schedule to be with each other. You actually used to make a date and you wouldn’t let anything get in the way of your date time, including your children, your boss or your cell phone (oh hold on, you probably didn’t have a cell phone). Now, you may have been so willing to make the time for each other because you were feeling the passion, but I’m going to bet if you consistently made a date to be with your partner and you followed all of the other rules below, you’d probably find the passion again. You can’t feel love together if you’re not together to feel the love.
Activity: Plan and carry out a regular date night.
2. Look for the Fun, Not the Familiar
Do you remember how back in the old dating days you were both open to having fun? You were willing to risk for the reward? You were willing to try anything once? You didn’t care how crazy the activities were, it was about having fun, connecting and just seeing if you could really be together long-term. You played games, you tried new things, you never had the same date twice. Every date was planned out and you were both willing to just go with the flow. Because you didn’t really know anything about each other you were looking for the fun not just the familiar.
Many of us, once we start getting more comfortable with each other, stop noticing the fun differences about the other person and start focusing on the more predictable and familiar things about each other. Metaphorically, we end up reaching for the warm and cozy sweats instead of the lingerie. We focus on the comfy familiar, instead of the fun. We then get more used to the familiarity of our partner rather than their spontaneity, and in fact we even try to eliminate the surprises of spontaneity in hopes of shoring up more predictability and familiarity. The downside to such predictability is at times is might seem quite boring.
Activity: On your new dates with your partner, start focusing on the fun more than the familiar. Remember in the past your dates weren’t about being comfortable but just being together. Do you remember how you could turn any activity into something interesting? You could just go to a park and swing, or you could go on walks anywhere? Do you remember how some of the dumbest dates were the most fun? That happened because you were intentionally looking for the fun, not the familiar.
3. Talk and Laugh Together
Do you remember back to the old dating days when you were carefree and on your dates you could just talk and talk for hours? You could talk for so long because you were curious to find out new things about your partner. You didn’t know anything about them so you were open to talking about their thoughts and ideas and laughing at their jokes. Even the mediocre ones still seemed funny. Now after years of marriage you may feel like there really isn’t much more that needs to be said; you’ve pretty much covered it all. Have you ever noticed that now if your partner starts telling a story or joke that you’ve heard before you actually tell them you’ve already heard that joke so no need to finish it?
In my work, I’ve found that couples that can talk and laugh together are couples that have the best shot at rekindling the romance. The ability to actually connect verbally is one of the biggest needs of many women so men need to learn to connect to a woman through listening and talking. For many women, there is nothing more romantic than a partner that truly wants to hear her heart and can actually connect to the ideas and thoughts she’s sharing. Remember back in the day we could listen to each other’s stories over and over again because for some reason it fed us? Personally, I’ve found that there is no better aphrodisiac than some good conversation and laughter to make both of you feel closer to each other.
Activity: Try to pay close attention to the conversations with your partner. Listen for something new to be said and find out something you’ve never really known about them. Be curious, complimentary and find the humor in the conversation. Truly try to laugh again with each other and see what happens.
4. Eye to Eye
One of the biggest things that I have learned in working with couples is that we just stop connecting to each other. When we were first in love we could look into each others eyes for hours on end. We used to swear we saw “heaven” every time we simply looked into each others eye for a minute. Now married a long time, we don’t usually even spend 10 seconds a day looking in the same direction as our partner.
Activity: Try an experiment today and look into your partner’s eyes for 7 minutes without talking. While you’re staring at each other, take a second and ask yourself, “What is it like to be my partner and married to me?” Then just learn to relax as you look into each others eyes. See what you end up feeling for each other.
5. Touch, Touch, Touch
For most couples when they were first dating they used to touch a lot more than they currently do. In fact, if you think back to the good old days you probably remember holding hands, tickling backs and kissing…to the point that many people thought you were inseparable. Now, your kids get grossed out every time they actually see you two touching each other.
I’ve found that one of the fast ways to rekindle the romance is to touch. There is no way around the fact that touching impacts relationships. One of the most basic human needs is to be touched and all touch doesn’t have to be sexual. It is unfortunate that as the year’s progress, the touch between partners become more tied with sex and therefore usually becomes less frequent. Non-sexual touch is important in a long-term relationship. It is a way to show affection, devotion, and appreciation. Holding hands and walking arm in arm are small ways to maintain and increase the romance in your relationship.
Activity: Start a new ritual with your partner called “Cuddle Time.” Every night before going to sleep, cuddle with your partner for 10 minutes. Cuddle Time should be 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to talk and touch. This is a time to talk about your relationship and about your future together. This isn’t a time to talk about car pool or the kids. It should be focused on the two of you. The touch is not sexual, but rather a show of affection.
Matt Townsend is a national speaker and relationship expert who uses his unique gift of understanding relationships to help individuals, couples and families learn the skills they need to better relate. Through entertainment and humor he teaches life-changing principles and skills empowering couples to change by learning to communicate more effectively, to stop patterns of negative reactions, and to get to the heart of important issues.
For more couple advice from Matt, attend:
Date Night with Matt Townsend
TOPIC: “Getting on the Same Page: From Hobbies to Hunting”
Friday, July 30
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
$35 per couple
Location: Noahs in South Jordan
To register call 801-747-2121