With Valentine's Day fast approaching it often feels like there's a big push to dial up the romance. We buy flowers, special gifts, write heartfelt cards, maybe hit one of the city's top restaurants and for the night we are "in love" and more than happy to celebrate it. But then the 15th rolls round and we're back to our lives of being parents. The flower and cards are quickly replaced by homework and school drop offs and the reality of being Mom or Dad.
But it's important for our own wellbeing, the wellbeing of our relationship, and the example we set our kids, that declarations of love aren't just restricted to a 24 hour period.
So here to help extend the romance beyond Valentines Day are 7 little things you can do to make sure the spark that set your heart aflame keeps burning brightly.
Why save how you feel about your SO for just one or two cards a year? Surprise the one you love with the unexpected Post-It that expresses how you feel about them. It can be naughty, nice, lustful or loveful, just write it down. Let them know what they mean to you, or how you miss them. Then stick them in unexpected places like their journal, on the driver's seat, on their coffee mug, on the bathroom mirror. Just don't kill the joy by asking them if they got it. They may not mention it (for they might want to surprise you by lifting their romance game too.) Just do it to express how you feel without the need for validation or reward.
Of course, you don't need to restrict it to Post-Its. Scrawl a message on the mirror, trace a message in the steam of the shower, or send them an unexpected text.
Dial Up The PDA
Sure your kids may scream "Gross" or decry how embarrassing you are, but showing affection freely and often will help you both feel more connected. From holding hands while you walk to kissing on a crowded street to just cuddling on the couch while the family watches TV. It might sound simple but so often we back off from being a couple because we're assuming our Mom or Dad roles. But showing affection towards each other models for our kids what a healthy, loving relationship looks like, and removes any question the kids might have about the safety and stability of your relationship.
Go Off Grid
Unplug the phone, tablet, and computer, turn them off and put them away. Replace FOMO with FOMU - Fear of Missing Us - and spend an hour staring into each other's eyes rather than staring at a screen. Take the time to talk about stuff that matters to the two of you (keep convos about the kids to a minimum.) Share how your day was, ask about theirs and really listen to the answers. You'll be surprised just how intimate it can be to hear and be heard. Also feeling this close you never know where it might lead. That email or cat video that seemed so pressing an hour ago is now the last thing on your mind.
Protect Date Night
We've all heard about the importance of "Date Night" but how many of us actually adhere to a weekly or monthly night out just for us. We tried it and we weren't overly successful. Our plan was to dine at all the Top Chef restaurants in LA over the course of a year, one a month. We got as far as 3 in the year. Now 3 is better than none but it showed us how easily we let "life" get in the way of "love". We also let ourselves off the hook by letting a trip the movies or hanging with friends count as our date night. But ultimately we knew we were robbing ourselves of "us time" so we refocused and now commit to a date night a month come hell or high water.
Date Night should be treated with the same kind of commitment as our kids' soccer games or dental appointments. It shouldn't be allowed to be replaced by something else. And if, if, if we have to reschedule do it within 7 days. And take turns planning the date so all the pressure isn't on them or you to make it work. Have fun with it. Do a class together. Revisit your favorite restaurant. See that movie. Go to that exhibition. And get dressed up for the occasion, this will help you switch out of parent mode and into partner mode.
Whether you decide to carve our weekly or monthly date nights stick to it. It will be easy to swap it out with more important stuff but nothing is as important as spending time together.
Plan A Getaway
There's nothing like the thought of getting away for a few days (ok, even a few hours) to make us feel blissful. So start planning your dream getaway together. Scour some websites, gather some brochures and start thinking about what it will be like to just get away from it all. It doesn't have to be that lofty trip to the Maldives (though that does sound nice). Even planning a night at a local hotel where you can gorge on room service and each other can hit the spot. Like they say, the destination is important but even more so is the journey, and the time you spend together making plans will go a long way towards making them come true.
Bust Out The Sexy Superlatives
We all love getting a compliment. So don't be stingy when it comes to giving them either. Every day give your SO a compliment that makes them smile, blush, or want to race home. Let them know you're grateful for what they do and how good they are at it. Let them know they are the best, the be all and end all, the one. Compliment the way they look, the way they make you feel, and the things they do for you and the family.
And be willing to take a compliment too. There's nothing worse than brushing off a compliment so take it in and let your heart swell when you hear it.
Break Out Of The Routine
We all know what it feels like to be in a rut. We also know the only way out is to do something new or unexpected. Now I'm not suggesting you go skydiving - unless that's something you'd like to try - but doing something new, thrilling and exciting is just the thing to spring you both back to the loving couple you are.
A new activity brings you closer as you both have to rely on the other to navigate your way or share the experience. It can be a great way to connect like you used to when everything you did together was new and exciting.
A Bonus: Our Romantic Nights GlampOut
Becuase we can all do with a little help in the romance department, we've created this exquisite and intimate Romantic Nights GlampOut. Spend the night with your loved one under the WonderDome and dedicate time to the two of you.
These are just 7 ways you can rekindle that romance in your relationship. Of course, we hope it leads to discovering many other ways the two of you can connect and grow as a couple.