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Originally posted on marriage.com:

Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash

Romance is defined as “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.”  It is the vehicle, which expresses love to your partner, and manifests in your continual care and admiration for the other person.  Romance allows you to attune to your partner’s needs, fosters a healthy marriage, and prevents one or both partners from feeling unappreciated or devalued.  Thus, it is essential, to discover your unique expression of romance.  This can be demonstrated in simplistic or grand ways.  Passionately explore the endless possibilities to show your romantic side!  To spur you on, here are a few helpful hints when pursuing romance:

Be helpful

One of the primary ways to convey love is by being helpful to your partner.  This may mean taking a few extra minutes in the morning to cook up a nice breakfast for your partner, or preparing a favorite meal or dessert.  Simple gestures such as filling your partner’s car up with gas or ironing your partner’s clothes expresses acts of service, and is sure to be noticed.  Being helpful demonstrates your willingness to place your partner’s needs before your own, and communicates to your partner that he or she is valuable to you.

Be physically affectionate

Touch is one of the basic ways to build and establish trust.  A quick foot rub after a long day of work will communicate to your spouse that you care about his or her well being, literally from head to toe!  Hold hands while you take a walk together, or offer your spouse a warm hug.  Touch expresses warmth, and displays intimacy in a very simplistic fashion.

Be chivalrous

Chivalry is definitely not dead!  In fact, acts of chivalry show respect for your partner.  While entering or exiting from the car, take a moment to open the door.  When your partner finishes eating a meal, offer to take the empty plate to the sink or rubbish can.  Being chivalrous shows your partner honor, which can result in your partner feeling like he or she is a significant part of your life.

Be observant

It’s been said, “God is in the details.”  Borrowing from this adage, being aware of and targeting your partner’s likes and interests communicates that your partner matters.  Your partner may enjoy his or her morning coffee with two spoons of sugar and a dash of cinnamon.  You might remember that her favorite flower is pink tulips.  Your partner may prefer Bach to Beethoven.  When purchasing gifts for your partner, purchase items you know will be meaningful and personally enjoyable.  Demonstrate an affinity for being a student of the other person!

Be simple and consistent

Some of the most common misconceptions about romance are that it costs a lot of money, or that it requires copious amounts of planning.  Realistically, romance can actually be quite straightforward and inexpensive.  A key component is to be consistent.  This may mean leaving a love note in a lunch bag for your partner every Monday morning, or sending a cute text, complete with the use of emojis, in the middle of a grueling workday.  Showing your love through small, simple gestures can actually be even more meaningful than say, a dozen long stemmed roses, with a price tag of $100.00.

Be spontaneous

Adding spontaneity to your relationship keeps your partner enthusiastic about the future.  For example, purchasing tickets to a favorite music group or show, a sudden getaway trip, or even a ‘staycation,’ or a random picnic at a park, are all great ways to be spontaneous.  In my life, I often travel on a regular basis.  When I return home, my partner loves to surprise me with random gestures like painting our living room a color that I adore, or purchasing my favorite snack items.  Whatever you choose to do, rest assured that your efforts will bring continuous excitement and joy into your marriage.

Be reflective

In the busyness of life, take the time to reflect on the positive things that you love about your partner.  For example, share three things that you appreciate about each other, or share one thing that each of you love about the other person.  As you participate in this kind of exercise, notice and observe the positive feedback from your partner.  These reflective moments will inevitably and immediately fill your partner’s love tank.  It will also likely release endorphins (your brain’s happy hormones) in each of you!

Ultimately, romantic gestures are optimal when they are simple and meaningful.  My favorite way to express romance to my partner is through cooking, because I know he loves to eat my home-cooked meals.  I often take the time to research and explore recipe ideas, which allow me to create healthy meals from scratch.  This is my preferred way to tell my partner “I love you” and that he is important to me.  Embark on your own journey and discover a unique style and approach to express romance to your partner.  Marriage is a commitment that requires effort, and taking the extra time to impart romance will help ensure a long and happy marriage!  

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