Recently, my husband and I have been feeling off-kilter romantically. We moved cross-country last summer, and the adjustment has really impacted both the amount of time we can spend together and the quality of that time. The first rule of romance is that you need to have quality (private) time. Since the expense of date nights add up quickly, we’ve decided it’s time to refocus on romance in our relationship. Here are the five (frugal) ways we are trying to make it happen:
1. Carve Out Alone Time at Home
Our kids are older now, and that means later bed times. Remember when all you had to do was put the kids to bed at eight and you had a good two hours of down time? That’s gone now. Our solution: We go to bed early. We still have our nightly goodnight rituals, but the kids put us to bed. We watch a movie, read, or just have a conversation uninterrupted by opinionated teens and tweens. It’s better than a night out!
2. Create a Space for Connecting
We downsized when we moved to our new house, and while the closeness is good for fostering family togetherness, it can be a real romance killer. We don’t even have a quiet cup of coffee together on the weekends before the kids are up. So, we rearranged our entire bedroom over the weekend to create a space where we can sit together and share a cup of coffee, read, and talk. It’s a work in progress, but the goal is to have a our own special space in the house for connecting.
3. Get Physical
Being romantic isn’t just about sex. It’s about touching and hugging and holding hands and being in each other’s space. Hold hands while you’re watching a movie. Kiss and hug goodbye every time you part each other’s space. Sit closer together. Go for walks and hold hands. Take every excuse to touch, caress, and be close.
4. Disconnect to Reconnect
How many relationships have extra tension because one partner or the other is more connected to their iPhone than to the living, breathing human right next to them? One of the easiest ways to rekindle the romance in your relationship is to disconnect from your electronic devices and be present with your partner. Make your bedroom device-free (I promise, the Facebook status update will wait until morning, and so will the 9 p.m. phone call from your client). Turn electronics off and leave them charging in a different part of the house. It will make a difference.
5. Choose Romance
Sometimes romantic feelings dwindle in a relationship because we let it. We are tired, stressed about work, or dwelling on the kids. We need to recharge to be better parents. Sometimes, you have to choose to relax your mind and body in order to let romance happen – no excuses. Change your mindset.
What do you do to keep your relationship romantic?