10 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive in Your Relationship
Holidays like Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day usually spark romantic gestures and are often celebrated with a date night or a thoughtful gift exchange. But how exactly do you keep that romance alive, long after these holidays (or your wedding day!) have passed? If you’re in a relationship, you know that this takes some work—but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated! We’re sharing 10 easy ways to cultivate intimacy in your relationship and fan the flame of your unique love.
Life can get busy, we get it. Whether you’ve had a great day at work or are feeling stressed out, it’s nice to have someone check in and ask how you’re doing each day. Show interest in your partner’s life by asking them questions and mindfully listening to their responses—even on your busiest days! Making the effort to intentionally communicate with your partner will only strengthen your relationship and help you understand them better.
Practice physical touch
Did you know that physical touch can literally make you feel happier and closer to your partner? Human touch causes your brain to release oxytocin, known as the “bonding hormone,” and is a great way to spark feelings of love, desire, and intimacy in your relationship Taking time to slow down and initiate some form of physical contact, like a hug, a kiss, or even just a quick hand hold, can go a long way and have positive relationship—and health—benefits for you and your partner.
Acknowledge each other’s efforts
A simple thank you goes a long way! The next time your partner says something sweet or goes out of their way to do something helpful or thoughtful, acknowledge their efforts in the moment before moving on to your next task. Acknowledging them will help remind your partner of their capabilities and reaffirms your appreciation of their thoughtfulness.
As you settle into life with your partner, it’s easy for your routine to begin to feel predictable. Surprises are a great way to shake things up and revive feelings of excitement, thankfulness, and appreciation in your relationship. A kind gesture or a small gift expresses thoughtfulness for your partner and is likely to be reciprocated in the future! Consider giving a small gift on a day between holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays to really surprise your partner.
Never underestimate how powerful an “I’m sorry” can be! Studies show that forgiveness is one of the most significant factors contributing to marital satisfaction. None of us are perfect, and you’ll inevitably say something or do something in your relationship that might hurt your partner. Owning your mistakes, expressing them, and asking for forgiveness quickly is an easy way to nip conflict in the bud and establish healthy communication patterns in your relationship.
Invest in alone time
Building a life and living together is really exciting, but don’t feel like you can never take time apart from each other! Having individual hobbies or social plans with friends is a healthy way to keep your individuality in your relationship. Time apart will only give you that much more to talk about when you’re together next!
Give a compliment
Compliments make us feel seen and loved. Don’t save your kind words for the next birthday card, express them to your partner frequently! These words of affirmation can go far beyond our physical appearance—tell your partner the characteristics you admire about them or the ways they made your day a little bit brighter. Complimenting your partner cultivates a culture of appreciation within your relationship and helps combat criticism and negativity we often receive from the outside world.
Continue to go on dates
A movie night on the couch can be great quality time, but there’s something about leaving the house for date night that makes your time together feel just a little bit more special. Prioritize setting aside time on your calendars for a date night and get creative with your plans! Try alternating between who plans the date, or sit down and decide what you’ll do together. Having a date night on the books will help break up your mundane routine and give you both something to look forward to.
Revisit the past
Think about the things that made you fall in love with each other. Did you play a lot of tennis together when you first started dating? What was that show you both loved and instantly bonded over? Taking a walk down memory lane and revising the things that brought both of you happiness early on in your relationship will be a good reminder of why you fell in love in the first place.
Laughter truly is the best medicine! In addition to many positive health benefits, laughter can help you feel close to your partner and help you to see the good in all situations. Shared laughter can help communicate to your partner that you share a similar worldview or perspective helping you to feel more bonded together. Try adding a little more humor into your relationship to help it thrive.
In 2022, Honeyfund ran an independent study of 1,000 married Americans and confirmed what we already had thought — couples who travel together, stay together! We found that of those who rated their marital satisfaction as “excellent,” 84% travel together regularly. This all starts with your honeymoon! Take that dream trip together after your wedding to start your marriage off right, and continue to prioritize travel for a healthy, memory-filled marriage.