Break the Rules for a Better Romance
Remember When Time Stood Still?
When you were falling for your partner, almost everything you did together felt romantic. A simple stroll down the street may have felt magical and even an ATM visit was fun. In those days, time stood still (and other cliches applied).
If taking out the trash is the most romantic act you've done for your partner recently, it may be time to move your relationship from fizzle back to sizzle.
Here are 5 relationship rules to be broken, so that you can shake up your routine.
by Andrea Syrtash, a dating and relationship expert and advice columnist. She's the author of "He's Just Not Your Type (And That's a Good Thing)" and "Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband)". For more, visit www.andreasyrtash.com.
Rule: Two Halves Make a Whole
Reality: Being happily married starts with your own happiness
I'm still mad at Jerry McGuire who famously declared "You complete me" and made audiences across America swoon. It's a beautifully romantic notion to think that another person completes your very being; but this can also be a dangerous perspective as it places enormous pressure on your mate to fulfill all of your needs. The healthiest couples are whole, happy and complete as individuals and have found partners to enhance their lives. If you want a passionate relationship, focus on your own passions first.
Rule: Good Parents Don't Leave Their Kids
Reality: Date nights are good for your kids to witness
If you're ridden with guilt every time you head out on the town without your child(ren), you may want to take a time out and consider the fact that you are modeling healthy relationship behavior to your child. Kids may whine or cry when their parents leave, but they'd much rather witness their mom and dad getting along than being disconnected. Commit to a regular date night. Ask your kids to help you pick out your clothes and plan the evening, so they can get excited about your romantic date, too.
Rule: Routines Help Things Stay Organized
Reality: Novelty is just as important as routine
Routines are great for kids' schedules, but not so great for romance and inspiration. Novelty is one of the best ways to keep the spark in your relationship alive. New experiences produce dopamine in your brain, which will register your connection with your longterm lover as new. On your next date, be a tourist in your city and discover a new neighborhood you haven't explored with your partner. Try something outside of your comfort zone with or without your partner so you can snap out of 'to do' mode and allow yourself to be...
Rule: Flirting is for Dating
Reality: It's essential to keep courting your partner
Somehow many of us feel shy or silly flirting with our long-term lovers; but flirting shouldn't only be reserved for the realm of courtship! Flirting with your significant other is a surefire way to inject romance and excitement back into your relationship. Use technology the way daters do. Send your partner a thoughtful email or a sassy text telling him he's on your mind. Resurrect an inside joke. Give him bedroom eyes. Flirt, flirt, flirt!
Rule: Talk is Cheap When There Are Other Things To Do
Reality: When communication breaks down, relationships break up
You may marvel at the conversation marathons you and your mate used to have when everything you learned about each other was new and exciting. It's not practical (and frankly, probably not appealing!) to talk until the sun comes up; but if you miss the romantic connection you used to have with your partner, consider bringing back Date Talk. For at least 10 minutes a day, make sure to connect in conversation as lovers - not just as roommates or co-parents. This means making certain topics like kids, bills and household chores, off-limits. Stay curious about each other.
If you find you don't see your partner with the same romantic-colored glasses, close your eyes and remember why you fell in love with him or her. Then shift your focus to what you want to create in your relationship - and in your life outside of your relationship - today. With a few simple steps away from your routine, you'll be speaking the language of love again in no time.