Marriage is a lot of things, but above all it is a commitment. Commitment, for all its nobility, is often very unsexy. It means brutal, honest intimacy. It means seeing a person at their most vulnerable. It means unconditional devotion and support. It is beautiful and powerful, but can be emotionally exhausting.
That said, no marriage has to be strictly business! Romance is as powerful as commitment, and it must be nurtured throughout a marriage. It is a reminder of what brought you together in the first place, and can transform in new and exciting ways as your marriage matures. Here are some tips to keep it alive.
Have a Date Night
Who doesn’t love a date? As often as you can – even just once a month or so – have a regularly scheduled date night with your spouse. It doesn’t have to be serious; drinks or dinner would do. The point is to get you out of the house, away from the kids, and just enjoying each other’s company.
During date nights, make sure to keep work emails away and your phone set to do not disturb (you can typically set exceptions for babysitters or kids.)
Learn Your Partner’s Love Language
Romance is different for everyone because we all feel love differently. The Five Love Languages outline how people give and receive love; by knowing your partner’s, you can make sure romantic gestures are felt by them the way you intend.
For instance, if your partner likes acts of service, they would love being surprised one night by a clean home, dinner ready, and a glass of wine waiting. It’s simple, but such acts can feel very romantic because they are based in truth.
Maintain Physical Intimacy
There’s no way around it: physical intimacy keeps romance alive. But with careers and kids and busy schedules, it can sometimes be the last thing on your mind. Experts recommend having sex at least once a week, though of course that’s easier said than done.
If sex is difficult – due to health, time constraints, or other issues – there are other ways to be physically intimate. Cuddling reminds your partner that they are attractive and desirable, and a quick cuddle session in the morning or on the couch at night is an easy way to enjoy physical touch.
Do you need advice for keeping your romance strong? Couples counseling can help identify issues between you and your spouse so that you can move past them and experience the romance and love you deserve. If you’re interested in couples counseling in the Triangle area, contact Azevedo Family Psychology today!