That's not a question with an easy answer. But it's the question that has an answer. It might not be straight-forward, but it sure can be done.
Before we can know how to keep romance alive in our relationships, we need to identify just what it is we are after. Romance is the kind of thing that you know when you see it, and certainly long for it when it's missing, but putting it into words leaves most people tongue-tied. So, what makes romance a romance?
When we experience romance we feel being connected to the other person in a special, almost mystical way. Through this special feeling we are extended beyond our everyday sense of self into an experience of unity and wholeness. In such romantic moments we feel connected with another person without ever losing our sense of self. There is a profound oneness but not sameness, as the unique differences that two people bring to the moment are embraced. We remain ourselves, with an intense sense of our self, while in sweet and satisfying connection with another. And that allows us to feel truly loved.
The separateness that is so much a part of most people's daily life vanishes, even if only for a while. And that is what is so extra-ordinary about romance and why romance is so desired.
Intimacy takes two and it's most enchanting when the two aren't the same. Then the adventure of love can be wondrous and relationship can stay fresh and vivacious. The differences between the two unique individuals are the substance of their growing romance and intimacy. Like bread and jam, the magic happens when you put them together, yet neither one loses their special taste and texture. To create an intimate and rewarding relationship we must be able to find value and substance in the different ways of our significant other. When you open to the treasure of differences, there is a payoff - you’ll realize what it’s like to be loved for who you really are. Knowing that you can be loved for who you really are is the key to intimacy and romance. When you both find that, you will know the kind of grace and compassion that will support and sustain you throughout the challenges of life.
If anything, love is the source of deep beauty - that something exceptional in a person or situation that produces intense pleasure or deep satisfaction. The beauty of love is that one sees more beauty when one is in love. When they say love is blind, what they really mean is, love sees no ugliness, no shortcomings, no obstacle - only the splendour. True love sees beauty all around, even in the ugly. But to experience the real beauty of love - the beauty that will delight you to the seventh heaven as well as carry you through the tough times - that takes commitment on your part. The kind of commitment to adding constant value to the relationship, without taking things for granted. When committing to romance, we commit to beauty of life.
Be attentive to your partner's needs and desires, and try to fulfil them with joy. Show that you really care about him or her by taking into account every little thing your partner says or does. It's easy to overlook someone's feelings or views, to get caried away by daily chores. To be romantic means to notice things about your partner that others don't, and to do something special about it. Support your loved one in their ways by letting them know you are attentive about them - with a romantic message or gesture.
LOVE EVERY DAY
Don't let any day go by without expressing your love in one way or another. It doesn't take much. Just give small kindnesses! Little gifts, surprise notes, special snuggling, calls to the office, you name it. These small moments of affection will keep your romance alive and open your conscious creativity to ever more delights. After all, what's the point of being with someone and not enjoying it!? Don't take your loved one for granted, show the appreciation whenever you can.
Love may not always show up just as you expect. In fact, it's unavoidable that your partner will express love in ways you haven't anticipated. He/she is not you. You are not him/her. If you only want love to come the way you want it, you'll only get what you've always had. Real love is a wonder that will come from beyond your imagination. Open and receive it!
In any intimate relationship, both partners are responsible for the romance level. Every relationship is co-created, that's the beauty of being with someone. Why waste your time pretending to be powerless. That's only a game you play with yourself. So take the responsibilities for the romantic character of your relationship, and make it better, because you can. It takes two to tango, and it takes two to make it right.
TAME YOUR EGO
Thinking mainly about one's own interests, putting them above common interests is never romantic. There sure will be times when one of you will feel hurt. Sometimes it will be you, sometimes it will be your other half. In any case it's not romantic. What is romantic, is when one transcends one's own pride and ego in favor of resolving an issue that is hurtful. Swollowing pride for the sake of love and giving in to your love is the stuff that keeps a romance unharmed and thriving.
Did you know that no one just like you has ever lived before or will ever live again? That's much more than a superficial statement. It is as profound a truth. When you appreciate just how unique you are, you will understand the importance of expressing the truth of what you feel, what you believe and what you desire. Give your partner, and yourself, the chance to find out what it is that makes you you. When you take care of who you are, you give your partner the opportunity to care for you.
By the same token, let others express themselves freely as well.
It's not true that if you have to ask for what you want it won't mean as much. That's an adolescent belief. In a real relationship, your partner can't hear what you're not saying. Trust enough to make yourself available to the relationship and to getting what you want. When you hold back and then are disappointed, you only create resentment. Just ask sweetly for more romantic gestures, and watch how they multiply.
For most people, talking is pretty easy. Listening is another story. To listen actively you have to tune in to your partner's experience from his or her own point of view. That's the only way you'll know what's really going on. Otherwise all that happens is you stay stuck in your own world, waiting for your turn. Therefore, open to a possibility that's different from your own. You know how boring mutual monologues can be!
With each other. Don't just talk to your partner, talk with him or her. Share your daily experiences with each other - tell each other what you went through when you were separated during the day, what you have learned, what you have felt, how you dealt with something. Talk about philosophy, about the meaning of life, about the purpose, about feelings, dreams, longings, books, music, arts...
It's so easy for us to get caught up insisting on what we think is right, or appropriate. Those are judgments. When you make them in a unconsidered fashion, without thinking, without taking the time to find out if they really apply, you not only hurt the person in question, you sentence yourself to the confinement of being judgemental and unkind. If you wish for more romance in your life, one of the simplest ways you can have more is to reserve your judgments, and let your partner and the world become your teacher. Once you make the habit of reserving judgments, you will liberate yourself from the limitations of your own judgements. If you don't want to be judged, don't you judge.
ACCEPT & GIVE COMPLIMENTS
A true compliment is love-in-shorthand. Practice accepting compliments with a simple "Thank you". Your heart will open, you will begin to feel generous and willing to receive what someone wants to give to you. Furthermore, you will recognize what a worthy gift it is, and start giving it yourself more freely. Then, watch the world become a loving place you only imagined was possible.
Fun and amusement are the vital part of every romance. Things that put a smile on your face and your partner's face are the things that liven any romance. Whether it's a funny remark, a bit of teasing, or witty gesture, humour will nurture any romance in need of nourishment. Besides, if you can smile or laugh in the midst of difficulties, after seeing humour in it, not just the adversity, you can sustain your romance easier and longer.
APRECIATE THE DIFFERENCES
Differences hold the key to a richer and more meaningful life. Our differences are the celebration of all that is possible. As you practice the basic truth that - the other person is not you - you will move beyond your own limitations and into new horizons. As you allow other person be different, this will allow him or her to let you be different, be who you really are.
Can you say "No" when you have to? Or do you keep your frustrations hidden until you explode? If so, you're being disrespectful of you and your partner. That kills romance, you know that. Differences are bound to rise in any relationship. They are a chance to define who you are, distinct from your partner. Make a point of voicing your disagreement. Stop yourself from being invisible. To be someone's shadow, always doing what the other does, it's not romantic at all.
When two people live together over time, conflicts are inevitable. If you deny that fact, you will suffocate the life out of your relationship. The point is, how can you make them productive, or even romantic? Conflict is just like the sand in an oyster - annoying, irritating, but you have to have it to get the pearl! See what good comes out of a conflict, such as resolution of certain issues, then it will have a more positive side to it. Without a conflict, there can be no resolution. And we all know how romantic the peace-talks can be. And how good making-up sex can be.
To have the romance, and to have it last long, don’t act out some fiction of how you think it's supposed to be. If you do you'll just be swept away by the fake drama of your imaginings, and you'll lose any possibility for real intimacy. The heart and soul of real romance is all about being honest in the moment. And being honest doesn't mean revealing anything that's on your mind. Some things, especially those that don't add to romance, they are better off staying where they are - away. There is a thin line between being honest and tactless, make sure not to cross it.
Genuine curiosity is the finest aphrodisiac there is. When your partner wants to know who you really are, the good and the not-so-good, the whole package, what finer compliment can you ask for? And when you let your partner in to your thoughts and feelings, what finer gift can you give in turn?
In other words, prevent monotony. Repetitiousness or lack of variation kills any romance. Boredom or dullness arises when nothing different ever happens in the way you relate to each other. So to keep up the romantic flair alive and well, make sure to bring novelty to your relationship now and then.