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3 Tips to Keep Romance Alive


Elise & Harvey's wedding @ The Palms Bay (Sun 8 25 13)_August 25, 20130280

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I am being compensated for this blog post as part of the Philip Stein #liveintune campaign. Opinions expressed are my own.

When you think of romance, what comes to mind? For me, a hopeless romantic, romance is epitomized in the movie Titanic when Jack Dawson (played by Leonardo Dicaprio) sacrificed his life to let Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet’s character) live. Romance oozes from the movie The Notebook, especially when Allie Hamilton (played by Gena Rowlands) and Noah Calhoun (played by James Garner) die in their sleep with their arms and bodies so beautifully intertwined.

In my own life, the idea of romance makes me think of a particular day during my childhood. Almost 30 years ago, in the late afternoon on a crisp winter day, my first true love rode miles on his horse to meet me in the woods. Forbidden to see one another, we knew we risked being caught by our parents—but that only made the desperate, sweet teenage kisses we shared and the way we professed our undying love to one another even more special. When I think of romance, I also think of another boyfriend—my last before I met the man who would become my husband. He called me gorgeous (even though I didn’t think I was) and always made me feel like I was the only woman in the room.

I also witnessed romance recently when our 44-year-old friend Harvey married Elise, one of my best camp friends. Although they first fell in love 22 years ago, when they were both 22, and parted ways, they were unexpectedly reunited after Elise’s previous marriage ended. They’ve been inseparable ever since. To mark the magic, Harvey counted down on Facebook the 22 days until their wedding day with poems, anecdotes, and gorgeous photos. A greater romance I’ve never known!

While romance—a “love affair” or “an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure, or activity”*—can be inspired by, or be expressed with, grand dramatic overtures, sometimes even little things can be romantic. Having been happily married to the same man, a hard working and devoted father to our two sons, aged 15 and 11, for more than 20 years, I think we’d both agree that it’s the little things—the inside jokes, the small gestures and favors, squeezing in a little one-on-one time (in between two full-time jobs, our sons’ homework help and basketball games), and enjoying solo time together when our sons go to overnight summer camp—that help us keep the spark alive.

Whether you’re looking for love, on the cusp of it, or are in a committed relationship, there are things you can do besides reading the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy (trust me) to ignite romance (or at least give it a jump-start). Here are three of my top tips to help you do just that in your own life:

1. Reclaim and redefine date night. At the beginning of their relationship, most couples seemingly make all the time in the world to go on dates and spend time together. But when the initial excitement of the relationship starts to dim, and real life sets in, many couples often find it too easy to allow work, children, or other responsibilities to get in the way of their private time together. Of course parenting or caring for older parents, logging too many hours at the office, and having a long to-do list can move date night to the back burner, it’s important for your own health—and that of your relationship—to reclaim date night. Even if that means grabbing a quick bite to eat, seeing a movie, or simply walking to and from favorite frozen yogurt shop (my husband and I started doing this just last summer), penciling in one-on-one time together each week, as you would an appointment, shows each of you—and the rest of your family—that your relationship matters and is worth making time for.

2. Put the ‘action’ in your activities. Instead of meeting for the usual drinks or heading to dinner and a movie with your significant other—or friends—plan something more active. Taking a brisk walk, jog, or bike ride in the park, heading to a spin or dance class, or training for some sort of competition together (like a 5 k race, triathlon, or even a charity walk) not only gives you quality time together, but can help you get in shape or stay fit. When we were first married, my husband and I would do 5K, 6 mile and 10K running races together (once we even did a 10 miler). We also play golf together, and love to hike together in places like Colorado, California and Hawaii. Being active in new and different ways not only creates a sense of adventure and accomplishment, but it can help you feel better physically and mentally—and help you be more open to experiencing romance. And as I wrote about in my upcoming book, Younger Next Week, being active and exercising can boost libido (it helps blood flow to al the right places, if you know what I mean). Let’s not forget that regular exercise also helps you look and feel better, and can therefore indirectly boost your confidence in-between the sheets!

3. Connect by disconnecting. Because for so many of us, the smart phone or laptop has become like a third appendage, it’s become far to easy to lose touch with all of our senses that allow us to recognize and enjoy romance—even when it’s staring right at us. So when you’re with your sweetie, put that cell phone away and really pay attention to him or her. Use all your senses to look at, listen to, touch and completely engage with your significant other. You may find that not having all the distractions reminds you why you were drawn to him or her in the first place. Just like you let nothing come between you and your Calvins, it’s wise to not let a cell phone or laptop come between you and your partner.

What are some of the ways you introduce or bring back the romance in your relationship? Share your to-dos, tips and ideas with the hashtag #liveintune below to help others bring romance back into their lives too.

Image of Harvey and Elise from their amazing wedding via Marc Millman Photography.

*Source: Merriam-Webster dictionary

 

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About The Author

Elisa Zied is a nationally recognized and award-winning health and nutrition expert, author, speaker, and spokesperson. A trusted source of food, nutrition, and health information, Elisa has garnered millions of media impressions, lending her expertise and real-world perspective to dozens of TV shows, web sites, news organizations and magazines. She’s the author of four nutrition books. An avid walker, she loves motivating others to #moveitorloseit. A book lover, she recently earned a certificate in children’s literature from Stony Brook Southampton and is currently working on several young adult novels. You can find her previous Food, Fitness & Fiction posts here and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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