Keeping the romance alive in any relationship is rather tricky, but it’s not impossible. While I am not an accredited Marriage and Family Counselor, I am able to be very helpful in the ways of giving suggestions.
My husband and I recently celebrated our 28th anniversary and the 29th anniversary of the day he proposed. That alone doesn’t qualify me as a source to "go to" for advice, but what does is the fact that we are still passionate about each other.
The most frequent reaction from people who watch us together is, "you can’t be married that long!" Why? I think it has to do with how we behave with one another.
In other words, we make our relationship a priority. According to the famous Dr. Phil and his wife, they do the same. Yes, they have their own lives and interests, but they put their relationship first-not middle and certainly not the last of the items of any particular day.
Sharon O’Brien from the Indiana University Bloomington School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation gave these suggestions to keeping the romance alive in long-term relationships (all of which my husband and I did without ever looking it up on the internet!):
Have a date night-do not discus the kids, careers, chores, in-laws or hide out at the movies! Really pay attention to one another. Listen to what the other is saying.
My husband and I enjoy coffee houses and trying out small local restaurants, so we tend to find them and give them a try. But that’s us-we can have fun and talk for literally hours checking out how a venue makes us feel (cozy, intimidated, relaxed?). This may sound too simple but you get the point: Enjoy something together.
Be affectionate! Hold hands while walking. Kiss each other when you leave for work, when you come home and when you turn in for the night. Give each other a neck, shoulder or a foot massage after a stressful day. Gaze into each others eyes when you talk.
Help one another- I’m pretty sure I’m in the majority when I say the sexiest thing my husband does is help with the laundry, the dishes and the cooking! And when he vacuums the animal hair off the wood floors-woohoo!
Renew your vows-whether you do this on your 5th, your 25th (we did) or your 50th (my parents were fortunate enough to be able to); it really does the most positive thing for your relationship. My husband and I were more nervous during our renewal ceremony than during the original one! We cried. It turned out to be one of the most romantic evenings of our time together.
There are absolutely no guarantees that these suggestions will keep a relationship fresh and romantic, but the effort will be appreciated and in the long run will help keep ennui from settling in.