I was glancing over lists of calendar day and month themes and saw “Romance Awareness Month” and thought I could totally be down with some romance awareness in my life! Typically we consider romance something women long for and about which men have no clue about and couldn’t care less. We watch movies and read books or even see videos online that portray grand gestures of undying love and we equate them with romance. With this ideal in their heads, being romantic can be difficult for some and to others downright off-putting and scary. But I would like to propose that romance is actually being consistent in small loving ways more than the big grand gestures. It means faithfully showing your partner that they are of utmost importance in your life. Add in the occasional moments of anticipation and excitement by doing things that are out of your normal routine, and you have long lasting romance. And this is what we should aspire to in our relationships, not short bursts of “Oh we love each other” activities, then months of the mundane. Romance doesn’t have to be about extravagant gifts or expensive meals, flowers or trips, and even though now and again those are nice, if they are not in your budget you can still be a romantic in some simple but profound ways.
1. Go to bed at the same time. This does not mean that you both lay in bed and look at your respective phones (I am guilty of this one repeatedly). What it means is lights off, cuddle together for a couple of minutes, discuss any last minute things from the day, not stressful things— NO money talk in bed! If you are a person of faith, pray together! And of course a good make out session never hurts when you are both up to it. Settling down together is a great way to show your partner that you care for them, especially if you are a night person and want to stay up. This does not have to be every night—that’s not always possible—but consistently a few nights a week can do wonders in the romance department.
2. Find something you can do together. My husband and I are direct opposites in many ways and it took several years to find things we both liked to do. Now we go shooting together, hike, take day trips, and of course watch Netflix and Chill. Find something you both like and enjoy it on a monthly basis.
3. Focus more on what your partner does right vs. what he does wrong. Now you are thinking, “How is that romantic?” Well, if you are always focused on what your partner is doing wrong, you are not going to make him feel important in your life. On the contrary, he will begin to think he is more of a problem than a source of romantic feelings.
4. Text a “Hi,” or “I love you” from work. It only takes a second or two to let your partner know that you are thinking about her during a break or lunch without making you less productive at work.
5. Lend a hand with chores. Who does the dishes, takes out the trash, weeds the garden, or puts the kids to bed? If it’s not you, pick one every now and then and do it for your loved one without looking for a pat on the back. This shows your partner that you are aware of what they do and appreciate it.
6. Connect with a massage. Back rubs are always an inexpensive but great way to connect with your partner. Back, shoulders, legs, or arms are all up for grabs (no pun intended) in my house. Taking turns giving massages is good for both body and mind. I like to use Unveiled Spa’s multi-care balms because they are all-natural and smell nice without being overpowering. They also come in formulas for both men and women. While you are rubbing take time to talk, touch, and connect. You can even make a game out of your soothing massage: you pick a place to rub, then your partner picks. Go back and forth until you are both relaxed from head to toe!
7. Bring home a favorite surprise! What’s her favorite ice cream? Buy it secretly and when you are sitting down to watch TV, surprise her with an ice cream sundae. Try renting his favorite movie and even if it’s one you don’t particularly like, joyfully watch.
Ultimately, romance is an investment of thought and time in your partner even more than a financial one; it just takes an awareness of little opportunities to express your love and appreciation. A relationship that includes being consistently romantic in small ways is one that will stand the test of time.