Around the world people ask what is love? Psychologists have concluded that the need to feel loved is one of the most basic human emotional needs. From early infancy, children learn that when they cry and are held or hungry and are fed, they develop the sense that he or she belongs and is wanted. However, the need for emotional love is not only a childhood emotion. The need for love follows us into adulthood and marriage. Marriage is supposed to meet that need for love and intimacy. And yet, over time, some marriages grow stale with the demands of everyday life and the efforts required to sustain the feelings of affection and love from their spouses.
Many couples go to counseling seeking answers to repair their relationships. “How do I get the romance back in my relationship? How can I get my partner to give me what I need?” These questions are universal human desires to be intimate and loved by another. The need to be loved is at the heart of marital relationships. But just as important as love is in our lives, it is also often elusive to us.
So how can we put the romance back into our love relationships? Romance is the expression of love through words, gestures and actions. Romantic gestures and behaviors trigger the euphoric memories and feelings of those initial days of love and lust. The best way couples can regain those feelings is by repeating some of the romantic behaviors that were so natural in the beginning of their courtship. Consider the following ways to keep your romance alive:
Feelings. Remember to express your feelings and pay attention to your partners feelings. Show genuine concern by asking how things are going when your partner has had a bad day. When you are upset or disappointed with your spouse about something that might have hurt your feelings, try to use “I feel” statements to express how you feel instead of blaming accusations.
Facts. Become knowledgeable about what your partner needs to feel loved. Pay attention to who your partner really is and what they need. Ask what you can do to show him love in the way he needs and then feel free to let him know how you need to be loved. They may be very different but when you know what he or she needs it is easier to give the love. When you learn to be in tune with each other’s love styles it becomes easier to accommodate their needs.
Fantasies. Have fun and enjoy your fantasies. Discuss with each other how you feel about exploring your sexual fantasies. Sharing fantasies with each other is a good way to find out what you like emotionally and sexually. These fantasies can recharge your energy and enrich your relationship when shared. Show the kind of affection you have learned that your partner likes. Couples who talk intimately with each other and feel free to express their physical and emotional needs have better communication and happier relationships.
Fun. Make time to have fun with each other. Laughter secretes endorphins that create feelings of well-being and happiness. When you’re doing something you both enjoy, you’ll come to appreciate each other more and find each other more appealing. Doing fun activities together gives you both the opportunity to share, bond, have a meaningful conversation and enjoy each other’s company. Make the effort even if you and your partner have packed schedules to make each other a priority and spend quality, fun time together.
In the context of marriage, resurrecting the romance helps to provide an atmosphere of intimacy and meaning in our relationships. By being romantic in the ways your partner appreciates, you are more likely to have your own needs and desires met as well and therefore, create a strong and fulfilling relationship.