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ACA Counseling Corner Blog

We all face daily challenges in today's complicated and demanding world. ACA’s Counseling Corner Blog offers thoughtful ideas, suggestions, and strategies for helping you to live a happier and healthier life.

Columns can be reprinted in full or in part with attribution to the American Counseling Association’s Counseling Corner Blog.

 


Dec 07, 2016

Has The Romance Disappeared From Your Relationship?


To fix that problem, you might try a more organized approach for keeping the romance in a relationship, not unlike the way you probably handle your busy day at the office or managing a household. It may sound more business-like than romantic, but relationship maintenance can actually be very enjoyable.

Start with your day planner, computer calendar, or a regular old calendar. Schedule events for your relationship, just like you do meetings or appointments. Note special days beyond the usual birthday and anniversary dates. Maybe the day you first met, or the anniversary of a special vacation. Include random prompts to do something romantic at other times for no special reason.

Similarly, keep an intelligence file on your partner.  Make a list of favorite things, from wines to flowers to authors to movies.  You may be surprised to find that you don't actually know many of his or her favorites.  Becoming familiar with things that bring him or her a smile is not only a way to stay more in tune with each other, but can make gift giving more special and meaningful.

You also want to create a regular schedule for time together. If that orthodontist or gym trainer deserves a set appointment time, why not your romantic partner? Your date night doesn’t have to be a fancy night out, just a time when the two of you can reconnect and get beyond the daily minutia that fills up so much of our lives. Setting one night every week or two weeks, and then keeping to that schedule, can do a great deal to help reenergize a relationship.

You might also try setting a regular, daily meeting time. Maybe it’s just fifteen minutes at the beginning or end of the day, but make it happen every day. Find out what your partner has been up to, what’s gone right or wrong, and what’s being planned. Planning on even a short time for communicating is an important way to stay connected with each other.

If your romantic relationship has started to feel stale and boring, realize it won’t just fix itself.  Put some thought and effort into doing things that will bring the romance back. If you need  extra help, check the yellow pages for professional counselors who specialize in relationship or couples counseling.

Giving a relationship the work and attention it deserves can pay you back with a lifetime of companionship, happiness and love.

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