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Three Simple Strategies for Rekindling the Romance in Your Relationship
by Rachel G. Baldino for

These days it seems that we are busier than ever. We seem to be in a constant state of motion, always racing off to work, or zipping out to run errands, or to take the kids to their various activities.

Inevitably, something is bound to get lost in the shuffle of all this non-stop running around-and that something is often your relationship with your significant other.

Taking good care of yourself makes you feel better ... and better able to give of yourself to those you love.

This can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, we sometimes fall into the unfortunate habit of taking our partners (and the love they give us) for granted. We assume that they will just "always be there for us," whenever we need them, so we begin to neglect the relationship, rather than nurturing it and doing all that we can to help it continue to thrive and grow.

Once we start taking our intimate relationship for granted, though, the romance is often first thing to go.

If your life has become overly hectic and stressful, and if you think that the health of your relationship with your partner may be suffering as a result, please consider trying some-or perhaps even all-of the strategies described below to reinvigorate your romantic life.

1. Physically demonstrate your love for each other on a daily basis.

Some couples who have been together for a long time tend not to hold, caress, massage, kiss, or cuddle as often as they once did. (Remember, not all touching between romantic partners needs to be regarded as foreplay, though of course, sometimes that's exactly what it is).

Think back for a moment to all the sweet, tender ways you demonstrated your love for each other during your dating days. Now try to reincorporate all those small but meaningful gestures back into your relationship.

A little letter or poem in your own handwriting is a powerful way to rekindle the sparks.
We tend to forget that as human beings, we require quite a bit of tactile attention, particularly from our romantic partners. Just think, each time you lay eyes on one another, you have a fresh opportunity to show your love.

Even if you are both about to run off in opposite directions, there is always time for a quick kiss or a brief cuddle -- especially at the beginning and end of each day.

So, be sure to give your partner a nice shoulder rub, or a foot massage, or a back scratching session, for no particular reason (other than the fact that it will make them feel good).

And instead of sitting in separate chairs while you watch your next movie on television, sit together on the couch, so that you can cuddle, and perhaps even steal a little kiss every now and then.

These small but tender gestures take very little time or effort, and yet they can make each of you feel warm, happy and cherished for hours afterward. They also have a cumulative effect, in the sense that each little kiss and caress builds on top of the one that came before it to continually fortify and deepen your relationship.

2. Write your sweetheart a love letter.

Perhaps you wrote dozens of love letters and love poems to your significant other years ago, when you first got together. Or maybe you have never really been in the habit of expressing your love for your partner in writing.

Either way, now is a great time to start! And in this case I'm not talking about a quick e-mail, dashed off in five minutes, or a little post-it note stuck to the fridge that says, "I love you. Remember to take out the trash later."

Go to the store for some nice stationary, come home, sit down at your desk, and before you even put pen to paper, give yourself an adequate amount of time to think about exactly what it is that you love about your partner and why. Then, just like you did back in school, write a little outline of everything you'd like to include so that you don't forget anything. And once you've completed your brief outline, start working on a rough draft.

The reason I advise you to write your love letter in long hand (rather than typing it on the computer, as you may be tempted to do) is that writing in longhand is a much more intimate, sensual experience.

When you are forming the curve of each letter with your own hand, you tend to feel more connected to the writing experience, which puts you in exactly the right frame of mind to write a heartfelt, meaningful letter to the person you love with all your heart.

Allow yourself to stroll back down memory lane, and then pour those memories (and your feelings about all of those memories) into your first draft. Once you have completed your rough draft, it's time to transfer it to your nice stationary.

Nothing can communicate just how much you care quite as well as a tender, thoughtfully crafted, hand-written love letter.

You may want to give your partner the letter on a special occasion like Valentine's Day, or on your wedding anniversary, or you can just give it whenever the mood strikes, because no matter when you give your partner a gift this personal and intimate, it is sure to be deeply appreciated.

3. Take good care of yourself.

One of the biggest reasons we tend to neglect our intimate relationships with our partners has to do with a lack of self-care.

When you are constantly taking care of others, you may not be taking adequate (or even minimal) care of yourself. After all, there are only so many hours in the day, and it seems that nearly all of those hours are booked up with some activity or other, which means that you have to make a deliberate effort to carve out some precious time for yourself.

Self care means different things to different people.

Some people feel deeply rejuvenated after a long walk in the woods, while others prefer to go to the spa for a facial or pedicure. You may be partial to meditating for a half hour each evening, while your partner may find it more relaxing to go for a run, or to escape into a fast-paced mystery novel. When we take proper care of ourselves, what we are actually doing is recharging our batteries, which in turn makes us feel better equipped to take care of others.

No matter which method(s) of self care you choose, the important thing is to actually follow through with it. After all, the more you take care of yourself, the more rejuvenated you will feel throughout the day, and the more you will have to give, not only to your relationship with your significant other, but also to your relationships with all of your loved ones and friends.

About the Author contributing editor Rachel G. Baldino, MSW, LCSW, is the author of the e-book, Loving Simply: Eliminating Drama from Your Intimate Relationships, published in 2006 by, and the print book, Welcome to Methadonia: A Social Worker's Candid Account of Life in a Methadone Clinic, published in 2000 by White Hat Communications.

Her articles have appeared in Social Work Today, The New Social Worker, New Living Magazine, and other publications. After earning her MSW from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work in1997, she provided counseling services, first at a methadone clinic, and later at an outpatient mental health treatment facility.

Ms. Baldino has been quoted about managing anger in relationships in Kathy Svitil's 2006 book, Calming The Anger Storm, which is part of the Psychology Today Here To Help series. She has also been quoted in such magazines, newspapers and online publications as For Me Magazine, Conceive Magazine, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Albany Times Union, The Tallahassee Democrat, Bay State Parent Magazine,,,, The Newhouse News Service, and Indianapolis Woman. She lives with her husband and children in Massachusetts.

Recommended Reading:

How to Make All Your Relationships Work

The 9 Types of Romanic Love: Which Type Do You Believe In?

How to "Drop the Drama" and Master the Art of "Loving Simply" in Seven Easy Steps

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