10 simple ways to put the romance back into your relationship

While every couple has down spells, these simple tips will help rev those engines once again.

How to woo your mate

During a recent fitness class at Toronto's Ella Centre for Parenting and Pregnancy, my instructor asked me what topic I was writing about this week. I told her about this article and my fellow moms immediately jumped in. After all, if anyone needs a bit of romantic rekindling – between the diaper changes and the sleep deprivation – it's new parents. One woman suggested a weekend at the spa. Another proposed getting a wax, stating emphatically that if you don't feel sexy, why should your partner think you are?

Nancy Hurst, a psychologist and marriage counsellor in Edmonton, says romance is about connecting. "When you feel connected, when you feel close to the other person, when you feel the other person is listening to you, that is where romance begins."

What can you do to revive your relationship? Follow our 10 simple ways to get you back on the romantic track.

1. Enjoy the details
"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important," said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Sherlock Holmes creator may as well have been speaking about romance. "The little things that my husband has done, like leaving me notes that say 'Have a great day, I love you,' are really nice," says Julie Dupoire, a mother of two. Hurst also suggests calling your spouse at work just to say hello and taking a few moments in the evening to recap the day's events.

2. Talk it out
Flowers, music, chocolate – all are wonderful romantic gestures, but if one half of the couple has some underlying resentment, maybe because they had no help with the kids that day, then any gift becomes pointless. "The more there's a connection, the more you feel close about your relationship, the easier it is to get through the conflicts," explains Hurst. "A solid base makes things less volatile." Dealing with your issues will lessen any strain or stress and open up the lines of communication – and reception to romantic notions.

3. Touch
"At this particular stage of my life, running after a toddler and seven months pregnant, I find my husband's massage at the end of the day is a great way for us to reconnect, not to mention relax," says Marsha Moshinsky, married for 12 years. Physical contact, be it kissing, hugging or holding hands, is a simple way to show the other person how you feel, even when those tender moments may be fleeting with the kids yelling and the dog barking in the background.

4. Go out on a date
A night out is a great way to reconnect with your partner, and if you can ritualize date night, you'll always have something to look forward to and get excited about. "We have my parents come to our place once a week," says Howard Wiseman, a father of two. "It allows my wife and me to get out together and talk." 

Page 1 of 2 – Strengthen your bond with your partner and intimacy will follow we'll show you how on page 2.

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