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Keeping the Spark Alive...{tips for summertime romance}

Posted on
September 2000

I absolutely adore it when a lovely reader of Stylemindchic writes in with a question. I was thinking of an entirely different post today when I received this question via email, "Have you posted about keeping love alive? I'm looking for some good ideas to keep the spark lit". Hey "sista" (lovely reader) I think most of us can agree that this is universally an excellent question, especially for those of us who are not on our 'first lap around the romance track' with love and relationships. We have likely experienced the highs and the lows, the hots and the colds, the sizzle and the fizzle...and so on. Dare I say, now that I am on my '3's a charm marriage', I have learned a thing or two about the process. My bold statement about keeping the spark alive is that it truly does take 'two to tango'. If the romance has fizzled it won't help to sit back and blame your partner. Truth is, after the first couple of years into a relationship our brain chemistry changes, becomes adjusted to the 'normalcy' of our partnership and it's natural to lose some of the spark. It's comfortable, predictable....a little blah? Yes. The best news is--- we can do this! I am seeing love and passion blossom in relationships at age 40, 60 and 80 right now. I promise you, we can have the spark for a lifetime if we make it a priority in our lives and we are willing to work it. It's called intentionality.

*Make time for each other~unplug from technology, turn off the TV, schedule time with each other if you have to. Scott and I have a standing date for Friday nights. Not only do we make sure it happens, there is something exciting about anticipating that special time with each other. It's a good way to connect after a busy week, and is the perfect kick off the weekend in a connected way. *Surprise each other-it could be something as simple as a loving (or sexy text) or checking in for no reason. This simple surprise bouquet from the garden made me swoon recently. #no cost #big pay back.
*Get away together-there is something about leaving the bills, dishes, laundry behind that is a definite mood enhancer. A beachy escape is one of my favorite ways to insure we will keep that spark alive. If time or budget is the issue it could be as simple as a picnic in the park. An alfresco spread of cheeses, a baguette, crudites, and  a bottle of chilled wine on a blanket in the shade, can definitely get the sparks flying.  
*Laugh and play together-if you don't have 'private jokes' create some. Find those funny, quirky things that you originally liked about each other and notice them again. I saw this funny little example with Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark on 'fashion finder' behind the scenes for her show. Seventeen years of marriage and three kids later these two still seem to have that spark. I notice they laugh and play together frequently. *Plan something special-date night en suite at home can be one of the most sizzling experiences if you set the scene. Candles, flowers, a splash of champagne, and some delectable (and light) dining, combined with some mood setting music creates my perfect ambiance. Other times I want to create a different vibe as simple as watching the sunset holding hands. Figure out what works for you and stay in tune with how to make it happen.
  *Taking personal care-a favorite fragrance, pretty lingerie, feeling healthy and energetic all help to set the tone for sparks. I'm sure it goes without saying but  I personally think keeping a little mystery goes a long way. There are certain grooming and hygiene habits that should stay behind a closed door-period. Yes-forever. Keeping a little mystery is a sexy thing in my book.
*Write it down-expressing your feelings in the form of a note or card is a tangible expression of love and care. Rather than a quick mention it can be savored for years.  I've said it before, if my house were burning down my first grab would be the cards my husband has written to me during the last 13 years.
*This may sound sappy but pick 'your song' as a couple. The first song you danced to (it was 'When a Man Loves a Woman' for us) or the one that reminds you of early, happy times. Don't we all have one or two? Our song is Etta James 'At Last' played at our wedding. The promise is to dance to it each, and every time, we hear it. It's not convenient when you are a little miffed at each other or at Home Depot (a bit embarrassing) but it's a fun promise my husband made to me on our wedding day and we always smile and have to dance. It's always a good 'icebreaker' to have it on the iPod for a quick play to enhance a good mood or ease a bad one.
  *Try something new-cook together, do yoga, take a dance class, learn to scuba dive, fly fish, or my new goal, paddle boarding on our trip to the Dominican Republic this summer. Learning together can be exhilarating and fun.
*Turn-taking-if you end up feeling like you are the 'only one' trying for a little romance I have a tip. Set the stage-plan the evening out, the weekend away or that gourmet dinner at home-make it a good one. You do it this time and your partner will be in charge of the next one. I've found this shared responsibility can end up being a nice balance and a good reminder. I had a time in my previous life where we would alternate country outing or city outing (he was little country and I was a little bit city). Turn taking is the perfect way to honor diverse tastes and get the spark flowing.
It's easy to look at another couple out on the town and think, look how romantic they are all the time. I laugh to think I've even heard that about my husband and myself from friends. We definitely have our 'fizzle' times just like everyone, believe me. Sometimes we have to work at it too. However, having had some painful experiences in our previous lives we now know enough to make it a value in our relationship. My best tip is really kindness. Be kind to each other and that sets the stage for romance. If you don't keep that fire kindled on a regular basis the fire will eventually go out. The good news is keeping the spark alive is rewarding, plus, a little romance keeps us young.
Thank you for the question lovely reader. Let me know if any of the tips work for you. What are your best tips for keeping the spark alive?
Let's keep the conversation going.
Sparkle on!
xx, Heather
All photos Stylemindchic
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Blogger Corner: I apologize about the spacing. Somehow I'm not able to type in my regular post section. I've had to switch back and forth between the html side and compose mood. Has this ever happened to you? #frustrating #I don't do html

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