Relationships can be both rewarding and exhausting. You and your partner may live together, work and share the responsibilities of cooking, cleaning or taking care of pets or children. But by the end of the day, you barely get to spend any quality time alone with your partner.
Even the strongest of couples can get bogged down by the daily grind, leaving romance by the wayside.
Maintaining intimacy takes work. Whether you're interested in building a deeper connection or reviving the romance with your loved one, there are many ways to spice up your relationship.
Everyone's different, which is why ideas to renew romance depend on what you and your partner are comfortable with. In this article, we'll explore five basic ways to rejuvenate your bond.
Up first, we'll discuss how hobbies and getaways can help.
In lieu of expensive gifts, add some spice to your relationship by picking up an exciting hobby or planning a modest getaway together.
For hobbies, any fun activity requiring teamwork will do, but make sure you and your partner understand the ground rules: No bickering or fighting allowed. For instance, dancing -- either professionally or hitting the town once a week -- will get you and your partner's blood flowing as long as you don't get frustrated with one another.
Simple getaways are especially useful in reviving romance. Although a day trip to the local spa may be the answer for you and your beloved, other couples might favor driving through the countryside or going on a date in a neighboring town. Either way, you'll want to dedicate quality time to focus on your partner.
Before cramming several activities into one trip, be careful not to plan too much. Nothing puts a damper on romance like enforced schedules. Embracing the moment can be dreamier than you think.
Next, we'll take a look at how food can spice up your relationship.
Flavorful eats can help spice up your relationship as well. Of course, a romantic dinner to de-stress from a long day can be ideal. But if you want to shake things up, embark on an adventure to try new, exotic foods and restaurants. Regardless of how the food tastes, the fact that you and your partner are trying new things together will create a livelier time.
Some couples prefer bringing food into the bedroom to spice things up. Although the reliability of aphrodisiacs depends more on your expectations of them working, they still might be fun to try with your partner once you've examined their safety [source: Swanson]. It's best to stay away from supplements and pills that claim to boost libido. Instead, stick with everyday foods such as oysters and chocolate -- placebo effects abound.
You can also rekindle your relationship by making -- or buying -- your partner's favorite dessert. Sometimes you have to satisfy the sweet tooth to reach the heart.
Is it possible to bring back first-date butterflies? Check out our next tip on the following page.
What makes those first dates and months together so dreamy and memorable?
Thinking about it, you may find that a certain level of formality played a role. That is, you and your partner hardly knew one another, which added to the excitement of dating at first. This isn't to say that the beginning of your relationship is superior to any other time, but the truth is you probably had less trouble spicing things up. Perhaps you sported your favorite outfit or tried extra hard to impress your partner when you first met.
Spicing up your relationship can be as easy as injecting these formal elements back into your date nights. To revive the intensity and ardor in your, organize a second "first" date together, planning a fun night on the town or at home. You could even revisit the places you first met or had your first dates.
Bringing formal back helps you and your partner recognize why you became enamored with one another in the first place.
Up next, we'll have you talking about old memories … and making new ones.
Good communication is vital for a healthy relationship, but how can simply talking add flavor to your relationship?
There's something that rekindles a couple's connection when they reminisce about the past or fantasize about what the future may hold. Recalling the time you first met or even first impressions can bring those first-date butterflies back. Couples that recollect times when they laughed together can increase their overall satisfaction with the relationship, research shows [source: Bazzini et al.].
Perhaps remembering the good times will inspire you to make more.
And if you're not interested in rousing the past, think about ways you two can feed your romance in the future. Think about all the adventurous and romantic things you want to do -- even if it's totally expensive and unreasonable.
Don't be afraid to talk about realistic goals for the future, too. Research has shown that couples who understand one another's goals are likely to be more satisfied with their relationship and feel more connected to their partner [source: Riediger, Rauers].
Read on to find out why spontaneity is the ultimate spice to relationships.
Spontaneity lies at the heart of spicing up your relationship. Breaking the routine may be all that it takes to create a romantic atmosphere for you and your partner.
There are several ways to do this.
Surprises are most welcome -- as long as they don't get you or your lover in trouble or fired. Remember, timing is key. If you know your partner is on the hot seat at work, don't chance barging in to surprise him or her. Though your intentions are in the right place, it may be a better idea to wait until your partner gets home.
Another tip to spice up your love life is to leave your partner romantic, loving or funny notes in unexpected places. Resist the urge to text message your partner, if that's something you would normally do. Since there's nothing more sincere than using your own handwriting, leave a note in your partner's coat pocket or even in his or her car at the beginning of the day to score points. This makes your partner think about you throughout the day, which may pave the way for one-on-one action when you both get home.
In addition, try something as spontaneous as skipping work to enjoy one another's company, if you can swing it.
Find more information about spicing up your relationship on the next page.
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- Acitelli, Linda. "When spouses talk to each other about their relationship." Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 5, 2. 185-199. 1988. (Feb. 7, 2011).http://spr.sagepub.com/content/5/2/185.short
- Bazzini, D., Stack, E., Martincin, P., & Davis, C. "The effect of reminiscing about laughter on relationship satisfaction." Motivation and Emotion. 31. 25-34. 2007. (Feb. 15, 2011).http://www.springerlink.com/content/6j62ru1413q705l0/
- Dosani, Sabina. "Re-energize Your Relationship" Reignite the Spark and Keep It Burning." Penguin. 2007.
- Garascia, Tony. "Communicating Intimacy in Marriage." in "The Honeymoon Habit." Ave Maria Press. 2008.
- Riediger, Michaela & Rauers, Antje. "The 'I know you' and the 'You know me' of mutual goal knowledge in partnerships: Differential associations with partnership satisfaction and sense of closeness over time." British Journal of Social Psychology. 49, 3. 2010. (Feb. 7, 2011).http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20338101
- Rollins, Samantha. "Do they work? 5 Popular Aphrodisiacs." Time Healthland. Feb. 14, 2011. (Feb. 18, 2011).http://healthland.time.com/2011/02/14/do-they-work-5-popular-aphrodisiacs/slideshow/
- Swanson, Janice. "Do natural aphrodisiacs actually work?" MayoClinic.com. July 14, 2010. (Feb. 8, 2011).http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/natural-aphrodisiacs/AN02085