A new nationwide poll by eHarmony reveals that 96% of us agree that romance is vital for love to blossom, whether you’ve just started dating, or already in a relationship.
What’s more, 47% of Aussies believe in love at first sight, 60% are convinced that ‘The One’ is out there somewhere, and 30% would like to think that the fairytale romance we see in the movies will happen for them one day.
But for those of us already in a relationship, only 12% are convinced their partners are romantic – and 81% of us confess we could do better on the romance front.
Psychologist and eHarmony relationship expert, Jacqui Manning, says communication is the key for sustaining romance.
To mark the Romance Awareness Month of August, she shares five great tips below for keeping the fires burning.
1. Catch the little moments
Even if you’re both time-poor, small moments together can keep the connection strong. People often make the mistake of waiting until they go on holiday or have a grand date-night booked for the romantic fires to be stoked, but doing small things often means there’s always a loving glow between you.
This means gestures of affection, deep conversation, buying a small gift, saying “I love you”, writing surprise notes and leaving them in their pocket, doing something you know your partner loves.
You can think of your relationship like a bank account that works best on smaller deposits often, rather than running dry most of the time and waiting for a periodic lump sum.
2. Show the whites of your eyes
If you’ve got something to discuss (positive or negative), pay attention to each other. Phones away from your sight on silent, no kids, look at each other. It’s amazing how many couples forget to look at each other, and over time this can really cause a disconnect. Conversely regular deep eye contact often creates an intimate connection. Couples that spend even 5-10 minutes a day talking to each other have a stronger relationship and a better chance at longevity.
3. Look for the good
If your partner does something to make you happy, notice it and thank them. Do something loving back. If they get it wrong, let them know, and give them some tips on how to do it better in the future. No one is a mind-reader!
Reflect on what brought you together – thinking back to when you first met and the ways you tried to impress each other, doing nice things for each other, saying compliments and appreciating each other can be a good way of reminding yourself why you’re with this person, and hold you together through the tough times.
4. Kindness wins
Often we get more critical with our partners and speak to them in a way we would never speak to our friends, perhaps sarcastic or belittling. Criticism can be poisonous and make people react defensively so they don’t hear the problem.
No matter how difficult the content of what you have to say may be, talk to your partner as you would a friend – with kindness and respect.
5. Think of romance as thoughtfulness
If you’ve hit a slump that’s OK, life gets stressful. Switch off your screens one evening, and set aside time to talk. Say you’d like to work on topping up your relationship bank account and create a list of ideas of things you can do together you can draw on in busy times. Each of you gets to contribute ideas and then set them in your diaries. And most of all, have fun doing it!
Remember, the point of romance is to say “I love you, I value you, I’m thinking of you”.