Seeing that Valentine's Day is among us... I got to thinking we could all share some advice, based on our experiences. Relationships are difficult things to maintain. Loving and romance does not necessarily come "natural" in all relationships. Romance, in particular, usually takes work, time and energy; but the rewards are well worth the effort. Having been in a very long term relationship that has had it's ups and downs, I realize that through it all, the love and romance has always been there. Sometimes it may have been just a small spark, other times a roaring flame. What are some things you do that keep your romance alive in your relationship? I will start with 5 things I've learned: 1. Set a "date night". Ours is usually on Friday night, and we don't always get to have a special date. But it is important and we do try to have at least 2 a month. You don't have to spend a lot of money. Looking forward to "date night" puts excitement in our life. We dress up, flirt, and have fun, just the two of us. We have always done this, even when our child was small. 2. Communicate - talking to each other about the day's events, actually listening and laughing about the funny things that happened. Remembering to laugh along the way is important. But also important, is talking about serious matters, issues that could cause problems if not addressed. We have, through the years, discussed very serious issues over diinner.... out.. in a quiet restaurant. You might ask why? Because in a public setting, we cannot (1) raise our voices at each other (2) lose our composure and (3) forget to stay focused on the issue rather than finding blame. It works for us. I dare say it would work for everyone, though. And don't forget those very powerful words, "I love you"....(if, of course, you really mean it.) :smile: 3. Don't forget the power of "touching" - holding hands, sweet, short kisses, a pat on the arm, ass, back, etc. And my favorite, hugging. Hugs, to me, are energizing and positive. Spontaneity is fun, and touching is powerful. It doesn't have to lead to sex... and many times really shouldn't. Just a simply act to show your love for your partner. 4. Spend time together. Even if it's just sitting together watching a movie. Realize that you can't really communicate, touch, or show expressions of love if you are not spending time together. Do things you both enjoy: Going to the gym together, shopping for groceries together (this can be fun as well as funny), go for a walk together, whatever the activity is, it's more fun when shared (if you both enjoy it.) However, don't neglect the need for independence as well. We all need "alone" time. Some need it more than others. Knowing your partner, you will know when they need to be alone. This is not something to be upset or hurt over. Everyone is uniquely different. By getting to now your partner, you will know when they need to be alone. 5. Remember what made you love them in the first place. Remember, when you first fell in love, you only saw the best about the person and focused on how wonderful they were. If you want the romance to sizzle, do that again.