Romance can stand the test of time and does not have to fizzle out or become transformed into a companionship/friendship type of love – as found in research by the American Psychological Association (APA). The study busts the myth that true happiness in relationships only exists during the ‘honeymoon’ or ‘velcro’ stage of a relationship and points to the importance of striving to keep romance alive. “Those who reported greater romantic love were more satisfied in both the short- and long-term relationships,” said the researchers, but what practical steps can couples take to ensure their relationship continues to fan the flames of passion in the years ahead?
Mutual Support is Key
Relationships expert, Dr. Harriet Lerner (author of Dance of Anger and other best-sellers) reminds couples of the importance of making a partner feel cared for in the day-to-day aspects of relationships. If you promise your partner that you will cook their favorite dish on a given day, for instance, or you agreed to watch their favorite series together, seeing your promises and plans through is an important way to let them know their feelings matter to you. The APA researchers found that “feeling that your partner is ‘there for you’ makes for a good relationship.” By contrast, feelings of insecurity can create conflict.
Engaging Your Desire for Fantasy
Fantasy helps people de-stress, feel more creative, and feel more bonded to their partners. A 2019 study on sexual fantasies showed that fantasizing about your partner is related to greater desire and enhanced relationship-boosting behaviors. Research by Lehmiller (2018), meanwhile, reveals that people enjoy recreating their fantasies in real life. To introduce fantasy into your relationship, find out if your partner enjoys dress-up fantasies. Whether designer lingerie, kawaii style clothing or rock ‘n roll style garb sets their mood aflame, surprising them in one of these outfits may be an ideal way to bring some fun into your next romantic or sexy escape.
Setting the Mood
A 2017 study published in The Journal of Sex Research found that setting the mood is a key component of sexual satisfaction – as are sexual variety, sex frequency, and other key practices. There are many ways you can create a romantic ambience with your partner and the work can start earlier in the day when you are apart. A loving text message, an expression of anticipation about being together in the evening, or a photograph can kickstart a romantic date. If you are dining out, then dressing up attractively, heading to a restaurant with an intimate, romantic atmosphere and romantic lighting and music, and coming home to a nice slow dance can make your partner feel special and remind them of the days when you began dating and fell in love.
Studies have shown that it is possible to sustain romance in the long-term. Good communication, a commitment to making your partner feel cared for, and experimenting in the bedroom can all heighten your passion. So, too, can creating a special mood for dates and other treasured moments when you plan to do something special as a couple.