I got this forwarded message from my w@w yahoogroups. I might as well paste it here so that I have something to read from time to time. I know that when dear baby comes out, there will be a point in our lives when we will concentrate on him/her more than we used to focus on our partners...
How to Maintain Romance
There is so much more involved in keeping romance alive than just candles, bubble baths, and foot massages. You each have to work at it in order to maintain and enjoy romance in your life. Here is how to feed the romantic fires in your relationship in a deep and meaningful way.
1. Tell the truth. Truth is the ultimate aphrodisiac and a great way to create connection with your partner. For example, you might say "I feel safe when I am with you" or "Sometimes I feel scared that we get so busy with other things that we forget about creating close moments together, but I really want to be close with you." Just share your true feelings and speak from your experience. If you are concealing in your relationship, you will not feel connected, so consider making truth an ongoing priority in your life.
2. Appreciate yourself and your partner. Appreciation means "to grow in value, or to be sensitively aware of." Take time to understand just what it is that you like about yourself, and your partner. Saying for example, "I am doing a good job as a parent by taking time to hug the kids in the morning before they go off to school." or "I really appreciate how dedicated you are to your job." Successful relationships have a 5 to 1 ratio of appreciations to criticisms, so if you really want to heat up your relationship, start appreciating!
3. Listen. All humans crave being seen and heard. Being with your partner, and really listening to them can be magical for you both. Often, we want to fix their problems, but it is much more powerful to listen. Saying, "Wow, I can understand you are frustrated." or "That must have been hard on you." Let your partner know you're hearing them.
4. Create romance within yourself first. We often try to "get" our partners to be more romantic by believing we need to change them in order to have what we want. The truth is that you are much more likely to have what you want when 'you' show up in that way. For example, create your own romantic mood--dress, put on music, prepare sensuous foods, take some time to love and appreciate yourself. It will not take long for your partner to join in the fun!
5. Ask for what you want. Let your partner know that you are deeply interested in spending some romantic time with them (You would be surprised at how often they are unaware of this.) Whining, demanding, and manipulating are contrary to creating romance, so do your best to ask using kind and loving words.
6. Bring play back into your relationship. Levity is a sexy thing. If you are stuck in thoughts of how much housework you have to do, or that you might wake the kids, more than likely you will not feel romantic. Laugh about the ways that you take your self out of a romantic mood, and soon, you will be back in it.
7. Speak your partner's love language. We often become confused and disappointed by expecting the other person to do such and such romantic things. Do to your partner the things they like as well as you telling them what 'you' like, want, and expect. When you fulfill their needs and desires, you will end up receiving the same in return!
8. Accept each other unconditionally, respect each others wishes and dislikes. Keep the mystery and fascination to each other. Love each moment as if it is the last.
* Communicate with your partner about what each of you wants in the area of romance, without making the other person feel wrong for their desires. One may want less romance, the other may want more, however by communicating, each can have what they want, it just may not look the way you think it is supposed to. For example, how could you create a romantic evening just for yourself? (This is a really powerful step to creating a life of joy!)
* Portions of this article are based on the works of Drs. Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks
* Many couples will subconsciously create an argument just when there is an opportunity for romance. This happens because we have conditioned ourselves to avoid intimate connection. We are afraid of being hurt when we are most open and vulnerable, thus we shut down without even realizing we are doing it. When this happens, take notice,
without judging yourself or your partner. Instead try once more to spark a connection by using the steps above.
* Being sarcastic with the one you love is not romantic or funny, unless both partners realize the mood.