14 Ways to Be Romantic and Sweep Your Partner Off Their Feet
Prioritizing romance keeps your relationship hot and healthy. We've got the expert advice you need to learn how to be romantic, even if it doesn't come naturally to you.
Learn how to be romantic and reignite the spark
Romance, that butterflies-in-the-stomach, head-over-heels feeling, is important at every stage of a relationship. Whether you’ve been together for two days or 20 years, these feelings keep you and your partner bonded and in love. But how to be romantic comes more naturally in the beginning of a relationship, and many couples find that maintaining romance over months and years is a challenge. It can be easy to let the romance slide, but it’s worth working for.
“To keep your relationship solid and your love alive, you need to keep some of the excitement from the early stages of the relationship—and that means romance,” says Carolyn Rubenstein, PhD, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Boca Raton, Florida. “Lack of romance can lead to stagnancy, complacency, feelings of being taken for granted and, in the worst case, the loss of love and the relationship.”
Clearly, it’s crucial to keep the romance alive. That’s why we’re rounding up expert advice and creative ideas for reigniting your relationship spark. Whether you go on a romantic getaway, leave love quotes in each other’s lunch bags, cuddle up with a romantic movie or brainstorm romantic date ideas, you’ll find yourself falling back in love fast.
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Dress to impress
When dating, people are on their best behavior, focusing more time on their physical appearance as a way to impress their potential partner. But once the relationship gets comfortable, it’s easy to stick to, well, life’s greatest comforts. (Read: worn-in sweats and the oldest T-shirt in your collection.) You don’t have to ditch your favorite sweatpants, but it’s important to remember your partner is still worthy of your best efforts, says Rubenstein. When you’re building romance, nothing adds a little sizzle like a little black dress, a sleek suit or matching couples costumes (you do you!).
Pursue your partner
Once you’ve “got” your partner and the thrill of the chase is gone, you risk feeling bored or unappreciated, says Rubenstein. So find ways to pursue your loved one like you did in the early days. Find out their love language and go out of your way to do something meaningful for them, like sending a bouquet of their favorite flowers to their job, renting a romantic comedy (even if you’d rather watch a disaster flick) or booking a table at their favorite restaurant as a surprise.
Bring up an inside joke
One of the best parts of being a couple is having things that only the two of you understand. At the beginning of the relationship, these shared jokes and experiences are common, but they can be forgotten as time goes on. Go back through old photos or journals to remember some of your favorite inside jokes. Write them on a sticky note or text them with a photo to your partner.
Want to deepen your connection even further? Spend time together answering these 36 questions that lead to love. Don’t rush through them—take time to mull over the question and give a thoughtful response.
Don’t forget the little things
“Romance does not have to occur on a grand scale that includes yachts, caviar and diamonds,” says Rubenstein. “Daily romance is built on small gestures that convey affection, thoughtfulness and love.” That’ll look different for each couple, but it helps to identify a few small ways you can show your partner you’re listening and you know what’s important to them. Leave their favorite chocolate on their pillow, print their favorite meme and tape it to the mirror, or tuck notes with relationship quotes around the house.
Do something physical together
Any type of physical activity releases endorphins, the brain chemicals that signal excitement and, yes, romance. Get active together, and your body will also release oxytocin, the bonding hormone.
Right about now, your mind has wandered to sex, hasn’t it? Set that aside for the moment. Aim to do something physical (but not sexual) together to get your hearts racing. Train for a 5K, for instance, or take a salsa dancing class—getting active is just one of the many things happy couples do after work. That’s not just advice for learning how to be more romantic. It’s top advice for living a longer and healthier life together.
Have better sex
Let’s talk about sex. Not only is it a physical activity for couples, but it’s also an incredibly powerful romantic experience. At least it can be when done right. Couples can easily fall into a rut, turning sex into something routine or even tedious, like a chore.
The solution isn’t simply having more sex; it’s having better, more connected sexual experiences. One way to bring the romance back into the bedroom is by focusing on the sensations of sex rather than just the act itself. It can be as simple as bringing in something that will tease the taste buds, touch the skin in a different way or fill the room with an exciting scent. Need help getting in the mood? Try watching a super-sexy Netflix movie together before getting it on.
Don’t have sex
Wait … what? Didn’t we just say that having more meaningful sex can teach you how to be romantic? It’s true, but for couples who have fallen into a routine with sex, taking it off the table can introduce an invigorating forbidden-fruit feeling. Agree to make out, touch and tease each other without progressing to full sex. Write or read aloud steamy love messages. Send sexts or sexy videos. This can help you focus on the romantic aspects of lovemaking rather than just the big climax at the end. (And if you give into temptation, well, that’s pretty hot too!) Next, check out these adorable nicknames to give your girlfriend or boyfriend!
Learn something new together
Try new things—together. Learning new things stimulates your brain in a way that feels exciting, and that excitement can translate into romance, even if the activity itself isn’t traditionally romantic, says Rubenstein. “Even things like taking a cooking class or reading a book together can reinvigorate bonding,” she says.
Indulge in a little luxury
Make every day feel special by splurging occasionally on a luxurious indulgence as a couple. Perhaps you get a couples massage, make chocolate-dipped strawberries together, spend the weekend at a romantic hotel near your home or even go big at a romantic resort on the other side of the world.
Change it up
The brain loves novelty, which is why a new relationship can feel like magic. That can fade over time, leaving a relationship feeling stale. Sometimes just a little change is all you need to learn how to be romantic and reignite a flickering spark. Try a different hair color (or a wig!), grow a beard, wear a costume, spritz on a new scent, buy an out-of-character outfit or even skip wearing underwear to bed. Such simple changes can reignite the romance.
Take a trip down memory lane
Boost the passion in your ho-hum relationship by remembering why you fell in love in the first place. Redo one of your first dates, go back to where you first met, recall moments of joy or simply share memories of falling in love. You think you’ll remember those experiences forever, but they can quickly fade, between the dishwasher breaking and the school run. Thankfully, revisiting those early months (and years) together can fan the flames of romance.
Use the good china
Try treating your partner like an honored guest for a day, says Rubenstein. Bring out the towels traditionally left for company, set the table with the fancy china, pop open the good bottle of wine and make the bed with fresh sheets and fluffed pillows. These little touches don’t cost anything, yet they show your love in a very tender way. Chances are, the royal treatment will leave your partner feeling happier, better appreciated and even more in love.
Surprise your partner
As you chat with your significant other, pay attention to the objects and experiences they express interest in. Keep a list on your phone, then refer to it when shopping for gifts for your husband or wife.
And don’t just stick to birthdays and holidays. Every once in a while, surprise your partner with one of these gifts or experiences—for no reason other than you want to sweep them off their feet. Not only does this give them something they enjoy, but it also shows you’re listening. Anyone can give a gift card, but only you know that your partner has always wanted to own a night-blooming cactus.
Redecorate your bedroom together
The focus of your bedroom should be on you as a couple, but often that gets lost in the day-to-day shuffle, turning your would-be sanctuary into a clothing-covered disaster. If your bedroom has become more of a mess than a love nest, consider redecorating it together to make it into a zen, romantic refuge, says Rubenstein. Focus on making it a place where you’ll want to spend time together, whether that’s in the throes of passion, cuddled up with a romantic Netflix movie or tucked together for an hour-long nighttime chat.
- Carolyn Rubenstein, PhD, licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Boca Raton, Florida