The companionship of marriage is a beautiful thing. Having a partner in life is a wonderful notion. Joining together and forming a new family is the true romance. But we all know that romance, as well as marriage, is not always easy. In fact, sometimes it can feel like the most difficult thing to stay a part of and remain committed to. The honeymoon phase, that most couples experience at the beginning of their relationship and then again when they’re newlyweds, fades. 


Many newlyweds are aware of the fact that the giddy feelings, in the beginning, do fade. And many of them swear to each other that they’ll work on keeping the fire going. That they’ll give their relationship the nurturing it needs no matter what comes their way. But life happens, naturally, the marriage and relationship are taken for granted after a good few years. This is normal. But if attention isn’t given to romance within the marriage, then when the proverbial paw-paw hits the fan, it’ll be difficult to suddenly create it in an effort to fix things. 


And the word romance pertains to a variety of parts of the relationship. Romance means friendship as well as intimacy. And this means sex as well as other love-fueled activities. Unfortunately, what often ends up ruining the romance is that what we stop actually physically communicating what we feel for each other inside. Something as simple as beginning to forget to kiss each other hello or goodbye each day seems small but it’s a big part of your intimacy. An effort must be made in various ways to keep the fire between you and your spouse.


Play dates

Seriously, adults need play dates too. Organising drinks with friends after work is a form of play date so set up something with you partner. Make sure they know it’s about having some fun together and, depending on what you guys are into, this could range from skydiving, to cocktails to a spa day. Remember when you were actually dating and your time together was always planned and yet it felt like an adventure? That’s what you want to recapture. These playdates are likely to see you two ending up naked and that’s great. That’s, in fact, a perfect playdate.


Schedule your sex

So, this sounds awful but consider the point above. When you were dating you probably never once felt like your sex was scheduled and planned out but each date was ultimately planned sex. Of course, in your marriage, especially when you have kids, heading out on an adventure and ending up “spontaneously” having sex is near impossible. But it’s worth making an effort to reignite some of that original passion. Even if it’s a Tuesday and you’re on the couch watching your favourite TV show, eating pizza in your sweatpants. Let your fingers do the talking by wandering over to your partner and indicating to them that you’re interested in them. In a really, really physical way. And if you’re able to set up a salacious evening together at least every couple of weeks (when the kids go to granny’s place), then make the most of these occasions evenings by trying some new things. Many couples spice up their sex lives with toys and sexual accessories. And online sex shops in South Africa have done well to provide even the least filthy-minded person out there with something that they might be interested in that will help them have a more satisfying sex life.


Touch without having sex

There are two distinct types of physical touch in a relationship. In the beginning of a new entanglement they’re easily identified. There’s the touching that leads to all the clothes coming off and there’s the touching that indicates feelings of love, care and respect. In long term marriages, it’s often the second form of touching that falls away. Even if the couple’s sex life is waning, the sexual touching happens every now and then when one or both are feeling aroused. However, the non-sexual intimate touching disappears and it can make one or both partners feel undervalued and probably quite sad. So, hold hands, kiss foreheads, tickle backs, spoon and hug. These are important. These mean love. 


Spend time alone and have something to talk about

You know what’s not interesting after a couple of years? Your job. So, be a little selfish (if you can call it that) and find a hobby, a club or a sport to do that is yours alone to enjoy. This means you’ll bring additional interesting information and interactions to the marriage. It also forces you to step out of your comfort zone which can be difficult when you are just oh-so-comfy with your partner and feel you need no one else. But in stepping out of the marriage to enjoy some time doing your own thing, you’ll also continue learning about yourself as an individual. Many spouses feel they get lost in their marriages and forget parts of their personality that makes them a unique individual.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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