How to Nurture Romance

Birds dance, flirt, and posture to attract a mate, and humans have exactly the same skills. Trouble is, even in new relationships we may quickly forget how the dance of love is supposed to go. Here’s a fun refresher course in common-sense love language that may give you a few delightful aha! moments while your partner snuggles up and adores you.

Watch your body language. Your mouth might say, “Yes, thank you,” but your posturing says, “I couldn’t be less interested.” Most interaction with your loved one happens in the evening. You’re tired from work or whatever your day held. Check this: Your gaze wanders, eyes unfocused; you yawn with shoulders slumped and sagging. Not a great message. Snap out of it!

Do something surprising. Plan and execute a date totally out of your norm. If you always do movies, try a concert or a beach picnic, even by moonlight. If you always wear conservative clothes, break out into vivid color for a day. If you’re a steak-and-potatoes person, live on the edge and suggest French cuisine for dinner. Skip missionary position and do something earthy.

Couples get comfortable, complacent with each other. Nothing is nicer than feeling relaxed, but don’t lapse into risky romance-killers. Fuss a little. Ladies, shave the legs. Gentlemen, pluck the nose and ear hairs. Hold a door open. Fluff up his pillow.

Leave ball-and-chain jokes to Al Bundy and Joan Rivers. It’s true: if you can’t say anything nice, your love life may suffer. Gentle humor that includes your partner, like sweet inside jokes, is delicious. However, jibes and digs at another’s expense do nothing to endear you. Want to get lucky? Don’t make unfortunate remarks about your lover.

Let everyone know you’re in love with your best guy or girl. Touch their shoulder gently just to say, “I’m here for you.” Lightly hold their hand in the car, at the dinner table, when walking. Morning kisses and evening hugs can’t ever be overdone. Those things say so much.

Be nice. Pick up a tiny bouquet of flowers on the way home. Put a little potted plant on his desk. Hand her four perfect gourmet chocolate truffles on a Sunday afternoon and don’t ask to share. Women love to be pampered, and so do men. Go a bit out of your way to show how special your partner is.

Make time. You’re busy. Everyone is busy. You’re obliged to honor the worth of your lover and your partnership. Ten minutes at day’s end is not tough. An extra cup of coffee in the morning instead of rushing out the door makes the day prettier for both. Turning off the cell phone for an hour’s drive in the country is a fantastic way to show you treasure what you have.

Be a good listener. Close lips and open ears when your partner needs someone to commiserate. Offer advice only when asked. Act as if you don’t have casual solutions to every problem. Take it all in like you care. Give positive feedback, and then a long, warm, “it’ll be OK” hug.

It doesn’t take much effort to forge a healthy, pleasurable bond between lovers. It’s easy to forget how important loverly actions and words are, but you’ll be surprised at how good it feels to get back to love basics. Start today and reap the benefits for a long, long time.

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