Jan - Feb 2012 issue

The word romance evokes a cornucopia of images and emotions – from flowers, candlelit dinners, silk sheets to perfume, movies, art, intimate moments, or perhaps a particular language like French or Italian. Things that fascinate the heart and perhaps fill the soul with wonderment, such that it turns people into poets and musicians overnight.

But more often, the blissful state lasts no more than several months to maybe a few years, and keeping the fire as hot and burning as before becomes such a challenge. How then do you keep the excitement on the up and up when there are so many things out there fighting for your time and attention? Compound that with what your partner is also going through and you have an arduous task of keeping the romance alive, ahead of you.

Tip no.1: Adventure

The two of you must make a conscious decision to embrace adventure and revel in it. Not everyone is born with a daring streak and perhaps you or your partner falls into this category – but this is not an excuse for you to let things remain in status quo. It need not be something so daring it can shock you to the core. You and your partner can find adventure even in something as simple as taking walks on the beach, parks, or the market place. Another thing you can do is trying a new restaurant every month, scary park rides, or a new sport. Whatever you do, make sure you leave some room for your lover to experience adventure with you. It will make your bond stronger.

Tip no. 2: Mystery

Keeping the mystery alive in a relationship is as important as sharing intimate moments together. As a lover, I take pride in my natural ability to be mysterious. As much as I am very transparent about my emotions sometimes, I also know how to mask them at certain moments. By being mysterious, I keep my lover in a state of wonderment so that he is always looking forward to what kind of surprise I will pull off next. Just because you are a couple, it doesn’t mean that you abdicate your own identity and personal space.  You are still your own person and it will be to your relationship’s growth to remind him every now and then of the spirited woman he fell in love with.

Tip no. 3: Love

Cultivate and spread reminders of love in your home. It can be small love notes posted on the mirror or next to the mug of coffee you lovingly prepared for him. Call him in the middle of the day just to say I love you and how your life has been made more colorful by his presence alone. Do random acts of love such as cooking his favorite meal, giving him a massage when he’s all stressed out at work, or running a warm bath that the two of you can share. Go out on dates like when you were just starting out in your relationship as a couple. Hold hands in public and always be mindful of your partner’s needs.

 Tip no. 4: Fascination

Surround yourself and your lover with concepts, ideas, and people that inspire and fascinate. By cultivating fascination, we view the world in a seemingly brand new pair of polarized sunglasses and colors are highlighted and experiences are magnified. Just by learning something new – pottery, cooking, samba, etc – we become fascinated, therefore, make it part of your long-term agenda to take classes of any discipline that interests you. Pay more attention to each other’s body when making love and be fascinated over and over again by the energy that flows between your bodies.

When we cultivate love, fascination, adventure and mystery into our daily lives, we become extraordinarily passionate people and we experience extraordinary events. We see things as we have never seen them before. We appreciate ourselves and our special and individual gifts and talents – as well as those of others. Our world moves more deliberately and the beauty of it all is allowed to caress us with its wonder.

But more importantly, appreciate the fact that the cultivation of romance into daily life is never contingent on whether or not you have a lover. The cultivation of romance is about self-discovery, self-preservation, and self-appreciation. Ensuring that no matter what happens in our journey through life, we have a foundation that nurtures inspires and encourages our success. And this is a foundation that WE ourselves build, and one that is not heavily dependent on another person for its strengths and endurance.