How to Balance Time Together and Time Apart to Bring Romance Back

Living together and being married is always going to be a balancing act in terms of your responsibilities versus the time you manage to find together in order to connect with one another.

In particular, the romantic connection can be hard to maintain the longer you are a couple because many other things get in the way, and not every couple makes this a priority.

Spending Quality Time Together

A lot of couples get resentful of their partner because their romance seems to have gone off the boil and sex has become a faint and dim memory because they haven’t had it in so long. Couples with children will especially suffer from this problem.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Romance and intimacy are possible if both partners agree to make time for it and prioritize it. In this way, you can balance the time together with the time apart.

The romantic connection will be maintained, and intimacy will therefore remain an important part of your connection.

What’s Your Love Language?

The marriage counsellor Dr. Gary Chapman has written a series of books about what he terms the 5 Love Languages:

* Quality time
* Acts of service
* Praise
* Gifts
* Physical touch

He states that everyone has a primary and secondary love language, and that one of the reasons why couples have trouble in their relationships is because they don’t speak the same love language.

So for example, if you are working an 18-hour day in order to serve your family because that is your love language, but your spouse wants quality time with you, something is going to have to give.

It can be difficult hearing that your partner is not happy when you are working so hard, but resentment and anger are not going to solve the problem. The good news is it might not even take that much of an adjustment.

Setting aside just half an hour every night (for example, after the kids have gone to bed) where you spend time listening and talking, could make the other person feel you were putting them first.

Maintaining Your Relationships

Another issue couples face with regard to quality time is the commitment to the people in their lives before each met the other - such as parents, siblings, friends and colleagues.

It’s unreasonable to expect them to just dump these people once they start dating or living with you. And chances are you would be pretty resentful if they asked you to stop seeing the people you care for.

It’s also pretty unreasonable to always want to tag along. It’s one thing to feel included and welcome.

It’s another thing to be so insecure you don’t trust your partner on a girls’ or guys’ night out, or begrudge them the time they go over to their parents’ house to help with the cooking, cleaning or gardening.

These commitments actually show how trustworthy your partner is. They don’t just drop people when it’s convenient.

They show up, and deliver the goods. And in many cases, they actually recharge their batteries and can actually give you better quality time, however brief, because they are energized, have had a change of scenery, and/or are using skills they enjoy.

Agreeing What Quality Time Means

The best thing couples can do, especially if they think there is a disconnect with their love languages, is to discuss what quality time means to each person and how they can schedule it regularly.

It might be date night once a week, or a shared activity such as a walk in the park before dinner. Scheduling sex may sound a bit forced, but it can also lead to a spring in your step and a twinkle in your eye knowing you’ll be focusing on that aspect of your relationship that night.

17 Activities to Do Together to Bring Back Romance

Many couples tend to pay less and less attention to the romantic aspect of their lives together. They get busy, children come along, and before they know it, they’re like roommates rather than romantic lovers.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Romance and intimacy are all about making and keeping connections. Connections using the five senses can help.


1. Handholding is something most couples do when they are first dating, but an activity many couples stop once they’ve been together for a while. Yet handholding brings people together both physically and emotionally.

Walking down the street or in a mall or in nature holding hands connects you in terms of posture, pace and shared experience. Holding hands when you are sitting watching TV is also a way of sharing experience.

2. Hugging - Handholding can lead to hugging and snuggling, especially when you are sitting together.

3. Sleeping in bed - Do you sleep far apart? Or even in separate rooms? Or do you tend to spoon and snuggle up? There might be some valid reasons for separate rooms (such as health issues) but if this is the case, do plan to make up for the physical contact prior to going to bed to sleep.

Taste and Other Ways to Connect

4. Sharing food can be very intimate and fun.

5. So too are nostalgic things you like to do together than help remind you of how you became a couple.

6. Some couples "nest" by shopping together to choose things that will make their house feel more like a home.


7. Your taste in music can actually bring you together as you sing along to old favorites and new.

8. Some couples like to have pleasant sounds in the bedroom, especially the sounds they wake up to so they are not jolted out of their sleep each morning. Bird song, the patter of rain, and other soothing sounds can give you a chance to snuggle in bed before facing another busy day.


9. Shared smells can bring a sense of closeness. Perfume and aftershave are known for their allure, provided you don’t use too much of them and the other person likes the fragrance.

10. Scientists also posit that pheromones can affect how a couple reacts to each other.

11. Subliminal smells can attract or repel. For example, you might love the way your spouse’s back of the neck smells due to their laundry detergent.

On the other hand, the smell of their sports socks might be totally revolting. To bring back romance, focus on the attractive smells!

12. Then there is aromatherapy. This ancient healing method uses highly concentrated botanicals known as essential oils to elevate the mood and re-establish balance and harmony.

Citrus scents like lemon and neroli (orange flower) boost the energy. Lavender and cedarwood are more soothing. Combine with massage for a really romantic evening together.


12. Not everyone fills their house with photos, but it is always a good idea to have at least a few of you around the house to remind you of all the good times you have shared.

13. Some of the photos can be romantic, to remind you of what you first found so attractive about each other. You can include a wedding photo, and/or a snap from your honeymoon.

16. Some photos can be action shots of shared activities that should help you bond and make you feel closer.

17. Create a shared album online from the photos you take on your phone. Looking through them will remind you of all the fun and romance you share together.

What’s your biggest issue? How do you handle it – or can you think of any additional tips you can share with others if you don’t have an issue with this in your life?

Share them with us in our Comments – or share this blog post on Twitter or Facebook or wherever you feel it could help someone you know.

Cheers, Helene Malmsio

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