Recapturing the Romance

Dear Gene,

We have been married for six years and we have two children.  My husband and I talked this weekend about how we need to recapture some of the romance that was present in our lives particularly before the children were born….   Renée

Dear Renée,

In my free online Relationship Inventory available at, I ask couples to respond to this statement: I can easily identify quite a number of ways of maintaining intimacy and not losing romance in our relationship.”  If a partner answers “no” or “uncertain” to this statement (or incorrectly to other statements), the couple is invited to subscribe to “Counseling Insights” that can help deepen their love for one another and resolve any “potentially problematic” issues identified by the program based on their respective responses.  The counseling insights provided for this statement about intimacy and romance should provide you and your husband with some useful ideas:

It’s Saturday night and you have a hot date. You’re concerned with how you look and plans are in place for what you hope will be a very romantic evening together. You enjoy an intimate candlelight dinner with soft background music and more than just superficial conversation. You feel like you’ve never been happier in your entire life. The interior feelings that each of you have for one another grow and in time are externalized in a memorable and joyous wedding celebration in the presence of family and friends.

Years later it’s Saturday and you and your spouse find yourselves very tired after a long week. The kids around which your lives seem to evolve place great demands on each of you. Will this Saturday night simply be a time to recharge your batteries or can it be an opportunity to reawaken many of the feelings of love and romance that predated your marriage?

What can couples do to help maintain romance in their lives? Here are some romantic weekend suggestions that may prove helpful: Send the kids away to their grandparents, relatives or friends so you can be alone together at least from Saturday to Sunday afternoon. Make reservations for dinner at an upscale restaurant where you can both dress up and have a quiet, intimate dinner together. Go for a romantic walk together, preferably in a scenic area where, in addition to holding hands, you can also sit and chat about the “good times” you’ve shared over the years. Get a romantic movie, perhaps one that dates back to when you were dating or one that has always had special meaning in your lives. If you don’t spend Saturday night in a cozy bed and breakfast or hotel, use candles, flowers and soft music to create a very romantic atmosphere in your home throughout the weekend.

Have you ever given your partner a spontaneous kiss in public? Have you ever hidden a love note to be discovered or sent your partner a card apart from his or her birthday or Valentine’s Day? Have you ever called your partner at work or at home and said, “I just called to say ‘I love you’?” If getting away for romantic dinners together prove too difficult to arrange or too costly, have you ever considered luncheon encounters? Have you ever thought about how good kids must feel to see their parents kissing? What are some of your own ideas for not losing the spark that ignited your love for one another?

Have a question for Dr. Gene, send it to: [email protected]   If you are hesitant to write, consider subscribing to his confidential counseling insights available at