August is Romance Awareness Month and Relationship Coach Annmarie Kelly is helping couples reignite the love spark in their relationship with The Romance Challenge, which is designed to remind couples why they are together. Couples do one simple love-action each day for five days, Monday through Friday, starting on August 7.
“Marriages and relationships have been through a lot the past few years and they’re emotionally exhausted,” said Kelly, international bestselling author, and architect of The Five-Year Marriage®. “Many women – and a few men – are telling me that the romance is gone from their relationship. They’re sad, or bored, and wondering if what they have now is all that’s left. The truth is that all relationships – even the best of them – hit a plateau. If nobody does anything to jazz things up, then yes, that’s all there is. But it doesn’t have to be that way.”
Bringing the spark back isn’t rocket science, according to Kelly, and doesn’t take a lot of money or demand big PDAs. In fact, she says, those kinds of efforts often backfire.
“There’s no magic wand that will pass over you two and light the fire. You have to create that “spark”. You do it by taking some time each day to focus your attention on each other, and that’s where the Romance Challenge comes in.”
Kelly recommends starting on the first Monday, and then repeating the same love-actions each week through August because, Kelly explains, “If you’re out of practice, it can take a few tries, and even some sputtering before the sparks start to catch. But when they do, well…it warms you both, brings back old feelings, and breathes new life into your love.”
What are the Romance Challenge one-a-day love actions?
Monday: Ask yourself “What’s right/good about us?” Pick one thing – it can be something that went well over the weekend, or a problem you both solved, an obstacle you overcame together, a special moment, a fun vacation, or something else good about you as a couple. When you think of that one thing, put it in a file on your phone and, over dinner or before bed, share your answer with your partner. Add to it when you remember another one.
In The Five-Year Marriage, we always start our Family Meetings this way, with some “what went right” event. It’s a good foundation and gets both of you focused on the positive.
Tuesday: “What’s right/good about my partner?” Come up with three things – or more if you can. “I love that you still make me laugh,” “you smell good,” “you make me feel safe” etc. are compliments that your partner will be happy to hear, so find a time and say “You know what I still love about you?” And share.
Wednesday: Say thank you. You probably have got so used to something that your partner does, that you don’t even notice anymore. Today, take notice of the things your sweetie does and say thank you. “Thank you for making dinner,” “Thank you for caring for our family,” “Thank you for working so hard.”
Thursday: Touch each other. Touching with love has an amazing healing property. A pat on the back, a soft stroke on the cheek, hold hands while watching a TV show, a massage, and snuggling in bed are all healing forms of touch. The more you touch each other with love, the better.
Friday: Have a private Happy Hour. Find a quiet spot where you two can be alone for an hour or two – a bar, a coffee shop, your deck, the backyard, or a nearby park. Talk about your week, the upcoming weekend, how you like The Romance Challenge, something funny you saw on TV, a strange commercial that made you laugh, etc. Keep it light and fun.
You can join Annmarie Kelly’s Romance Challenge, starting on August 7
About Annmarie Kelly
Annmarie Kelly is a bestselling author, lifestyle expert, relationship coach and author of four books, including The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm. She works with women who want to live their best lives, which includes reimagining marriage for today’s smart couples.