When relationships get serious, especially when you move in together, it can feel like a little too much time together at home. When you haven’t worn anything but sweatpants in a month and you share a bathroom, you may feel like your romance is wilting.
At any given time, we might feel like there is so much going on internally and emotionally. So maybe planning an at home date night or leaving your boo a cute sticky note may not always be on the top of your to-do list. Yet, partnership is all about being there for each other, even through hard times. The moments when you feel like you have no time to be romantic are the moments that you need the romance the most. Taking a moment to prioritize your relationship will remind you and your partner that you are in this together, and that you’ll be there for each other no matter what.
Sometimes you can’t go on a weekend vacation or out to your favorite Italian place for dinner. Being romantic is less about what you’re doing and more about making what you’re doing more intentional.
Have a romantic at home date night.
No, this doesn’t just mean eating a quick dinner in front of the TV. No, this isn’t yelling at each other about who’s going to cook or who has to do the dishes. Pick a night of the week for date night, and go out of your way to make it all about connecting with each other. Turn off the TV. Put down your phone. Play some sexy music in the background. Set the table and light candles.
Tell your partner how sexy they look (even if they’re wearing sweatpants.) Get takeout from the places you love to go and tell stories about your favorite dates in the past. Spend a night planning all the amazing dates you’re going to have in the future. Tell each other why you love each other. Take a break from the outside world and just enjoy being together.
Stay in bed a little longer.
Every once in a while, spend an extra hour together in bed. So much of romance happens in bed, so why not stay tucked in a little longer? Whether you get frisky or eat waffles, or just snuggle together, take time to have a slow moving and sleepy morning. Don’t set the alarm clock. Bring your partner a cup of coffee in bed. There are so many ways to unwind and reconnect with each other.
Find ways to be thoughtful.
Try to think of ways you can show your partner that you care about them. Organize a hangout with a bunch of their friends. Grab their favorite wine or snack the next time you’re at the supermarket. Bring them a cup of coffee when you know they’re in the middle of a long day of work calls. Leave them sticky notes around the house about why you love them. Pitch in with chores and cooking. Every one has a different Love Language, so use your partner’s to show them that you’re wiling to go the extra mile to maintain the romance in your relationship. Show them that you are there for them, that you listen to them, and that you want to help them during this insane time.
Create boundaries during the day.
Just because you can talk all day doesn’t mean that you have to. I repeat, you don’t have to talk all day. If you’re sharing a small space, it may be necessary to talk if you need to physically get by them to use the bathroom, but try to find ways to create boundaries and a sense of distance between work and play. Maybe you don’t talk to each other when you’re both working from home. Maybe you take a solo walk every morning just to have some time to yourself to reflect.
Boundaries may also look like turning off your phones during dinner or agreeing to not talk about work on the weekends. Think of ways that you can bring some structure into your routine, that will give you time just for romance and fun stuff.
Griffin Wynne is a non-binary writer, artist, and plain seltzer drinker. When they’re not discussing sex in the ~digital era~ or crying to the Dixie Chicks, Griffin enjoys camping, reading, used clothes, and documentaries about cults. They’re a Capricorn King, a genderless cowgirl, and a ’70s mama who is always down for dollar oysters and road trips. Griffin uses they/them pronouns and has the same birthday as Kyle Richards.