As we look back at Valentine's Day through our rearview mirror, I feel a little glum. The roses are now on sale. The chocolate filled hearts are half price. And the tips on how to add romance into my life are no longer flowing into my inbox.
Yet, I want romance all year long. That’s not an easy task when most American workers find their work and home lives are blending together and work life balance is harder than ever to achieve. Even after putting in a full day of work, the typical chaos is underway at my home. I am scrambling to come up with an easy dinner, my husband’s cell phone is buzzing with work emergencies and our son needs to be shuttled to and from school for his team practices every night.
That doesn’t exactly set the tone for romance.
I look to Kathryn Sansone for inspiration. Kathryn, a mother of 10, wrote a book called Woman First, Family Always: Real-life Wisdom from a Mother of Ten.
Years ago, I met Kathryn in person and she told me: ``Jim and I always carve out time for just the two of us. It's not always easy, but we don't waste time trying to figure out if we deserve it.'' Kathryn told me she and her husband make coffee breaks their ''alone time.'' At least once a week, after the younger kids go to bed, they slip out for coffee and give each other their undivided attention.
Late night coffee breaks? That actually sounds kinds of romantic.
If Kathryn can make alone time with ten kids in her home, I can too. And, so can you.
Recently, my husband and I went to a Friday night happy hour. We hadn’t been to happy hour in a long time. We drank fruity cocktails, and laughed about all the silly things that happened that week. Spending time together in a fun setting without interruptions felt so wonderful.
Lately, my husband and I have been taking walks together after dinner for about 10 to 15 minutes. We leave our phones at home. Those 10 minutes have become my favorite time of the day.
Years ago, a love coach told me that everyone should make five to 10 minutes a day to give their spouse or significant other their undivided attention. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but most of us don’t do it.
Making time for intimacy requires turning off the TV or putting down your iPad, facing your partner and saying, "What would you like to talk about?" or “Tell me something good about your day.” Giving your partner your 100 percent attention will make him or her feel loved and important to you. That usually is how romance starts -- and how it lasts.