How to Add Spice to Your Relationship

Recently, I connected with an old friend who is struggling in relationships. Going way back, you can’t imagine how much my cheeks hurt from skeletons that poked their heads out of our closets and made us laugh. We reminisced on the good dates, the wish-we- could-forget dates, those who stole our hearts, and those who had a secret place within them. We didn’t have it all figured out, but we lived fiercely without knowing it. But now, the vibrant colors of her core personality had dialed so far down that she divorced the simple things that made her feel alive in her own love life. Instead she married her routines, mounting responsibilities and admittedly, self-imposed expectations in exchange. As I lent my shoulder, I also affirmed she was not alone. In many of our roles of respect and admiration, we often forget how important it is to live a little — especially in the area of love. So, what if you stepped outside of the norm and decided to turn things up a bit. If you did, what would you have to lose?

Here are five things that can make a big difference and go a long way:

Smile at Him! Before you roll your eyes at how simple this is, consider this question: When was the last time you looked into his eyes for 3–5 seconds and showed some teeth? Whether you’re single, married or in a commitment, I’m referring to the kind of smile that can make him blush and feel like he’s ten feet tall. Hint: If you’re single and want to date, try this the next time you’re in a grocery store.

Abandon the All “or” Nothing Rules. You can’t imagine how many women I’ve heard say, “We can’t afford a week away, so we’ll just wait.” Even the dog can sense you need some alone time, but your all-or-nothing response justifies waiting six months? Don’t blame it on lack of money, lack of time off or the kids. Instead, make a deal with a trusting family member to do the same for you one night. Go to a local hotel that has live music and a fireplace that’s begging for your company.

Have Fun with Role Playing! Take a fun escape together every once in a while. Invite him out for a night on the town with your alter ego. How about a text that reads “John, I’ve been thinking about you. Interested in joining me for Jazz at The Mint on Friday? Hmmm, can’t stop thinking… Tina.” Oh yes, did I mention that your name is Lisa and you’ve been married to John for 15 years. Smelling good, looking great and feeling amazing, I’m sure your introduction in the lobby will set the tone for a wonderful evening together.

Don’t Let Fear Make You Boring. No one said bungee jumping was required. However, there’s so much more to this life than dinner and a movie. You’re in the driver’s seat. Step it up a notch. Invite him to a class of interest or one that’s new to you as well (e.g., cooking, tai chi, wine tasting). Find something, anything that will let you engage as adults who want to be together.

Let Your Hair Down. You may be your own worst enemy in this department. You are the most amazing woman he knows when you let yourself be you! Don’t “do” you; be you! In fact, it’s what he liked the most before you were mom, daughter-in-law, wife, fiancé and girlfriend. Be unapologetically yourself.

Dr. Nicole LaBeach is a success strategist, relationship expert and author who has changed the lives of all who dared to strive for their personal bests. She is a sought-after, results-driven professional and the CEO of Volition Enterprises, Inc., a premiere personal and professional development firm specializing in coaching, organization growth and development. To connect with Dr. Nicole, visit www.askdrnicole.com.