You remember the first rush of new love. Your heart thumped at the sight of him. You ran yellow lights just to get home faster to see her. You know, the lust-filled, weak-willed, can’t-stop-thinking-of-him phase of being in love. It was wonderful, of course, but no one can keep it up forever or you’d explode. At some point your hormones calm down and you move on to a deeper, saner kind of love.

That’s when it’s nice to add a little romance to your relationship. Here are some ideas:

Dine—don’t just eat dinner. Set a beautiful table. Find some vintage tablecloths and napkins. Maybe some antique plates. Put some posies in a pitcher—or just forage for something in your yard. Maybe small branches of a tree or greens from a juniper. Be resourceful. Don’t forget candles—arrange them in all shapes and sizes on the table. And play some romantic music. The food itself doesn’t need to be fancy as long as the atmosphere is.

Dance in the kitchen. Or anywhere. Put on some slow music and hold each other, the old-fashioned way. You don’t even have to dance. Just move your bodies to the music. Whisper in his ear. Serenade her while you dance. Softly sing the lyrics as you glide together. Be spontaneous.

Read out loud to her. Select a sexy novel and find the love scene. Turn off all the electronic devices so you won’t be interrupted. Get comfy and cuddle together on the sofa. Read slowly, with expression. Or take turns reading. And if sexy novels aren’t for you, try romantic poetry like Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet. Discover something new and beautiful together.

Say more than “I love you.” Yes, it’s good to say you love her frequently and often. But sometimes it becomes a bit perfunctory, like “love you” at the end of every phone call. That’s fine, but try adding to it. Like, “I love the way you smile.” Or, “You really look spectacular in that dress.” Or, “ I’ve always loved the way you captivate people when you tell a great joke.” Appreciate the wonderful things about your partner—large or small—and let him know it. Better yet, say it in front of his friends.

Deliver a Tender Touch. Every once and awhile, it’s nice to connect by touch. Invite your partner outside to look at the stars and hold her hand. No words required. Or rub his shoulders while he’s doing the dishes. Or linger a little longer with what is usually a quick hello kiss. Or just touch her arm gently as you pass by her on the sofa.

Of course you can do overtly romantic things like bring her flowers or kidnap him to a romantic weekend getaway, and those are great to do. But you don’t have to spend much to put romance into your relationship. Being thoughtful about your partner is the sexiest thing there is.

About the Author: Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: http://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.