How do we get romance back into our marriage?

TIM KIMMEL: That’s not uncommon. I’ll tell you what. When you have been married for five or six years or five or six decades, it just happens, because love is like anything. It has to be maintained. It’s going to deteriorate if you don’t pay attention to it. And when it comes to romance and intimacy, there are so many things that try to wreck our romance. 

We think that the best way is to work through a four-part recipe. 

DARCY KIMMEL: A recipe? 

TIM: You know, if you are going to make chili, there are some basic ingredients to chili. Now, everybody’s chili would be to their own little liking, but there are some basic things to it. 

And we have found that there are four basic things in our recipe for romance. 

DARCY: The first is time. 

TIM: Yeah. 

DARCY: I mean, how can you have romance if you don’t devote some time to each other? 

Heart connection takes time, so make sure that you are spending some quality time with one another. Just talking, doing things you enjoy, investing in one another. 

TIM: And tenderness. 

DARCY: Tenderness is that way to say, “I love you,” you know, a dozen times a day without even saying a word. 

TIM: You know, being kind to each other, respecting each other, appreciating each other, vocalizing to each other the things that you notice about each other, and how hard each person is working and contributing to the life that you are trying to make, and the kids you are trying to raise. Things like that. 

That’s very important. 

DARCY: And then the third ingredient is tenacity. Because, hey, married life is not always fun. You have got to hang in there. 

And a lot of times when you go through hard times together, you come out the other side much more connected, much more in love with one another. 

TIM: Yeah. And that’s about resolving conflict, making sure that you are setting united goals for the future, making sure you are on the same page about the kids or the grandkids, the work demands, the goals of your finances. All of those things help you stay tenacious about it, because this has got to be a priority of your married life. 

This is—I’m going to say something that might just shock you—but this is why you got married. Sex and intimacy is why people get married. Because when you stop and think about all the other things that come in marriage, you don’t really need to be married to have those things. I mean, obviously, kids are a part of the sex or a result of the sex, but assuming that that’s part of the sexual side, in every other thing, you don’t have to be married for that. 

And so, this was the unique thing, and you want to keep it precious and fun and exciting. 

So, we have . . . 

DARCY: The fourth ingredient. 

TIM: Yeah. The fourth ingredient. 

DARCY: It has to be a “t,” doesn’t it? 

TIM: Yeah. 

DARCY: Temperature. You have to have a way of turning up the heat every once in a while in your relationship. 

TIM: Well, there are some things you can do for that. First of all, you might want to reclaim your bedroom for sex. 

DARCY: Yeah, take down the ironing board and maybe get rid of that pile in the corner that has its own website. 

TIM: Because it’s kind of ridiculous what goes on in some bedrooms. 

You might want to change the lighting and get those candles out and light them up. Things like that. 

DARCY: And keep dating each other. Just because you are married, it’s not “been there, done that.” You have to go out and do things together that you enjoy. That really nourishes that emotional, romantic side. 

TIM: And, by the way, parking is actually allowed now. Your parents won’t be upset. You’re actually married. You can do that. 

DARCY: [laughs] 

TIM: But that’s another thing you can do. But then you’ve got to get rid of the distractions that I think can undermine the sexual life in a married couple. 

The kids are distractions. You can’t get rid of them, but you do want to manage them a little bit better, so you have some time alone from them or get to bed a little bit earlier. Things like that. 

DARCY: The TV. The computer. You might have to take a twelve-step program for the remote control. Those are all distractions that can keep you from the romantic side of your relationship. 

You also need to plan it better. I mean, passion takes planning. Don’t always wait until the end of the day, until you are so tired. You might have to just plan to get away with each other. 

TIM: Or get up earlier. Set the alarm and get up earlier. Things like that. And you know, you can have a nice romantic dinner in your bedroom. After you have put the kids to bed, you have already fed them, you can just set up table in there and have that like a nice, elegant evening. You don’t have to pay a lot of money out for that. 

Get those reality shows—well, make your own reality show. Unless, of course, it’s American Chopper. There are some reality shows you’ve got to keep in the equation. 

DARCY: [laughs] 

TIM: But those are just some of the things. But probably the number one thing is, give yourself permission to be sensual. 

DARCY: Women, give yourself permission to be sensual for your husband. You know, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is encouraged. 

Light some of those candles. Spray on some of that perfume that you have been saving for a special occasion. And then, every once in a while, send your husband out to buy you a new nightgown.