How to Keep the Romantic Spark Alive

Be tolerant. Hold the criticism. Find a hobby you can share. And remember and recapture those first euphoric feelings when you first met — and recapture them.

Tending the Flame

Here are some ways to keep romance alive in your relationship, according to Doe, Merrill and Morris:

Make yourself the master of technology. Turn off the cell phone, the Blackberry, ignore e-mail, let phone calls go into voicemail during dinner.

Learn a two-letter word: No. Say no to work, the media, even, on occasion, to your children, in order to spend time with your spouse.

Make dates. It can be once a week, or once every two weeks. It can be dinner or a movie, as modest as a walk alone together or as ambitious as an overnight away — recruit friends or grandparents to stay with the kids.

Turn off the TV. It's distracting and energy sapping. Use the media mindfully — and save time for your spouse. Couples are dubious initially, then amazed at the difference it makes.

Appreciate and acknowledge each other in front of your children. Give praise and credit when it's due — for coming home in time for dinner, for making a meal. It's good for parents — and sets a healthy example for kids, too.

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