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Keeping romance alive and kicking at any age

“Romance is the glamor which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze,” said Carolyn Gold Heilbrun.

While it takes a little extra effort, romance can make for a healthier, happier and more fulfilling relationship. Every couple’s love goes through phases, and many couples find romance starts to fade as they grow older. If you and your love are in this situation, whether you’ve forgotten how to connect or are stuck in the same routine, try some of the tips below to add a little spice to your love life.

The basics

Get back to the basics. As an experienced couple, you know what makes your love tick. This could be surprise kisses, breakfast in bed, watching the sunset together, or enjoying old movies. Try to think back to the little things that made your relationship exciting over the years. Even holding hands or taking the time to express specific things you love about them can make a big difference in your relationship. Sometimes the most romantic things you can do are giving simple reminders and signals that they’re on your mind, and you know them better than anyone else.

Walk together

Quality time is a must when it comes to romance. Walking is the perfect way to spend quality time, have meaningful conversations, and even do some of that hand-holding! You’ll have the opportunity to reconnect, get some exercise and fresh air, and take a break from your usual routine.

Photo shoot

Over the years, you’ve probably taken many family photos with kids, grandkids and a wide range of color-coordinated outfits. Try doing a photo shoot of just the two of you. Dress up in your favorite clothes, drive to your favorite place around town or in nature, and have your photos professionally taken. Not only will this be a fun way to spend time together, but also gives you romantic photographs to hang up around your home. Not to mention that during the photo shoot you’ll be reminded how her eyes sparkle or how his smile makes your heart skip a beat.

Road trip

A road trip could be the trick you need to rekindle your romance. Try adding a little excitement by making the destination unknown or researching a bed and breakfast to spend the night at. You’ll have time to talk and a little adventure is sure to jumpstart romance.

Scavenger hunt

This romantic idea is a fun twist on a road trip. Map out all the places that are significant to your relationship. This could be favorite restaurants, places you love to walk, or locations of good memories. You can design it as a scavenger hunt with the final location a place neither of you has been. By the end of the day, you’ll both be reminded of the history that’s made your relationships strong. It’s a big gesture that the two of you can enjoy together.

Intimacy

Some couples struggle with intimacy as they grow older. A healthier sex life between you and your partner could be the key to your romance struggles. If your relationship is lacking in this department, consider planning a weekend getaway, or even simply lighting some candles and setting the mood. Intimacy is essential to connecting as a couple and can often be a romantic experience for both parties.

New hobbies

Learning something new is a great way to bond and make memories with your loved one. Take up golfing or something artsy. The two of you will have something new in common and be sharing meaningful time with each other. Experiences like this can help shake up the routine and reignite the romance.

Love language

Sometimes the best way to increase romance is to learn how you and your love want to be loved. One of my favorite books is “The 5 Love Languages.” The book outlines the five possible ways most people want to receive and give love. Understanding how your partner wants to be loved, whether it’s through acts of service or words of affirmation, will help you connect and love on a deeper level.

It’s never too late to turn up the heat on your love life. Try out some of these tips, and the two of you will have more romance than ever before.

This article was originally published by The Daily Herald. It has been republished here with permission.

25 Family history questions to ask Grandpa before it’s too late

When a loved one passes away, it’s not just their presence you miss. Along with their smile, their kindness, generosity and voice, the individual stories and memories that make up that individual are lost as well. With all the ways that currently exist to ask questions and record and preserve memories, don’t wait until it’s too late to record the important information your grandfather has to share.

A study found that “the more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned.”

To get the best information, and maybe even some new stories you’ve never heard, you will find the more specific the questions, the better.

Here is a list of questions to ask your grandpa the next time you visit.

Questions about Childhood

Little details about the past and how children played are a piece of history. With the changing generations, technology, and other factors, you might find your grandfather had a completely different childhood than you. Then again, some things never change.

1. What games were popular when you were a kid?

2. Tell me about your best friend growing up? Have you kept in touch? What was special about this person?

3. Do you remember any particular sadness in your growing up years? Were there any tragedies or events that shaped you?

4. What types of things did you do as a kid that kids of the newer generation don’t do anymore (paper route, etc.)?

5. What is the fondest memory you have of your mother and father? Grandfathers and grandmothers?

Jobs and hobbies

Information about your grandpa’s career, jobs, and hobbies can give you an idea of how they spent their time. But, if you find that they are lonely or feeling bored, knowing what activities they found joy in can give you ideas for activities you participate in with them today.

6. What was your first job? What did you like about it? What did you hate about it? Any stories from that job that stand out to you?

7. Did you go to college? What did you study? Did you graduate? Any stories about college friends, professors, or trips?

8. What hobbies have you had that brought you joy? Did you collect anything (stamps, rocks, coins, etc.)?

9. Did you enjoy reading, writing, or creating art? What was the first book you can remember loving?

10. As a child, what were your career aspirations? Did those change as you got older? Why?

Family and friends

11. Have you asked your parents or grandparents how they met or what their courtship was like? Stories and memories of dating can inspire sweet and funny memories.

“From the day my grandparents met, and throughout their entire courtship, my grandfather wrote a letter to my grandma expressing his love for her,” said Kellyn Brandt, administrative assistant at Sea Cliff Healthcare Center. “It wasn’t until my grandfather passed that I learned about this, and it made me think about all the questions I could have asked him. Since then I’ve been hounding my grandmother for every detail about their love life.”

12. (If married) How did you and your spouse meet? What were your other dating experiences like? How did you know your spouse was the one to marry?

13. As an adult, did you have any close friends who you’ve kept in touch with? Think about the friends who influenced your life and why they were important to you.

14. Name one thing about each of your kids (if you have them) that stuck out to you as they were growing up.

15. Name something about raising children that changed from your first child to your last.

Places you’ve lived

While your grandfather may have lived his life in the same home as his parents, there may be details you didn’t know or expect. Learn about their travels and experiences both at home and away.

16. What do you remember about your childhood home? Where did you grow up, and where do you consider your hometown?

17. Did you ever move? What were your feelings when you moved? How many different places did you live?

18. Name each place you lived and one memory of each place that shaped your life?

19. Of all the places you’ve lived, which was your favorite? Which was the saddest?

20. Where would you have liked to live but never got there?

Looking forward

21. How do you want your family and friends to remember you? Of all the ways people could describe you, what words or thoughts would you like to leave with them?

22. What are you most proud of in your life? Any relationship or professional achievements?

23. How has your faith or spirituality changed throughout your life? Where did you start, and where are you now?

24. Was there any experience or event in your life that you didn’t think you would make it through? How did you persevere, and what did that experience teach you?

25. What was the kindest thing you’ve done for someone else?

Speaking with your loved ones about their lives is a way to record the pieces of your family history that live only with them. Beyond the record that these conversations create, talking to your grandpa will strengthen a relationship with him now, and you’ll have plenty of stories to share with your children. And that’s enough reason to pick up the phone or drive over and connect now.

This article was originally published on Familyshare.com. it has been republished here with permission.