James J. De Santis, Ph.D.
Post Office Box 894, Glendora, CA 91740-0894
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Developing Romance and Passion in Intimate Relationships
With the routine and pressures of daily life, we all can too easily forget to
take the best care of our intimate relationships. In relationship coaching, we
use a number of techniques to restore and enhance feelings of safety,
passion, and romance to distressed marriages. My approach to couples
integrates three basic components: first, coaching in a set of
communication skills, second, uncovering ineffective methods of coping
rooted in childhood, and, third, re-establishing positive feelings in the
relationship. This approach helps couples to deal more effectively with core
conflicts and intense emotions, and it allows them to shift from unconscious
reacting to conscious, mature relating.
Among a number of available techniques I use with couples in the office are
those that can just as easily be used at home. One such technique is
re-romanticizing, or creating good feelings in the relationship, through caring
The first step in the process is to generate an inventory of all the specific
caring behaviors your partner does for you now in the relationship,
especially those small, highly repeatable behaviors that make you feel
special, cared about, and loved. Some examples include, ‘Massages my
back," "Compliments me on my looks," and "Asks me about my day."
The second step is to make another list of those caring behaviors your
partner no longer does but once did for you when your relationship was new
and in the "romantic phase."
The third step is to make a list of some caring and loving behaviors you've
may have always secretly desired but haven't voiced to your
partner--perhaps out of a fear of expressing it.
In a dialogue, couples then share their lists with each other and prioritize
and infuse these loving loving gestures into daily life for each other in a
systematic way. Good feelings in a relationship must be cultivated
consciously and can be revitalized by techniques like re-romanticizing
through caring behaviors to keep a relationship healthy and happy.
Romance in Relationships