In a perfect world, each moment of a relationship would be like that weak-kneed romantic scene in The Notebook when Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams finally get together, kissing in the rain. So what keeps us from living that swoony, loopy-in-love life? Nothing more than getting stuck in the same day-in, day-out patterns and letting gushiness shift to the back burner. Let Cosmo play mushy-moments director and push you to pack as much romance as possible into your daily routine.
Easy but worth-it ways to jump-start your hearts:
1. Share a Secret Code
Pick a word that's likely to come up occasionally in conversation (heat, midnight, bedroom, whipped cream...) and agree that every time someone uses it, you have to touch — anything from a kiss to lingering thigh stroke under the table.
2. Transform Dinner into Dining
That midweek post-grind meal you devour together? Make it register off the mush-o-meter with some tiny adjustments to the atmosphere. "Pull out your nicest dishes and light a couple of candles, even if you're just having a mushroom pizza," suggests Gregory Godek, author of 1001 Ways to Be Romantic (Casablanca Press, 2000). "It's the mood, not the food, that sets a romantic scene. So stick a bouquet of daisies from the corner store in the center of the table, lower the lights, and turn up Enrique Iglesias or Bessie Smith. You could even conveniently forget the utensils so you have an excuse to feed each other."
3. Get Swept Off Your Feet
Make up your own tango moves and groove with your guy for 15 minutes while you wait for dinner. Pop in the Marc Anthony CD, then press your pelvises together, entwine your legs, and twist and twirl around the living room. "Slow dancing is so intimate," says Godek. "The way you stand hip-to-hip, block out the world, and sway to each other's rhythms ... now you're really cookin'."