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6 Ways to inject more romance into your dates

I started my foray into relationship expertise by making every mistake imaginable. I started blogging about it in 2008.

When I was younger, everything had that edge because I didn't know any better; everything was new. In my old age, romance doesn't happen as regularly and spontaneously as it used to, so I've pulled together a few ways to nurture romance into dates.

For dating ideas, I want to stop short of suggesting actual things to do, but I am (going corporate lingo here) suggesting strategies and tactics to make your dates more romantic. Ultimately, getting out of your comfort zone will increase your focus on one another and add an element of surprise and nervous energy which can be exhilarating.

These suggestions will help you create new environments and ideas to grow that romantic edge.

1. Ditch your phones

With phones powered down or hidden away, the two of you have no choice but to focus on each other. No more scrolling through Instagram or sports scores while the other person's voice is buzzing in the background like a broken office light. Furthermore, there will be no text interruptions or phone call rings while one of you is professing love. Who knows, you might find that you want to apply a "no phone rule" to all future dates.

2. Create something together

This can be visual art, music, or a home-cooked meal. Most of us can agree that creativity is sexy, and accomplishing something together can get your juices flowing. The other morning I woke up and creepily realized that, with a birthday in November, I might have been conceived on Valentine's Day. So, there's something else you could create together if you're ready.

3. Get outside

Go in search of natural romantic venues. Whether it's the beach, mountains or fields, getting away from stressful places near work or in your home can help you focus on one another. You can go the peaceful route where you simply enjoy the scenery, or you can take on a challenge together, maybe hike to the top of a mountain. In some parts of the country, it's pretty cold on Valentine's Day, but that's a challenge too.

4. Go somewhere old

I believe that nostalgia and romance are closely connected. I'm not sure why, because looking back can be dangerous, but done with the proper lens it can be strangely romantic. I once did a tour of the Rockefeller Summer Home, Kykuit, on a date. Another romantic date was Sleep No More, an immersive theater in which you wander through the set (this one was set in the '30s) among the actors. Do a little research in your locality and I'm sure you can dig up something cool, and old, to see.

5. Sequester yourselves inside

Nothing is more romantic than hiding from the world, especially if you're social butterflies who are often out and about. You can share your favorite movies or music with each other or just catch up (maybe with your phones turned off).

6. Get out of the box in bed

Of course, as a November baby, I must suggest that you get it on a bit on Valentine's Day. Maybe try a few new things in bed to get out of the comfort zone; you know, something other than missionary with the lights out. Now, we all have different benchmarks for "adventurous" so that is a whole other blog post for another time. Whether it means you dress in a nurse's uniform, pretend you're strangers meeting for the first time or find a new place to do it, the added spice could create new sparks.

What are your thoughts on these ideas, and do you have additional strategies to create romance?

Image: Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images
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