In a perfect world, each moment of a relationship would be like that weak-kneed romantic scene in “The English Patient” when Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas finally get together. 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. Okay, maybe that and the lack of a beautiful African desert background. Let Cosmo play mushy-moments director and push you to pack as much lovey-doveyness as possible into your daily duo. That means seizing every opportunity to sweeten up even the most seemingly unsentimental times together. Here are some easy but so-worth-it ways to jump-start both of your hearts.
Share a secret code. Pick a word that is 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 a lingering thigh stroke under the table. 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’.”
Dish with Him. Flash back to the ’50s and get passionate over pots and pans. “It’s totally not very conventional finding a man that does the dishes with you but I find doing dishes together incredibly romantic,” says Bimpe, a 28-year-old banker. “My dishwasher went on the blink one night, and my boyfriend offered to help clean up. We both rolled up our sleeves and got sudsy in the warm water. We talked about the places we would love to travel to, the crazy things we would like to try just once in our lives while our hands kept touching — we just got completely lost in each other as we did this mindless activity. It was so sweet and oddly intimate that I haven’t bothered to get the dishwasher fixed.” Touch Tenderly in Front of the TV. When you are both watching some TV, heat things up with some hands-on action. “Give each other mini foot massages while watching the evening news,” suggests Laura Corn, author of 101 Nights of Grrreat Romance (Park Avenue Publishers, 1995). “Or lay your head in his lap and let him stroke your hair.” For the ultimate drive-in date experience, invest in an extralong extension cord and watch TV outside on the deck or on lawn chairs on the front stoop underneath the stars.
Flash Him. When no one’s looking, give your guy a sneak peek in public. Granted, it’s not exactly violins-in-the-background romantic, but it’s certainly guaranteed to send his heart (and pulse) soaring. Compliment Each Other in Public. “My girlfriend tells everyone that I’m the most talented person she’s ever met,” says Andrew, 28, a teacher. “She’ll tell a cashier, ‘We’ll take a chocolate brownie because my guy so deserves it.’ When she introduces me, she says, ‘This is my hilariously funny boyfriend’ or ‘Meet my handsome boyfriend. He puts Van Vicker and Banky W to shame.’ My heart jumps every time. I swear it makes go out with her.”
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