7 Older couples on keeping their spark alive

Tabby Kibugi spoke to seven couples on the activities they undertake every day to keep their romance alive.

It’s that time of the year again where couples scramble for meal offers from restaurants, decorate overpriced Valentine’s Day trees, attend a couples' cooking class, or simply stay at home and exchange love letters because who isn’t on a budget anyway? For others, it might also be a time to cuddle up with a sappy romance film like The Notebook while wishing that Allie and Noah got their much-deserved happily-ever-after. 

However you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, finding innovative ways to rekindle the romance every year with your partner isn’t always easy, especially if you have been together for years. So what do couples who are 40 and above do every Valentine’s Day to revive that love spark once again? We talked to such couples on their yearly Valentine’s Day rituals

 

"There is nothing sexier than meeting our shared goals"

Sonya and Keir smile at the camera from a pink sofa

Sonya Sigler (54) and Keir Morgan (51): Philosophically, we both agree that Valentine’s Day in itself is a “jacked up” holiday meant to pry money out of people’s pockets, so we would rather maintain romance as a regular part of our life.

There is nothing sexier than meeting our shared goals, which of course, helps maintain the romance! However, we have designed our own Valentine’s Day tradition of going to a new restaurant and sharing a cocktail.

Our favourite Valentine’s Day present, besides discovering a “new-to-us” dark chocolate, is to find a plant or tree for our yard or home instead of flowers. This way, we will always have a permanent reminder of our love for each other. 

 

"Our kind of intimacy requires openness and honesty"

Walter Anderson (40) and Kathi Rainey (51) smile at the camera with a cocktail

Walter Anderson (40) and Kathi Rainey (51): Every Valentine’s Day, we like to start the evening off with a candle-lit dinner of steak and potatoes. Afterward depends on what we are in the mood for—some years we prefer an intimate evening with just the two of us where we explore a new fetish. Since we are also a swinger couple, we like to connect with other couples on dating apps like 3Fun and invite those that we match with to a swinger party at our house.

Spending this day with other swinger couples or exploring new fetishes allows us to keep things interesting in our relationship and reconnect on a deeper level. This kind of intimacy requires openness and honesty while enabling us to reaffirm our needs and wants, which brings us closer together.

Read more: How to put the sizzle back in your sex life

 

"Doing something together feels extremely special"

Jim Wang (40) and Martha (40) smile at the camera

Jim Wang (40) and Martha (40): We‘ve been together for 20 years and cooking a Valentine’s Day dinner at home every year helps us avoid all the craziness and hike in prices. We cook the same main dish—a roasted rack of lamb with garlic and rosemary, then we mix it up with appetisers and desserts.

The beauty of cooking together is that it’s a mini-project you get to create together, plus it allows you to be silly and make mistakes all while having fun. Since we’re busy doing so many other things separately with the kids and work, doing something together feels extremely special. 

 

"We hold an indoor picnic every Valentine’s Day"

Paul and Rhian sit on a beach

Paul David Smith (41) and Rhian (40): For the seven years we have been together, we hold an indoor picnic every Valentine’s Day. We do it as a proper picnic on the living room floor—no TV or other distractions. Doing this reminds us of the very first time we did it which was just a spur-of-the-moment thing.

It reminds us of how far we have come as a couple and yet we have managed to maintain the romance through such a simple activity. It has now become our thing, and we can’t imagine having it any other way! 

 

"We know it's important to put our relationship first"

Fred and Patricia smiling in a green garden

Fred Lloyd (55) and Patricia Lloyd (60): Despite having children later in life, we know it is important to put our relationship first.

We usually plan our own Valentine’s weekend together. For instance, we spend Saturday night out dancing and having dinner, then we rent a hotel room for the night. The following morning we write down our priorities as a couple for the next few months. This helps us discuss ourselves as a couple and what our shared goals are for the future.

 

"We celebrate each other through compliments"

Shawn and Toy embrace on a boat

Shawn Banks (54) and Toy Banks (50): For the past 11 years, we have conducted a 90-day check-up on ourselves and our marriage every Valentine's Day. This routine has kept our marriage free of drama and stress, and full of intimacy and romance because it creates space for us to be honest without fear.

We always make it a point to celebrate each other through compliments. Even though we go out to dinner with each other and sometimes with friends, the most exciting thing about it is knowing that the other one is going to give us praise!

With the combination of long back rubs and chocolate-covered strawberries, you already know how the night is going to end, in bliss! Prioritising these activities protects our marriage from relationship decay and serves as a reminder to make our marriage a priority for the success of our love and family. 

 

"Consistency is the trick to a happy and long-lasting relationship"

Malcolm and Margaret smile to camera

Malcolm Davies (86) and Margaret Davies (84): Our Valentine’s Day starts with Malcolm visiting me (Margaret) at The Manor House Bupa Care Home for a cup of tea, a slice of cake, and a lively chat, before nodding off for a brief nap. We've been doing this every day and Valentine’s Day is no exception!

We believe that we should celebrate our love for each other every day, not just on Valentine's Day so we will be celebrating the consistency that has kept our love burning bright. Such consistency is the trick to a happy and long-lasting relationship because being with your partner is about celebrating the little things—making each other smile, having a laugh, and of course, constantly communicating.

 

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