In the world of romance, things aren’t always as easy as they appear in movies.

Relationships aren’t simple, and sometimes they take a lot more work than you’d expect, but there’s one thing that’s for certain: they’re worth it.

So take the time to strengthen your relationship, even if that means cooking a meal from scratch when you’d rather order a take-away, or going for walks in the park when you’re a stay at home and watch TV kind of guy or gal.

To give you some ideas of little things you and your partner can do to work on building a strong relationship, here’s some inspiration.

Meet for Lunch

If both of you work, why not meet for lunch? Even just doing this once a week can help strengthen a relationship. You get a chance to spend quality time together, catch up and de-stress; you’ll soon come to treasure this time in the midst of your hectic week!

Have a picnic in the park or go for a sit-down lunch at your favourite café or restaurant.

A Weekend Getaway

Taking some time away from everyone you know, the burden of daily tasks and the stresses of home life can be incredible for a relationship. Suddenly, all those distractions are gone, and you two can focus on just being together. No kids, no chores, no drama!

Being alone together and away from home is a great way to remember what it is you love about one another. Find that passion that you used to have (trust us, it’s still there somewhere!) and rekindle your old romance. (Thinking about the countryside? Nothing more romantic, just click here to learn how to get rid of those pesky lily pollen stains!).

An Evening a Week

If you’ve got kids, ask family or friends to look after them for one night a week. If you like to bring your work home, leave it at work for a change. Basically, get rid of everything that usually distracts you of an evening just one night a week, so you can spend time together.

You could spend your evening cooking a meal for two (remember that oysters and dark chocolate are natural aphrodisiacs!), watching a film snuggled up on the sofa or just talking to each other over a glass of wine.

Tell Them You’re Listening

Sometimes, all it takes is listening to your partner once in a while to strengthen your relationship. Really talking – not about the week’s shopping or the cleaning that needs to be done, but about any problems they’ve been having or what’s inspiring them at the moment – is essential to a healthy romance.

Catch them when they’re not doing much or before you go to bed and ask them what’s going on, or ring them when you know they’re on a break.

It’s the little things like this that end up having the biggest effect! Put in this small amount of effort into working on your relationship and you’ll see great positive changes.