It’s that time of year where people begin to look at their lives and think about how to improve. As you look ahead to 2017, think about giving your marriage a boost. One fast way to improve a marriage is to infuse more romance into the relationship.
In this post, I’ll give you 6 ways to spice up your romantic life so that you can start 2017 with the tools to rekindle that romantic flame and feel more connected to your partner.
It’s not what you think… Are you going to bed at the same time as your spouse? If not, you may want to begin making this a priority. It’s not enough to sleep in the same bed. Going to sleep at the same time can be a way to create more romance and intimacy.
When couples go to bed at the same time there is opportunity to chat before you fall asleep. You get to build a friendship while taking advantage of the opportunity to cuddle and show physical affection.
Cuddling before you fall asleep and when you wake up (if there’s time) creates more of a bond and connection. Physical affection releases what is known as the “love hormone,” oxytocin. Taking chances to share physical and emotional intimacy (without it leading to sex) will automatically add a spark to your relationship.
Have Inside Jokes
You may not realize it, but every couple has tons of inside jokes. Whether it’s some subtle way you tease one another at the dinner table or race while brushing your teeth to see who can get to the sink first, there are things that happen behind closed doors that only the two of you are aware of.
Take a minute to think about some of those moments… what are the inside jokes known to you alone?
Once you remember one or two, be sure to incorporate those inside jokes more often in your relationship. For example, if there is a movie quote you both love, think about opportune times to say the quote. If you find yourselves in a disagreement or if your spouse is in a grumpy mood, say the beginning of the quote. Wait for your partner to finish the rest and watch the bonding begin.
This tactic is what’s known in the couples counseling world as a repair attempt. Repair attempts are any method used (sometimes funny) by a member of a couple in order to prevent a disgruntled moment from escalating out of control. The more often repair attempts are successful and reciprocated the stronger the relationship.
Inside jokes are a great way to have fun or be used as repair attempts and create more closeness with your spouse.
Can’t think of an inside joke? Keep reading. The Date Night section below will give you ideas which can lead to creating new inside jokes.
Talk about How You First Met
Who doesn’t enjoy a walk down memory lane?! When you and your spouse are together, talk about when you first met. Laugh about the circumstances. Share what attracted you to one another in those moments. Talk about what thoughts were running through your mind as you got to know one another. Discuss your favorite first date or early dating moments.
If you take the time to recall what brought you together in the first place, you will notice all of those feelings of fondness rise to the surface. Remembering the early parts of your relationship is a great way to rekindle some of those romantic flames.
You don’t have to be alone to reflect on old times either. Sharing fond memories in front of the kids will be a way for the whole family to bond and they will see you modeling a healthy, loving relationship!
Talk about Your Dreams
One thing we forget to do as adults is dream. We are told to go to college so we can get “good jobs” and be able to provide for ourselves. In the hustle of life, responsibilities become overwhelming and we get caught in the cycle of to-do lists. Dreaming with your spouse can reduce monotony and revitalize romance.
Grab a notebook or create a shared document online. Call it “Our Dream Book.” On your next date night, take turns writing down short-term and long-term dreams you have. Think about where you want your family to be 5, 10, 20 years from now. What vacations will you want to take? Have you always wanted to run a marathon or hike the Appalachian trail? Have you wanted to write your own book or start a business? Do you want 3 more kids?
Really allow yourself to dream. Don’t worry about cost or how unrealistic something might sound. Ask your spouse why those dreams are important to him or her. Think about something you can do to help them achieve that goal. Create goals that you can work on together.
Once you’ve created the dreambook, at least once a year, take time to review. Cross off the items that you accomplished and write the dates that you achieved those dreams. Add new ones to the list. Dreaming will help you feel like a kid again. You’ll experience new adventures with your spouse and newness usually breeds romance.
Have Date Nights
Now that you have an idea for what to do on your next date night (The dream book!), let’s schedule a date night, shall we? Many of you know that I’m a huge fan of regular date nights with your spouse. That’s because it works! I cannot stress enough how a frequent date night (preferably weekly) helps keep the romance in a marriage.
When people think of “Date Night” they put a lot of pressure on themselves. Date night does not have to mean going to the opera dressed in formal attire once a week (although if that’s your thing, by all means!).
Simply pick one day of the week that you will reserve for only you and your partner. Pick a day that you both agree on and keep it free from other plans, no matter what. This means that if the crew wants to watch football next Monday and you selected Monday as your date night, your response will be, “Sorry guys, I have plans.”
Once your day is picked, take turns each week planning what you will do on your date night. Take turns surprising one another and take turns receiving the surprise. Just a reminder, you do not have to plan a surprise overnight trip to the Keys. You can pick a movie to watch that you know your partner will love even though it’s a genre you don’t enjoy. You can order takeout or go take a walk around the neighborhood with hot tea in hand. You could also plan to have a breakfast date in the morning after the kids are dropped off at school/daycare.
Having regular dates will inspire romance and feelings of closeness. You’ll have something to look forward to with your spouse and you can be as creative or relaxed as you like.
Send a Love Note via Text
Think of all of those romantic movies that take place in the early 1800’s. A young couple in love, writing passionate letters via snail mail and eagerly waiting to hear from one another.
For those who may not have time to sit near the ink well and pine away for their partner, why not send a quick love note via text? If you prefer handwritten letters, please don’t let me stop you. A handwritten letter that you can give or mail to your spouse is very romantic. If handwriting letters is not a regular activity for you, texting might be a simpler (and faster) way to let your spouse know you’re thinking of them.
Send a text with a short sentence saying one reason why you love them. Thank them for the man or woman they are. Thank them for their support and encouragement. Find a meme with googly eyes and a heart beating out of someone’s chest.
Love notes via text throughout the day is an easy way to let your partner know you’re thinking of them and to reignite the flame of passionate romance.
You now have 6 ways to revitalize romance in your relationship for 2017. Choose just one and focus on it for the month of January. Once you have that one down, check back here and add another one to the list. Worried you will forget? Set a reminder in your phone and include this link.
Think about where your marriage will be this time next year if you slowly begin incorporating and perfecting them over time. Your relationship would be the talk of the town! Not because of the drama, but because of the dripping passion and romance your friends and family members all dream of having.
What ways do you infuse romance into your relationship? Let us know in the comments!