Monday, February 8, 2010

Keeping the sparks...

Anytime I give myself to pondering on life goals and ultimate desires -- good love always tops the list. There aren't many things I want more than I want to stay in love with my husband.

Things will never be like they were when we dated - that's a futile pursuit, in my opinion. We have bills. We have children. We have...real life.
But that's not to say that things can't still be sparkly. Even a little spicy!

Here's my best attempt at a list of flame-fanners, (but mostly I'm anxious to hear your suggestions in the comment thread):

Make Time:
A weekly date night is just a must. It doesn't have to be spendy. It doesn't even always have to be out. Dates in are good, too. There are lots of great ideas for fun and inexpensive date nights at Simply Modern Mom's Project 52. Go check it out and be inspired. It's hard to keep the distractions at bay when you're home, though. And there's just something refreshing and energizing about getting out. Get dressed up. Spritz a little perfume on the back of your neck. Wear your heels.

When Nate and I dated, we could hardly keep our hands off each other. I'd still consider us a fairly affectionate couple, but even as such, with seven years of marriage behind us, we'll sometimes let a few days go by without any meaningful touch. I know we'll never go back to the flirtiness of our courtship, but I hope we never stop holding hands, winking across a crowded room, scooting in for a snuggle before we drift off to sleep, and smooching like we mean it.

Acts of kindness:
I think sometimes as women, we expect to be romanced without really taking the initiative to be romantic.

When was the last time you left a little note for your lover?
I like to stick one in Nate's lunch every once in a while.
Or on the bathroom mirror for him to find in the morning.

Leave a special treat in the fridge (his favorite salsa, favorite drink, etc.)

Or buy him a book. Remember the idea at How About Orange? Plant a little bookmark inside (not too far from the beginning) with an invitation to smooch. (Why do I think this is the cutest idea ever? Maybe because Nate loves books almost as much as he loves me.)

If you feel like your interests are drifting apart, create something common - find a hobby you can both enjoy. Read a book together. Partner up on a project.

Don't stop telling him he's handsome, that you're crazy for him, that you still can't believe you're the lucky one who gets to be his girl.

Alright. That's all I've got. Your turn...


Drae said...

Often, I demand a little tongue when we kiss. My husband loves it!

Catherine said...

Sometimes I am still in sweats when he gets home. So sometimes as a decoy, I wear my robe welcome him home but have sexy underwear on underneath. He's pleasantly surprised!

Linds said...

I devoted a year to learning the ins and outs of football, watching every game with my husband, learning the players, the differences in college and pro, the teams, the plays, etc. All so we would "have something in common." Then last year at our super bowl party I overheard his buddy ask if I like football and he replied, "No!" I could have smacked him on the side of the head. I finally told him what I had done and he slowly nodded as he realized the implications and then made out with me like we were in high school. Now it's something we can both enjoy together. I wonder if I can get him into scrapbooking!?!

Jacque said...

I have a friend who sends her man flirty texts throught the day. It helps them keep each other in their thoughts through the day.

Bloom said...

Wow, Linds. I am seriously impressed. Talk about devotion!

I just finished reading through Friday's comment thread and, for me, that topic plays a lot into this one. If I have taken care of myself and feel attractive, then sparks can fly.

I think it's important to take the temperature of a relationship often. When it feels like we're in a rut or not in absolute smit, we talk about what's going on, reassess our 'love languages,' and figure out what changes need to be made. Maybe that doesn't seem spontaneous enough, but it works for us. A couple of weeks ago I told Taylor I missed being wooed. The next evening he came home with pink roses. And you know what? Even though they weren't purchased on some whim, it felt incredibly romantic to me that my husband would respond so quickly to something that was bothering me.


Melissa said...

You mentioned the "love languages" which is what I was going to get right in here and post about. :) Gary Chapman's book, "The Five Languages of Love", was instrumental in re-connecting my husband and I after about 17 years or so of marriage. Our marriage had been fraught with dysfunction because of what I didn't learn growing up. We'd been working on our relationship the whole time I was healing, but there was something missing. Understanding love and love languages was pivotal in sending us in a new direction. We both read the book and now as we practice learning to speak the other's language, we feel more connected to each other. It's a great read and will change the way you "speak" love. I highly recommend it!

Holly Llewellyn said...

every february I do the "14 days of valentines" each day i do a sweet something for my man or leave a sweet note. each year is different, i have a few things that i do every year...but i change it up so he doesn't know what to expect. i also try to spontaniously rent a movie (on a week night no less...gasp), put the kids down early and buy some sparkling cider to snuggle on the couch and just enjoy the time together.

Jesslyn said...

With 3 kids under 3 we laugh about how little time we get to spend just with each other. So we never let a day begin or end with kissing a little. We call at least once during his work day. And now that the twins are a little older, we try to have a date night (in or out) every week. We also always have a book going that we read out loud to each other. A chapter or two a night as we snuggle. And we try to shower together as often as possible!

Valerie said...

I also like the 5 Love Languages, I think knowing each others love language is KEY!

You most likely will never get those "dating" days back, but if you think about it...would you really want those back. If you think marriage is way better then the dating days, it will be. You can be Spontaneous...go skinny dipping (who cares if its in the back yard pool), you can send sexy pictures to each other, you can go enjoy a night out under the stars together (who says the trampoline is only for the kids ;) Heck plan a free date night with just you two and the car somewhere. It's all about togetherness money or no money.

There are times when I am so so tired and feel like I have given everything I have to the kids and the last thing I want to do is talk to my husband about his day, or try to be close and cuddled. I have had kids on me all day!

But I realize I feel so much better if I do give my husband attention and let him give me attention. We will laugh together about the day and sit and watch a movie (after the kids have gone to bed...that count's as a date right?")

For us keeping the spark alive includes a LOT of thinking about each other and being spontaneous. Create amazing memories :)

Danielle said...

Just so he knows he's loved, I have started keeping a "Remember the Sweet Things" list for him. It's a book by Ellen Greene. Check it out! I blogged about it last week because I'm working on the list now for Valentine's Day.

jeanine said...

We always make sure that we spend time together every day. Even if it means we stay up a little later to watch a recorded show and snuggle on the couch.
When I take his car to mutual on Wednesday nights I try to leave a love note on his steering wheel for him to find the next day (I've stashed a pad of post-its and a pen in the car so that I'm always prepared!) And if I notice he's low on gas I like to fill it up for him.
Those are just a few things off the top of my head...