Valentines Day, the day when we openly show our love, appreciation and gratitude for that someone special and add a little romance to our every day lives.
But there is no reason why we can’t add a little romance to every day – even when we are married with children. So here are five tips for keeping the romance in your marriage or relationship – today and every day.
1. Say “I love you” and “I appreciate you” often
When you’re married with kids and have a lot of commitments it can be easy to get stuck in your routine and take each other for granted.
So every day before the sun goes down make sure you let your partner know how much you love and appreciate them, both in words and deeds, and give them the chance to reciprocate. Life is too short to leave important words unsaid.
2. Have a regular date day/night
When you are busy and have a family to manage, dates with your partner are even more important – despite you having less time. You both need couple time outside of your other roles to build a stronger relationship and create a united front.
As you would know though, having regular alone time with each other around work, kids and other commitments is no easy feat. Be flexible, you may not be able to go out with kids, but you could have a candlelight dinner, or order some take out and have a picnic on your lounge room floor while you watch a movie at home after the kids are asleep.
Find date opportunities around your current lifestyle and interests, though try to aim for at least one a fortnight.
3. Get a little creative
You don’t have to have expensive dates or do grand gestures to be romantic, often the little unexpected acts of love and kindness can be just as effective – if not more. So here are a few ideas to get you thinking…
- Write love letters, send random loving text messages and emails or leave a voicemail to let them know your thinking about them
- If you’re in the bathroom before your partner gets ready for work or bed take the opportunity to leave them a special message in lipstick on the shower or mirror
- Do up a surprise treasure hunt using their favourite sweets and little presents and hide them in places your partner will easily find them
- Do something you don’t necessarily enjoy because it is important to them, like watching the movie of their choice or attending their favourite sporting event
- Make a more public declaration of your affection once in a while through a sign or spectacle (my husband once water blasted “I love Amanda” on our driveway and left it there for two weeks so every time I’d leave home and come back I’d be reminded – as would the whole street)
- Give them a “why I love you list” with all the reasons why you love them
There are literally hundreds of little ideas you could try it just takes a little creativity, courage and knowledge of what your partner would like.
4. Show affection
Never underestimate the value of showing your partner affection. As busy parents all of our time can go into caring for our kids, managing schedules, the house and for some of us a business or work as well, not leaving much time or energy left over for each other.
During these times of busyness and utter exhaustion when a deeper level of intimacy isn’t always achievable, small acts of affection like hand holding, kissing, lingering hugs, massages, touches and winks can say “I love you”, “I still care about you” and “I’m thinking of you” and they can go a long way – sometimes even save a relationship.
5. Share your thoughts and dreams
Remember romantic gestures don’t take the place of real communication in your relationship. Each day take the time to talk to each other about your lives, goals, dreams, plans for the future, things you love about each other, things you’re happy about and the challenges you’re facing.
What about you? How do you keep the romance in your relationship?