Sunday, February 2, 2014

Feel the Love

Thanks to the generosity of my parents, Thomas and I recently went to a B&B for a night while they watched the kids.  We had found a gift certificate for a B&B in town at a silent auction back in November, so it's been fun to have that to look forward to.  And having a night together by ourselves was pretty awesome too.

It's been quite awhile since we've been on a date that lasted more than a couple of hours, but that time was so worthwhile.  It was incredibly refreshing to be able to have an uninterrupted conversation, sleep in past 5:30, read our books, and even share a few hopes and dreams.  Not that one night can make up for the months of sleep deprivation that is parenthood, but we both left the B&B feeling recharged and eager to have such a time again.

It turns out that taking time to be together as a couple is a tried and true way to help keep your relationship strong and satisfying.  I recently read an article in the Star Tribune that highlighted some ways to build relationship rituals, and "make time for date nights" was near the top of the list.  Of course, with young kids it's not always easy to do that, which is why "or schedule a time to talk" was listed next.

In addition to making/taking intentional time to be together, here are a few of the other tips included in the article that might be of interest to you.  What I love about each of these examples is that they don't require a lot of time or money to implement and they are easy to do, yet the impact they can make in a marriage is lasting and positive.

Greet Each Other
It might seem like a small thing, but greeting rituals can be an important and brief way of communicating love and dedication.  You and your partner might give a simple hug or a kiss, or come up with your own secret handshake.  Whatever you decide, the important thing is to mark the time when you leave and return in some way so that it just doesn't disappear into the woodwork.

Pass Notes
I remember passing notes to friends in class to help a less than stimulating lecture pass more quickly.  Perhaps you do too.  Whether you send a text message, write an email, or slip a handwritten note into your partner's lunch bag, gym bag, or briefcase, a little note to your partner tells him that he is on your mind.  As the person interviewed put it, the notes you write don't have to be long, but they do have to be personal.

Take a Class in Something New
Granted, this isn't the easiest thing to do when juggling work, church, school, and activity schedules, but I love the idea.  Signing up for a class is a way to lock in some intentional date time while at the same time giving you something to talk about afterward too.

One of the couples interviewed decided to take golf lessons even though they were at different levels.  They drove to the golf course together, had lessons at the same time, and then had a drink afterward.  If you do this, in addition to improving your golf game (or your cooking skills, or your ability to identify birds) is that learning and growing as a couple helps partners bring new energy and ideas to their relationship as well.





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