As a husband, dad of three kids, and owner of my own company, finding time for myself can be difficult. Finding time alone with my wife can be even more challenging. Add in school, baseball games, dance class (you name it!), and there’s very little time left to nurture our relationship. So a few times a year we make it a priority to ship the kids off to sleepovers at friends' and/or relatives' houses so we can spend time alone either at home or at one of our favorite getaways. Thank God for those getaways. They are a saving grace. But even when we get that chance to unwind, it can still be an effort to re-connect. That’s why we’re always working on building our relationship — and, more importantly, getting to know each other even better — by doing these things:
1. Say "I love you, because…" We take turns writing at least five things we love about each other in a journal; it's a great way to stay connected. We have pages and pages of things we either never knew about each other or that we may have forgotten. The best part is reading what I wrote out loud and watching the expression on my partner’s face.
2. Flirt with photos. This is a lot of fun. I use my phone to take photos of my wife without her knowing. Then I text or e-mail the photos to her with some fun phrasing. (If you try this one, don't be shy!)
3. Rediscover how you met. My wife and I always love re-telling our own versions of how we met. It’s fun to hear each other's story. Many times we each discover moments that we can’t believe we forgot. Remembering what brought us together almost always ends up bringing us closer.
4. Work out together. Motivate each other to get in shape and do it by having fun. Go for a hike or walk, or take a yoga class together. Doing an activity you enjoy can be even more fun when you share it with each other.
5. Plan surprises. Make your time alone even more special by planning the unexpected. Leaving notes for your partner taped to the bathroom mirror, or even on her pillow to be discovered when she wakes up in the morning, is really special. Constant reminders of how much you mean to each other will be rewarding for you both.
6. Have date nights. Most people look forward to Fridays with relief — TGIF — but Saturdays are really the day I long for most. Why? Because we have a standing date night every Saturday. Whether we head out to listen to music, have dinner at our favorite spot, or grab a drink at the hotel where we got married, Saturday nights can never come too fast in my book. So be sure you set a routine that both of you can commit to and keep it just for yourselves.
What are some ways you and your partner keep your relationship alive?
Photo courtesy of Chris Pegula