The saying “romance begins in the kitchen” may seem odd to someone unmarried or to newlyweds; however, it makes sense to people who have been married for a while. In the beginning of a marriage, romance may mean flowers, candlelit dinners and lots of love making whenever the mood strikes. But, as time passes, romance takes on a different look. It more often looks like helping with dinner rather than going to dinner; planting flowers side by side in your home’s garden rather than bringing a dozen long stem red roses home; or lightening you spouses load a bit so he has the energy to have sex after a long day rather than stopping whatever you’re doing to have sex whenever you want.
Keeping the romance in a marriage has to do with spending time together, making sure you communicate often and showing your appreciation for your husband or wife. When these things happen, the feelings you had at the beginning of your relationship grow and the romance is kept alive.
Here are 25 suggestions for keeping the romance going in your marriage or long term relationships. Some take little time, some are free, some take a bit of money and a lot of time, but you should be able to find some suggestions here that work for you.
1. Make a snack and take it to your spouse while he is working at something around the house. Whether it is sitting at the desk paying bills or fixing something in the basement, a little snack will show your spouse you appreciate the work he’s doing.
2. Take care of your spouse when she’s sick. Tuck her in bed and ask if you can get her anything. Keep the kids away so she can rest. Bring her something to read or a favorite movie to watch.
3. Make a meal together from fresh ingredients. Put on some music you both like and share a bottle of wine or a couple of beers while preparing your dinner. If you have kids, do this after they are in bed if possible.
4. Instant message or text message your spouse with a simple silly message such as “I love you bajillions!”
5. Buy your spouse a CD that is missing from his collection. If he has a favorite artist, but is missing one or two titles, buying one for no reason at all is a great way to let him know you love him and that you know what his interests are.
6. Leave an unexpected, no special reason card somewhere she will find it when you are not around.
7. Do one of your spouse’s regular chores – take out the trash, clean up after dinner, change the sheets on the bed. Any mundane chore will do. When your spouse asks why you did it, say “because I love you.”
8. If you have a regular night where you order take out and rent a movie, allow your spouse to choose the food and the movie and agree to accept whatever choice is made.
9. Go to a worship service together and talk about it afterward.
10. Don’t stop dating – go out at least once a month on an actual date.
11. Read a book out loud to each other. It doesn’t have to be all at once. Make it a point to each come to bed a half hour earlier than normal and read a few chapters a night until it’s finished. It’s much more romantic than watching television in bed.
12. Develop an interest in something your spouse is interested in. Learn about and suggest that you do it together.
13. Take a walk, hold hands and talk.
14. If you have kids, make it a point to spend one weekend away from them a year. If you don’t have anyone who will watch your kids while you are away, try to make friends with another couple who have kids close in age to your children . After you get to know them and feel comfortable with them, suggest a kid exchange. You’ll take their kids for a weekend and they can take your kids for a weekend. If you can’t afford to go away, stay home, but act as if you are away. Spend the time going out and doing things instead of accomplishing things around the house.
15. Have a movie marathon together. Spend the day in really comfy clothes, lounge on the couch, and watch a trio of movies with a common actor or theme. Make sure to have lots of your spouse’s favorite snacks on hand.
16. Put the kids to bed one night for him when it’s his turn. And then, take your regular turn the following evening.
17. Write a poem for her. It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare. She’ll love it anyway.
18. Go on a picnic.
19. Take a dance class together. This would be a great idea if you know you have someone’s wedding to attend together. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to really dance the night away.
20. Bring him his morning coffee every morning without him asking you to do it.
21. Run her a bubble bath, light candles in the bathroom, play some relaxing music for her and take the kids out of earshot while she bathes.
22. Call your spouse in the middle of the afternoon and tell her she doesn’t need to cook dinner tonight. You’ll bring home take out just to give her a break.
23. At least once a year go to a very fancy restaurant in your best clothes.
24. Give your spouse genuine praise in front of other people.
25. Always give your spouse a kiss before you leave the house and say I love you everyday!
Chances are you found an idea or two in the list that you can do right now. Go do them. Then plan to put a couple of these ideas in to practice in the next few weeks. Taking the time to do some thoughtful, caring things for your husband or your wife will not only help keep the romance alive in your marriage, it will help it to flourish.
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