Let’s face it, having kids is a romance crusher. Time for romance shrinks dramatically. Then, when you do MAKE the time, one or both of you is often physically, cognitively, emotionally or existentially exhausted. However, if you give in to that, and don’t think of your relationship as something that requires ongoing and consistent discipline, your odds go up that you’ll be turning your coin over to a divorce attorney. Here are 30 ideas designed to create a good feeling between you (I’ll end with some caveats):
Initiatives for the person with traditional masculine interests
• Get tickets to a sporting event
• Arrange to go bowling
• Go to some sort of racing event
• Take a trip to a casino
• Go target shooting (hey, it’s the road less traveled!)
• Take golf lessons together
• Give him a foot rub (no, you cannot wear latex gloves)
• Learn how to make beer or wine together
• Go to a car or aviation show
Initiatives for the person with traditional feminine interests
• Write her a poem regarding either your love for her or great things about her (no, it doesn’t have to rhyme sparky)
• Take her to get her nails done
• Do her toe nails for her (be nice and slow and meticulous)
• Take a trip to the closest outlet mall to buy her something nice (only positive comments and no fretting allowed)
• Brush her hair for an hour
• Set her up in with a luxury bath while you take care of your smelly progeny–finger food, sweet aromas and gentle music are all pluses
• Arrange to go dancing and then, as Souza suggested, do so like no one is watching
• Arrange to chauffeur her and her friends for a girls night out (man, you’ll learn all kinds of stuff!)
• Hand carry her flowers to her work
• Set up a picnic in the park
• Go to wineries for tastings
• Offer an hour massage
• Write and deliver a gratitude letter
• Take a regular walk around your neighborhood
• Make his/her favorite meal and serve it in a part of your residence where you wouldn’t normally share a meal. (it’s amazing how intimate a card table, a simple table cloth and a candle can make any part of any residence…as long as you medicate the children first, or turn them over to some other humans for the night…I’m kidding about the medicating your children part…or am I??)
• Go to a comedy club
• Go horseback riding (what great pictures you can get!)
• Play a round of tennis or some other racquet sport
A few caveats:
• Don’t do anything nice with an expectation for a return or a certain reaction. If you do, the nice gesture could make things worse. Think of this as something good you are doing for it’s own sake, regardless of how your spouse may respond. This REALLY takes discipline and practice.
• Never act like you’re sacrificing yourself for your partner’s sake.
• Don’t act like this is a quid pro quo scenario. For instance, if you’re the one who tends to pursue sex, don’t do so after doing one of these gestures.
• Stay away from any gestures that get you into sensitive areas with your partner (e.g., you’ve complained that your partner never gives you a massage and then you offer one).
• Set a weekly date night. Lots of times you won’t feel like it or be tired. DO IT ANYWAY, most of the time that is. Anything that we do only when we feel like it, or only after life’s obligations have been met, will be half baked.
• If these sorts of interventions seem to worsen things and/or your relationship has gotten toxic, please seek out the services of a qualified relationship counselor. For a referral, click here.
Good luck. And remember this is hard for everyone. After all, at the point in human history when some yuck-a-buck came up with the concept of “till death do you part” people tended to die when they were in their early 30s! ;-)