My husband and I have been married for fourteen years and I like to think that we still keep it sweet but life sometimes takes over, especially with two daughters to run around, and we don't get the kind of time together we would like.
As a young teenager, I would devour my mother's “1,001 Ways to Be Romantic” book. Yes, I even cut out “Love is…” cartoons while my friends were doing more normal teenage stuff I am sure.
Just as they were important to me a few years before I met my husband, showing him love is equally as important to me now; therefore, I figured I would share some ways that we continue to show each other love and explore more ideas that can be put into action.
Show Him How Much You Care:
1. Kiss Regularly
I know this seems like an obvious one, but sometimes just a gentle kiss on the lips helps to remind one another that you are there no matter what.
And it seems this connection is true and goes beyond that- as Hungry For Change‘s article points out. They note that some additional benefits include lower blood pressure and fewer cavities.
2. Love Notes
This is probably my favorite way that my husband and I have grown through the years, yet make time for us. We were crazy teenagers who got married two months after my husband turned eighteen- which was September of his senior year.
While texting was out, it was relatively new, and neither of us had cell phones at the time, so we stuck to love notes. Living six hours apart (since I was in college) meant that I received his letters sometimes weeks after he wrote them but I still have a few of them.
Later in life, we had a short separation of distance while in transition for a move. Instead of letters, we reverted to morning phone calls. I would call him while working in the drive through and get him up in the mornings.
Now, since I am teaching and wake up calls fall during “working” hours, I send him good morning texts that remind him that not only do I think about him, but he is one of the most important people in my life.
Occasionally still though I will leave a letter somewhere for him to find. I guess this one is not so much about the note but in making the other person feel special.
3. Keep the House Clean
Hold on- don't give up on me yet. I read a book a while back entitled “31 Ways to a Happy Husband”. This was the first one she wrote about and it after reading it, I understood.
The house doesn't have to be spotless, but haven't you ever been stressed out just because the house is dirtier than you'd like?
There is a good chance this stresses your spouse out too. The reason I say this is because I live in a traditional home where my husband is the breadwinner. I make a decent income, but he provides.
When the car dies, he comes to my school (which is not near his work) and helps me. Right now we are house hunting, and I see the strain on him. So I start to look at a fifteen minute scrub of the bathroom a bit differently, knowing it will take that ease off a little helping him to remember he's respected around the house.
4. Eat Together, Cook if Possible
Maybe it's just me, but some of our most precious memories involve food. From our eloped reception to Burger King with a two-person cake to the beer can chicken he cooked for Mother's Day almost four years ago.
Two of my most favorite memories involve cooking food as well. One I will share: It was before kids. Neither of us drinks, but at twenty and nineteen we managed to get a guy at a gas station to purchase a six-pack for us, which we drank while we cooked dinner. It was magical, I felt like I was living in a movie.
Even today, we share meals together as a family and as a couple frequently. It is one of our most treasured ways to spend time together.
5. Pretend You've Never Met
Being a teacher, I have the benefit of having summers off. I went on a quick vacation to see my grandparents-in-laws early on. Since my mother-in-law is a teacher as well, once we came home I was able to leave our children with her.
Before leaving though, we decided it would be fun if I were someone else. Someone without the modern day responsibilities like kids and what not. We played it the whole time during my nine-hour drive back home and enjoyed it for a few hours more before I became ‘me' again.
It was fun, and we enjoyed it, I feel like it made us appreciate both what was, what is, and what is yet to come.
6. Dream Together
To some extent our children getting older breaks my heart. I realize the saying is so true: “The days are long but the years are short.” How is it our youngest is already in the double digits?
It doesn't seem so bad when my husband talks about our goal for 2025 when she graduates. We plan to have a few rental homes and money saved up. We've already bought an old station wagon and plan to purchase or build a teardrop camper soon.
Once we kiss her farewell, we are packing our stuff and heading out on the open road to visit every state in the USA with no destination in mind.
Your dreaming with your significant other might be different, but it's important to keep that dream alive. For the dream's sake and your relationship's sake.
7. Do Something Together
Some of the ideas that I remember from 1,001 Ways to Be Romantic was to learn to make pizza together, or go on a wine or chocolate tour together; however, my personal favorite was to pack a bag without them knowing and surprise them with a trip.
It doesn't matter what you do though, the key is to find something you both like and do it together. For us, sometimes that's cooking, but other times it is working on our old cars. We like each other's hobbies enough that we do it with each other now and then. It makes us both feel special to be together doing something we enjoy.
8. Turn the Cell Phones Off
One of the most memorable dates we ever went on was a few years after we got married and shortly after the second girl was born. It was March, and we had just picked up our tax return check. We left the girls with the in-laws and headed to the nearest big city.
We spent the whole day window (and actual) shopping, went to lunch at a nice restaurant, and bought cookies from a girl scout.
Yet the thing I remember the most about it was putting our phones off for the day. That made it much more special to shut the world out for a few short hours and just focus on each other.
It's no fun when you're out to eat, and your date spends more time on their phone than with you.
9. Go to the Playground
Back when we first got together, the park was our hip, happening spot. See, we met at a restaurant where we both worked. He worked later shifts than me typically and afterward our options were Walmart or the park, and since it was summer, the park made more sense.
Even in what is now the midway point of our relationship, we would still go to the park and sometimes walk when we could get someone to keep the girls for a few hours. Cell phones off, stars high up, and nothing but the crickets and ourselves makes for a lovely time together.
We need to get back to that again.
There is just something about having your significant other's arm around you that is comforting. Letting them know you care and are there can sometimes be as simple as scooting a little closer and feeling your skin touch theirs.
No more words are available to describe it.
11. Purchase Little Trinkets
Everyone has their love story, and each one is special. Mine involved a tornado and a car being picked up and dropped. The car was his, and I voluntarily gave him my car one day.
He brought it back all cleaned up, inside and out, and with a new set of flaming dice for my 1997 Sunfire. I flipped the car a few months after that but still have the dice to this day.
Purchasing something small that they will appreciate is romantic and shows you care.
12. Put Yourself First
One of the biggest things I ever did for myself was to grow my self-confidence, and a lot of it came from the city you see above. I went on a vacation on my own to commemorate my learning to love myself.
It took my entire twenties- filled with ups and downs before this event occurred.
Ironically, it did change my marriage for the better. I took care of myself which made him more attracted to me and made me feel better about myself. It was as if we had indeed come full circle and started our lives all over again. While I appreciate everything we went through to get to that day, I would not want to go back.
13. Take Time to Yourself, Let Them Do Likewise, and Know That It's Okay
When we were first married, there would be nights when my husband would go out with the guys and cruise the main street of the small town we were from. I would stay at home. I am sure I could have gone, but I understood the time needed to be just for him and his friends. I knew them and was okay with it, respecting his other roles.
He does the same for me. The last two weekends I have had a work assignment keep me up- one for county fair auction and the other for a culinary competition. He didn't bat an eyelash or complain as I told him that what is traditionally our family day, was being overshadowed by my job. Instead, he asked our kids what they wanted to do and went from there.
Daddy daughter time which made him that much sexier.
14. Tell Them How You Really Feel
Over the Christmas holidays, my mother had to have surgery. We talked about so many different things while she was recovering. One thing I mentioned was how fun I thought it was that I get to watch this man change as he aged and that I still look at him with love, the same way as I did when we were teenagers.
As soon as he got to the hospital to pick me up, I made sure to tell him that too. How sexy I think his peppered hair was. While this may not sound like a compliment, I promise you it is.
15. Conclusion: Make It a Journey
These past fourteen years have one thing in common: you are thinking of your significant other. So many times we get caught in the daily grind that we take for granted the two things that are so precious: time and people. This is the person we chose to spend our lives with, and we need to treat that person with care. I know I plan to and I hope you do too.