You (and every married couple in the world) know the importance of ‘couple time.’ However, real life often gets in the way of romance. Household chores, clingy kids, and the stress of a job that puts food on the table take their physical and emotional toll. Nobody can blame you if you’d rather sleep than have sex, or if your conversations sound more like a project meeting (‘Did you put gas in the car?’ ‘Can you go to the supermarket?’) than murmurs of sweet-little-nothings.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to get that one-on-one time with your partner, not just for marriage, but for you. Work-life balance experts say and again that the more stress you have, the more pampering you need. Connecting to the person who knows you best and loves you most can help you feel happier, calmer, and more energized. It strengthens your spirit, strengthens your spirit, and with these activities, can be pretty darn fun, too.
1. Revisit your first date.
Have lunch or dinner at the place where this love began. Sitting at your old table can bring back memories and help you remember how it felt to shyly hold hands and dream about the future you now share.
2. Have a romantic brunch.
Many people are just too tired and distracted by the end of the day to really enjoy a a candlelit dinner—especially if there are chores and kids waiting at home. Why not meet for an early lunch instead? (Tell your boss that you’re meeting an ‘important client.’ In a way, it’s true!) You’re more energetic, and aren’t worried about rush hour traffic.
3. Dawdle over after-dinner drinks.
Too tired to go out to dinner, and too tired to make it? Perfectly understandable. But if even if you had microwave mac and cheese and three kids clamoring for attention, you can still make the night special. After the kids go to bed, open a bottle of wine and a cheese or deli platter from your favorite delicatessen. It’s just as romantic, and needs absolutely no cooking.
4. Send each other naughty text messages.
This is one bonding activity that you can do even when you’re apart! Flirt over the phone, and who knows, you might both be ‘in the mood’ when you get home. But even if you end up spending the evening helping your kids with homework, chances are you’ll feel closer and more connected. And you’ve got to admit, it’s a welcome break from the boring office paperwork!
5. Take up a sport together.
Exercise can actually improve your sex life: you have more energy, your body’s flooded with ‘happy hormones’ and your new levels of physical fitness can be pretty useful once you’re under the sheets. But exercising together combines all the health benefits with the emotional bonuses having regular quality time, a common ground to talk about, and the feeling of being each other’s coach, cheerleader and number one fan.
6. Trade books.
One of the most important qualities of a happy relationship is being able to share feelings, opinions and ideas. One of the best ways to get this kind of conversation going is to share a book that you really enjoy, and get your partner’s perspective. It’s perfectly okay if he has a totally different reaction—just ask why, and then springboard into a deeper conversation about values and beliefs.
7. Daydream about the fuure.
When was the last time you talked about your dreams? Couples often get caught into the details and drudgery of everyday life, and that just saps both your spirits. No wonder both of you snap at each other over little things like forgotting to drop off the laundry! Set aside the to-do lists and talk about what you’d like to do, one day. It can be big (‘I want to set up my own business!’ or small (‘I’d like to bunjee jump/visit China/own a pet iguana before I die.’)
8. Have a couple massage.
If you’re both tired, achy, and ready to kill each other for the slightest thing, then don’t force yourselves to have a romantic dinner. Instead, head to a spa and ask for a couple massage. You’ll both be treated to a lot of much-needed pampering, leaving you as content and languid as a kitten. You’ll be amazed at how much your moods will change in just one hour—you may just leave the spa holding hands. (And if you ask for aphrodisiac oils, you could be in the mood for so much more.)