“The strength of your marriage depends on the choices you make to improve it.” (Doug Fields)
One of the problems we have in life is that we have too many choices —even “good” choices as to how we spend our time, that can push us away from each other in our marriage relationship. We need to consider that whatever we say “yes” to, we’re saying “no” to something or someone else (which is usually spending quality time with our spouse). For this reason, it’s all too easy to drift apart in our marital relationships because of the tyranny of the urgent and the busyness every single day brings with it. As a result of these choices, we need to take the time and make the effort to keep our romance alive.
So for the next 2 weeks the Marriage Message will concentrate on “200 romantic things you could easily do— but probably aren’t doing!” These ideas aren’t original with us but from Doug Fields listed in his book Creative Romance. Unfortunately the book is no longer in publication so we thought we’d share them with you in this way. Enjoy! Doug writes:
A few of these ideas may be too outrageous for your style. That’s okay. Read the idea; shake your head in wonder, and mutter, “Some people are really bizarre.” I developed this list with the hope that each couple would add to or subtract from it in order to meet their individual needs. You may find the outrageous ideas are helpful in stretching your imagination and pushing you toward becoming more creative. There are other ideas that may appear more thoughtful than romantic. These ideas become romantic when they’re accomplished with the right attitude and caring emotions. They’ll (most often) be received with a thankful response.
I hope you realize the importance of encouraging your spouse’s efforts. Even if you don’t see the romantic gesture you’ve been dreaming about, even if the timing isn’t perfect, express your appreciation warmly. There are few things that make us feel worse than being rejected after we’ve made an effort to please. Also, give some thought to how your spouse might react to these ideas before trying them. Your spouse’s state of mind and personality will help you determine whether the attempt is appropriate for your marriage. Whatever you do, be sensitive! Now for the ideas! Here they are:
1. Sketch your dream-house floor plan and talk about each room.
2. Take a bath or shower together.
3. Write the love story of how you met. Get it printed and bound.
4. List your spouse’s best qualities in alphabetical order.
5. Tour a museum or an art gallery.
6. Park in a secluded area and kiss in your car.
7. Make your own movie scene —stop and kiss on a bridge as the sun is setting.
8. Place emphasis on the little changes she makes concerning her appearance.
9. Give your wife a bath and wash her hair.
10. Float on a raft together.
11. Take a stroll around the block.
12. Take your wife away from the kitchen while she’s cooking, and “sauté” her with kisses.
13. Bring home foods she loves to eat but won’t buy for herself. (Don’t do this if she’s dieting!)
14. Give each other a back rub.
15. Rent a classic love-story and watch it while cuddling under blankets.
16. Give your spouse a body massage.
17. Walk through model homes and dream about your next house. Steal a kiss in a closet.
18. Stroll around a nearby lake.
19. Sit in front of the fireplace and talk.
20. Read to one another in bed.
21. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride.
22. Turn the lights down during dinner.
23. Make a surprise call to your spouse while you’re out of town (in addition to your scheduled calls).
24. Play music in your bedroom.
25. Go swimming in the middle of the night.
26. Shave your wife’s legs.
27. Shave your husband’s face.
28. Write a poem for your spouse.
29. Run through the sprinklers on a hot day.
30. Look into your spouse’s eyes while she tells you about her day.
31. Make up nicknames for each other.
32. Go the extra mile to please your mate.
33. When you’re the one who’s correct during a discussion, give your spouse a kiss. Focus on your love rather than who’s right.
34. Tell your spouse, “I’m glad I married you!”
35. Fulfill one of your spouse’s fantasies.
36. Hug your husband from behind and give him a kiss on the back of the neck.
37. Stop in the middle of your day and talk to your spouse for 15 minutes.
38. Create your own special holiday.
39. Place your hand on your spouse’s leg when you’re riding in the car.
40. Send your wife a compliment through one of her friends or colleagues.
41. Ask for an isolated booth in a restaurant.
42. Become your spouse’s cheerleader when she’s had a terrible day.
43. Tell your wife, “I love you because…” (Finish the sentence.)
44. Show your wife affection while she’s talking to one of her friends.
45. Sleep in a sleeping bag together.
46. Do something your spouse loves to do, even though it doesn’t interest you.
47. Go horseback riding on the same horse.
48. Photocopy a newspaper cartoon and write your own romantic caption.
49. Write out romantic notes leaving them where your spouse will find them.
50. Cut out romantic photos from magazines and write your own messages on them.
51. While driving, pull over for scenic sights and get out of the car to enjoy God’s creation.
52. Write your spouse affirming love letters.
53. Mail your spouse love letters instead of leaving them in the house.
54. Feed ducks together (feed any type of animal as long as it’s not a house pet —the idea is to get outside together).
55. Build a snowman together.
56. Watch the sun come up or go down.
57. Go fishing together with only one pole.
58. Sit on the same side of a restaurant booth.
59. Spontaneously spend the entire day together away from the house.
60. Picnic by a pond.
61. Give your mate a foot massage.
62. Put on perfume or after-shave before going out.
63. Go Skinny-dipping.
64. Develop a code word for sex that you can use when you’re in a crowd.
65. Buy your husband or wife a new outfit.
66. Sing a song to your spouse.
67. Let go of helium balloons and watch them race each other out of sight.
68. Buy her a stuffed animal.
69. Write “I love you” in the dust around the house instead of complaining about it.
70. Set up a manicure, hairstyling, or mud bath appointment for your spouse.
71. Put together a puzzle on a rainy night.
72. Read a romance novel together.
73. Rent a boat.
74. Take a train ride.
75. Ride bikes in the rain.
We’ll share the rest in next week’s Marriage Message. In the meantime, have fun trying out some of the ideas listed above with your spouse! We hope they will help you to grow closer together for the sake of your marriage and to the glory of God!
Steve and Cindy Wright