Silly Gestures that Grow Marital Love

Silly Gestures - AdobeStock_191639546An important point in marrying is to grow your love relationship with each other. It takes your love to a whole new level. But your love won’t grow if you don’t do what it takes to make that happen. It’s not a “once done, always done” type of situation. It’s just one of those weird things about love. If you don’t feed it, it won’t grow. It’s the same principle as a human, animal, or a plant; it’s got to be fed. And one way (of many) is through actions that include silly gestures of love. It’s a type of loving funniness that only you and your spouse truly “get” and appreciate. It’s like a private joke you both understand but no one else does or appreciates it as much!

We agree with something Susan Yates said:

“Life is hard. We need to lighten up. We need to restore a little silliness in our relationships” —especially in our marriage relationship!”

That’s so true! Sometimes getting downright silly with each other is the best medicine for an ailing marriage. Most of us did this before we married. It actually helped us to grow in love with each other. But why stop at the wedding—why not afterward? Flirting with each other, sharing laughs, and enjoying stupid stuff together is important.

Silly Gestures of Love

All of this hit home recently when we read something written by Alice Gray (in a book titled, “Stories for a Faithful Heart”. She wrote:

“My grandparents were married for over half a century and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word ‘shmily’ in a surprise place for the other to find. They took turns leaving ‘shmily’ around the house; and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their tun to hide it once more.

“They dragged ‘shmily’ with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. Additionally, they smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where my grandma always fed us warm homemade pudding with blue food coloring. ‘Shmily’ was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave ’shmily’ on the very last sheet.

“There was no end to the places ‘shmily’ would pop up. Little notes with ’shmily’ scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats or taped on steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows. ’Shmily’ was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of my grandparents’ house as the furniture.

Appreciating Silly Gestures of Love

“It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents’ game. Skepticism has kept me from believing in true love—one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents’ relationship. They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection which not everyone experiences.

“Grandma and grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses and bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other’s sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble. My grandma whispered to me about how cute my grandpa was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew ‘how to pick ‘em.’ Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings, a wonderful family, and each other.”

By the way, we found out that S-H-M-I-L-Y is an abbreviation for “See How Much I Love You!”

That’s sweet, isn’t it? We think so. That’s because there is a silly gestures game that we play with each other. It helps us to grow our love relationship. (We wrote about it in our book and in another article on this web site.)

Our Own Loving Funniness

It’s called it the “hide the little rhino” game (although we never officially named it that). It started a number of years ago. Steve found a little grey rhino nick knack somewhere. It’s about the size of a walnut. He showed it to me and I suggested he just throw it away. Instead, he put it on my dresser. I thought to myself, “why would he put it there?” So, I returned the “favor” and put it on his dresser. The next thing I knew I found it in my jewelry box. I put it into a box he had and that’s when the “game” began.

It has been placed back and forth over the years ever since. It goes from this place to that —wherever we think the other will find it.

Do you know that all these years Steve and I never talk about this? It has been a quirky little game we lovingly play with each other; and we never discuss it. But every time I see that little rhino, it brings a little giggle to my heart. It’s like an “I love playing this funny little game with you” type of thing that no one but Steve and I get to play. And even though Steve will read this Marriage Insight (because we proofread each other’s writings) and see what I just wrote, we still won’t talk about it… will we Steve? (I’m thinking that at this point he will silently say, “Nope!”) So, let the games continue! 

Sewing Love Through Silly Gestures

This is our type of Shmily silly gestures of love game. We’re sewing threads of laughter and history together —ones that help us to enjoy being married to each other through the years. We hope the above examples inspire you in your marriage.

Do you have any funny little experiences that you can share with us? As long as they wouldn’t embarrass your spouse, we’d love to hear about them. Perhaps yours will also inspire others to grow their love (even through silliness). Keep in mind:

“Each day presents us with countless opportunities to express love in meaningful ways. So, how will you express love today? Whether it’s a kind word, a helping hand, a warm embrace, or a thoughtful gesture, love can be expressed in countless ways, big or small.” (Gottman)

All of these gestures and more (including silly gestures) help you to grow your love relationship. We hope you will take all of this seriously (sometimes in a silly way).

In Closing

We recommend something that someone once recommended to us. “Keep the romance alive in your marriage by giving your spouse something to laugh or smile about and enjoy.” That’s a mission that we take very seriously.

“Yes, it is important to have the serious conversations… to ask questions to reconnect. [Life can take us to serious places in our relationship.] … But it’s ALSO important to have FUN in your marriage! My husband and I are goofy together all the time. We don’t take ourselves too seriously; and I think that’s one of the reasons that we have a GREAT marriage. Sometimes a thoughtful or funny note is all it takes to say, ‘I love you more than millennials love avocado toast.'” (Amy Sparrow, from her article, “Funny and Flirty Love Notes to Leave for your Husband“)

That’s a great idea all in its own. If you can’t come up with any original funny notes to plant where your spouse can find them, or send emails or texts to him or her, look around the Internet. We’re found lots of ideas there.

The point is to grow your marriage! And silly gestures of love are great ways to do so. It’s all about the “Laughter is good medicine” principle God recommends we apply generously! We hope you will!

Cindy and Steve Wright


We talk about this issue and so much more in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. Just click on the linked title or the “Now Available” picture below to do so:



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