Do you need a bit more romance in your marriage? How about strategic romance?
Now, we’re not just talking about Valentine’s Day or an anniversary celebration where you throw a little romance at each other. We’re talking about being more intentional than that. And we aren’t talking about only doing this before marrying or in the first year or so. There’s no doubt:
“There is a common worry among engaged couples that romance will fade months and years into their marriage. Pre-married couples don’t want the attraction and anticipation they feel today to fade into complacency and coldness tomorrow. They want to know how to avert this in the years to come.” (Jim Mueller)
But in reality, none of us want our marriages to “fade into complacency and coldness.” That’s true whether we’re entering into marriage, or we have been married for a LONG time! We’re still working on this “romance thing” in our marriage. Steve and I realized this a long time ago. It isn’t a “once and one” situation.
But how do we stop the “fading” from happening in our marriages? What are some secrets to help to combat that from happening? That is where strategic romance comes into marriage.
Strategic Romance Within Marriage
Well, it certainly isn’t by letting romance take its own course after we say, “I do” in the marriage ceremony. Life has a way of separating us from each other. This happens even if we never thought it could happen to us. We can have the most romantic beginning to our lives together that anyone could ever imagine. But unless we put intentionality into making sure the romance doesn’t “fade” or crash, the downhill slide of becoming emotionally apart from each other is inevitable. It’s just the natural course of life.
“Couples often do a great job of pursuing each other when they date and get engaged but then life gets busy and we neglect the romantic, non-sexual, pursuit of each other. Your marriage will not make, or break based on one date night, but a healthy pursuit of each other inside and outside the bedroom helps maintain the strength of your marriage. You’re watering and protecting the roots of the tree when you romance and date your spouse.” (Scott Kedersha)
Dennis Rainey talks about this in his book, Staying Close: Stopping the Natural Drift Toward Isolation in Marriage. He writes about the “the drift of isolation” that happens emotionally between those who are married.
Concerning Strategic Romance He Writes:
“If there’s one thing worse than a miserable, lonely single, it’s a miserable, lonely married person. The irony is that no two people marry with any intention of being isolated from each other. Most of them feel that marriage is the cure for loneliness. The phrase, ‘Lonely Husbands, Lovely Wives’ would, for them, contradict what they think marriage is all about.
“But isolation is like a terminal virus that invades your marriage. It starts silently, slowly and painlessly at first. And by the time you become aware of its insidious effects, it can be too late. Your marriage can be crippled by boredom and apathy. It can even die from emotional malnutrition and neglect.”
As Kelli Hastings says (which is true):
“When two people are committed by marriage, complacency may be their undoing if they aren’t paying attention. The importance of romance in any marriage cannot be overstated; yet few are fortunate enough to avoid this phenomenon, since it is by human nature that romance waxes and wanes, often decreasing with time.”
Dennis Rainey supports this by saying:
“Your marriage will naturally move more toward a state of isolation. Unless you lovingly and energetically nurture and maintain your marriage, you will begin to drift away from your mate. You’ll live together; but you will live alone.”
Letting Friendship Go to the Wayside
That’s particularly true for married couples who become parents. Author Pamela Jordon wrote about this. She said that parents have a tendency to “let the ‘goodies’ the fun, friendship and intimacy that brought them together in the first place fall by the wayside. Life gets very hectic, and children and work clamor for attention. Unfortunately, a marriage relationship doesn’t until it’s in bad shape.”
And that’s true. It much easier to push the needs of a marriage off to the side. It doesn’t scream as loudly, until it’s at a critical place. But the wisest thing to do is to put forth preventative efforts.
“My friend Carol (very happily married for 47 years) said it all when she commented on parents who won’t take time for dates. You need to celebrate the love that created those children.” (Dolley Carlson)
So, do what it takes to keep the romance alive. How do we do this? We found a few ideas that might help you.
Below, we provide links to several web sites articles that have some great ideas. They can help you to be more strategic in nurturing your marital partnership.
Yes, you will have to sort through what will work for your marriage; but it’s worth the effort. The bonus is that the ideas may be a lot fresher than anything you could come up with on your own. So please, take the time. Make the effort to glean through and use what you can.
For Strategic Romance:
First, here is an article is written by Jimmy Evans. We encourage you to pray, read, glean through and use what you can In the linked article below:
And still another helpful article is posted on the Power to Change web site. Dave Klassen, Glen Hoos, and Charlene Friesen write this one. Click onto the link below to read:
Scott Kedersha came up with several ideas that can help you in the pursuit of strategic romance. The following are creative date ideas came from Scott’s article, “Creatively Date and Pursue Your Spouse.” There’s no excuse to say that you can’t come up with new ways to date each other! Below are even more ideas:
1. Take your spouse’s initials. Plan a date night around the three initials in their name. You can do the same date night around the initials of your kids.
2. Plan a date night around a color.
3. Plan a date night around a random word. For example: plan a date night around the word “supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus.” The date night might include eating soup (Super), Calamari (cala), learning how to blow glass (fragalistic), etc…
4. Have a Date Night Jar. This idea comes from Dr. Scott Stanley in his book, A Lasting Promise. In the book, Dr. Stanley suggests creating a jar or basket that includes a bunch of slips of paper. Each paper has a challenge or activity written on it. You randomly pick one slip of paper. And then you do the challenge/activity written on the paper. For example, the paper might include something like: go to [a store] and buy a new board game that you play together. You can watch your favorite episode on Netflix. Or you can make out with each other for 10 minutes and do nothing more. A few years ago, we filled out around 20 slips of paper. We’re still enjoying picking out a Date Night Jar challenge!
5. Here are few other ideas: Plan a date night based on a theme (i.e. fall), a song lyric or title, or numbers.
Another Quick Idea?
Here’s another one from Toben and Joanne Heim:
“Capitalize on the tiny moments. It’s important to celebrate those little moments, things like a really good day or a really bad day —those unexpected things that make someone’s day.”
Just look around; you’ll find many “tiny moments” to celebrate if you just open your eyes. But you have to be strategic in looking for them. Don’t get lazy about this; your marriage relationship is worth the romantic effort. And the best thing is, you AND your spouse will enjoy these moments.
More Links for Strategic Romance in Your Marriage
And then, to give you a great way to romance your spouse, the web site for Christian Marriage Today, provides a free download for Love coupons. This is a great way to surprise your spouse. To obtain the coupons click onto the link below:
Or, if you want to print up some blank coupons to put your own gifting idea on them, go to Themarriagebed.com web site gives you that opportunity:
If you want even more ideas, just visit our Romantic Ideas topic. We have A LOT of unique ideas waiting for you to choose (and maybe even adapt, if that’s necessary). And then take your pick! Plus, go back for more at a future date. We’re continually adding more.
We hope this helps.
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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