“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 what they believe is an inevitable romantic shortfall in the years to come.” (Jim Mueller) This is where strategic romance comes in.
Actually, 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!
But how do we stop the “fading” from happening in our marriages? What are some secrets to help to combat that from happening?
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.
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.
Isolation is like a terminal virus that invades your marriage. It starts silently, slowly and painlessly at first. But 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.”
He then goes on to say,
“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. 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 are providing 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.
With that said, this first article is written by Jim Mueller. It is posted on the web site for Growthtrac.com. Click onto the link below to read:
Additionally, For Strategic Romance:
Sabrina Beasley also wrote something that can help you to be more intentional in romancing each other. It is also posted on the Growthtrac.com web site. Below is one of the suggestions Sabrina gives. After reading it, click into the article to read the rest:
“Wear an attitude to match [an inviting bedroom]. A beautiful bedroom only provides half the romance. If you give your spouse the cold shoulder, or use the bedroom to manipulate to get what you want, it will not be the warm place of love that it was meant to be. Work to make your time in the bedroom a time of building up your marriage emotionally and spiritually. Pray together regularly, avoid getting into conflicts before bedtime, and make efforts to communicate in loving ways.”
Pray, read, and glean through the following:
Another helpful Growthtrac.com article is written by Jimmy Evans. Again, pray, read, and 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 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 those 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. And then take your pick! Plus, go back for more at a future date. We’re continually adding more.
We hope this helps.
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” below. We’d love to hear from you.
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Filed under: Romantic Ideas