Category Archives for "Romance"

Feb 09

Dinner and A Movie–It’s Not What You Think.

By Debi Walter | Romance

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I’ve talked about it often being our favorite holiday of the year. Why? Because it’s a day set apart for romancing my favorite person in the world–my husband.

Do you think of romance as a privilege? Not as something on your ever-growing list of Things You Need To Improve?

Tom and I have recently gone through some events that have made us appreciate every minute we get to spend together. It is a privilege to have one person in this life with whom you can lavish your love. I’ve heard it said that many never know how much something meant to them until it was gone. May that not be true of our marriages. Life is too short–and we need to make the most of every opportunity to express our love in tangible ways.

Which brings me to this month’s post and my chance to spur you on with ideas that are fun, and not difficult to pull off.

Ask an assortment of couples what a date night looks like to them, and more often than not you’ll hear this phrase: Dinner and a Movie. Tom and I like to go to the movies, but we rarely do on date nights. Why? Simply because we like to talk and the people in the movie theater don’t like it when we do. 🙂

I would like to share with you a new twist on Dinner and a Movie.

Instead of going to the movies, watch the movie at home. Instead of eating dinner out, prepare a meal that goes along with the movie. It makes your meal an extension of the whole movie experience. We’ve done this a couple of times and they have ended up being some of our favorite dates.

Not sure how to pull this off? Well, not to worry–we’re not going to leave you stranded. Choose from the following list and have fun planning your next rendezvous–right in your own living room. It may become a regular event.

Six Dinner and a Movie Dates At Home

6. The Godfather and A Sicilian Dinner for Two: Tomato-Sausage Sauce, Antipasto Salad, Sicilian Cannoli

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5. When Harry Met Sally and Katz’s Deli Dinner for Two: Pastrami Sandwich, Coconut Cake with Chocolate Sauce on the side.

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4. The Notebook and Candlelit Crab Boil for Two: Crab Boil, Fingerling Potato Salad, Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream Sundae

3. Sixteen Candles and Updated Cafeteria Fare for Two: Grass-Fed Beef Meatloaf in a Bacon Blanket, Tater Tots with Truffles, Braised Carrots with Crisp Sage, Golden Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pain Au Chocolat: There were so many delicious recipes to choose from for breakfast, I made a link for you to pick from the list.

1. You’ve Got Mail – Sushi and a selection from Cafe’ Lalo‘s menu. This date provides ideas on where to buy the dishes so you don’t have to cook.

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I hope this gets you thinking of ways to make a Dinner and a Movie date something special.

Bon Appetit!

Photos provided by Delish.com

 

Feb 04

How to Craft the Perfect Love Letter for Valentine’s Day (in about 15 minutes)

By Dustin | Romance

How to Craft the Perfect Love LetterWhile Hallmark may tell you otherwise, there’s simply no better gift for your spouse than a romantic love letter.

It makes your spouse feel special, and it expresses your emotions in a format that creates a very personal keepsake.

Plus, if you’re on budget, you can craft an awesome letter for free!

If you’re like me, the idea of writing a romantic letter to a loved one brings back memories of my high school days.

I wrote a lot of “late night love letters” (as my Mom teasingly called them) during my teenage years, and I actually got pretty good at it.  At least that’s what my girlfriend (and fortunately now my wife) tells me.

A love letter will be appreciated whenever you give it, but let’s make sure your husband or wife knows just how much you love and appreciate them this Valentine’s Day.

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

If love letters are so great, why don’t we write more romantic letters…especially after we get married?

We know they’ll put a smile on our spouse’s face and make them feel fantastic.  It doesn’t take long to write a great letter, it doesn’t require a trip to the store, and it’s a simple way to add some fun and romance to your marriage.

Love letters seem to fall into the category of something you know you SHOULD do, but you never get around to it. So what gives?

The problem is we tend to get overwhelmed when we think about sitting down to express our feelings in a letter.  We’re not sure what to write about, how to get started or the best way to deliver our letter when we do finally get around to writing it.

Use This Love Letter Checklist to Make It Easy

What if you had a checklist to follow that would make your love letter writing simple and effective?

Good news – in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re giving you our popular Perfect Love Letter Checklist as our gift.

You can click here to grab it now:

When you use this checklist, you’ll find it’s easy to romance your spouse with a love letter…plus:

  • How to never get stuck on what to write about
  • Discover the secret ingredients to craft the perfect love letter, no matter how uncreative you think you are
  • Exactly what to say to make your spouse melt every time
  • How to deliver your romantic letter in a way that will WOW your spouse

Let’s make this the best Valentine’s Day (and night 😉 ) yet – grab your free love letter checklist.

Jan 12

The Role Kindness Plays In Romance

By Debi Walter | Romance

I’ve noticed lately, especially when driving around Orlando, that kindness on the road is greatly lacking.

What happened to those who used to let you in when you were trying to merge onto a busy highway?

Or when you slow down to let another car merge into your lane, what has happened to the wave of the hand to say, “Thanks!”

I’ve noticed many times after parking my car at Costco and walking towards the entrance, I’m nearly hit by a rude driver not willing to stop and let me cross the road in front of them. Or when I’m the driver and have stopped to let someone cross in front of me, they take their time without regard to my time spent waiting.

What has happened to kindness behind the wheel–kindness in our culture–kindness in general?

Have we become so absorbed into our own schedules that our rudeness to strangers seems justified? And isn’t it most likely true, that these attitudes will have some influence on how we express kindness to our spouse?

When our kindnesses are cut off like this over and over, it tends to make us cynical and vengeful.

Many husbands who have had a rough day being ill-treated by others, come home only to take their frustrations out on their unsuspecting family. Likewise many wives who have been the recipient of stressful attitudes all day long are tempted to vent to the ones she loves most.

The Bible reminds us that we are to…

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32 ESV

When we are purposing to show kindness to our spouse, we are not thinking cold, uncaring thoughts towards them. Instead our thoughts go to ways we know will bless them.

What does all this talk of kindness have to do with romance? Everything!

Romance starts and ends with showing kindness to our spouse. (click here to tweet this)

It can be as simple as fixing a favorite drink for them when they walk in the door after a rough day, or going all out to plan an unsuspected night out on the town.

Romance is all about knowing your spouse well enough to realize when they need some special attention.

I remember one time Tom had had a particularly difficult week at work. Kindness was not on his company’s agenda, and he felt beat up on several levels. Friday had finally arrived, and he was due home within the hour.

I got the idea to make him a special surprise–a banner hung in the garage that said, “Welcome To Your Weekend!” When he walked in the door I had his favorite snack waiting and sent him to our room to relax and unwind before dinner.

It was a simple kindness, but very romantic. And best of all? It didn’t cost much at all!

Have you bought the lie that romance is complicated and expensive? Or that it requires too much effort?

Well, I encourage you to think otherwise.

Tell me, what is one kindness you can show to your spouse today that will make them smile?

Give it a try and see if kindness doesn’t begin taking root in your home–and maybe, just maybe it’ll make it behind the wheel of your car as well. 🙂 Kindness has a way of spreading to those who need it most.

Check out this excellent post by my friend, Cindy Wright at Marriage Missions International, for ideas on how to show random acts of kindness towards your spouse.  Or this great list of 74 Simple Things You Can Do to Brighten Your Spouse’s Day here at Engaged Marriage.

Until next month…let’s practice romance…and be kind to each other!

 

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Dec 08

How’s the (Romantic) Temperature In Your Home?

By Debi Walter | Romance

imagesIf marriage is like a house, then romance is the central air and heat.

Think about it. A marriage can make it without romance–many couples have proven this fact, just as you can live in a house without central air and heat. It may be do-able, but it certainly won’t be as enjoyable.

When things get difficult in your life–trouble with work, children, schooling, relationships–it’s nice to know your spouse is there to let you vent about the struggle. It’s even better if your spouse plans something special, romantic even, to help you get your mind off the trouble at hand.

Romance is NOT foreplay, but it can be.

Any husband or wife, who is using romance as a way to get what they want in the bedroom, is abusing this very special gift.

Romance is like a comfortable chair in your favorite room of the house. It feels right.

Romance has the ability to cool a heated situation or heat up your relationship when the air has chilled.

Romance is something you share with your spouse alone. No one else has the privilege of romancing you, and vice versa.

Do you see romance as more of a privilege or an obligation?

How you answer this question is key to how successful showing romance to your spouse will be.

It’s Christmas, the time of year our children anticipate the other eleven months of the year. It’s our job to make it special for them. But it’s also a great time to romance the one who will be there when your children are grown and gone.

Following are some easy ways to incorporate romance this Christmas season:

  1. Go for a walk after dark to see the Christmas lights in your neighborhood.
  2. Order dinner at your favorite restaurant for pick-up after the kids are in bed. Set the table with your favorite candles and play Christmas music softly in the background.
  3. Plan your own surprise of the 12 Days After Christmas, where your spouse gets to open one special box a day beginning December 26th. Fill it with coupons, candies or treats you know they’ll appreciate.
  4. Put lights up in your bedroom. This is the one time of year you can get away with having special romantic lighting in your room and no one will bat an eye, but maybe your spouse. 😉
  5. Make a personal Christmas tree in your bedroom. Decorate it with pictures and souvenirs from special places you’ve been together.
  6. Mail your spouse a romantic Christmas card and spend time expressing your love to them with carefully composed words.
  7. Have a photo book made of all the Christmases you’ve enjoyed together. Give it to them on Christmas Eve after the kids are in bed.
  8. Make it a tradition of opening your gifts to each other on Christmas Eve, so you can take your time and enjoy each gift without interruptions.
  9. Watch your favorite Christmas movie together.
  10. Give your spouse a foot massage–or treat them to an unexpected pedicure after a long day of shopping.

What’s the temperature in your marriage? Maybe a little romance is in order–give it a try and see if it doesn’t make things much more enjoyable. 🙂

Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Blessed New Year!

 

(photo source)

Nov 10

How to Keep the Spark Alive When You Can’t Be Together

By Dustin | Romance

How to Keep the Spark Alive When You Can't Be TogetherIf you get to spend every day (or most days) with your spouse at your side, it’s really easy to take that closeness for granted.

For many couples, time apart is a fact of life – and they have to try and embrace the idea that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” even when it’s difficult and sometimes downright painful.

Whether you’re serving in the military (thank you!), out of town for an extended business trip or forced to live in a long-distance relationship for any number of reasons, it can be a real struggle.

While we’ve been blessed to never be apart for more than a few days at a time, we’ve learned a lot about this topic from our military friends, family and Engaged Marriage community members.

There are plenty of challenges to separation, but one that doesn’t get talked about a lot is how to feel close when you’re physically so far apart.

Here are three ideas to help keep the romantic spark going strong from a distance:

1. Communicate in Special Ways

When you aren’t conversing throughout the day or able to see your spouse’s face when you speak, clear and meaningful communication can be a real challenge.

To counter not having your husband or wife right at your fingertips, you can communicate both frequently and in really meaningful ways.  As long as their job allows it, try to send plenty of text messages to keep the conversation flowing.  If you want to take your romantic text messaging to the next level, you might want to check out Text the Romance Back.

If you really want to deepen your connection and create a heart-warming keepsake, there’s really nothing better than a romantic love letter.  We recently put together this free Perfect Love Letter checklist to help you get started and make it extra special.

2. Pray

A time of separation is a period when you need a lot of grace, both with accepting the situation and in allowing yourself to focus on loving your spouse rather than just feeling sorry for yourself.

Give it up to God.

And use prayer as a means to communicate what’s on your heart while you ask for God’s blessing on your spouse and your marriage.  Jesus can provide a better connection than any cell service!

3. Become a Better Spouse By Investing In Yourself

While you’re sure to be busy with many things on the home-front or the work-front if you’re the one traveling, you can view your time apart as an opportunity to learn how to be a better spouse.  You can certainly start with the 440+ posts here on Engaged Marriage, but there are many ways to invest in yourself.

I’d recommended browsing the top 20 marriage books of all time – you can’t wrong with any of them whether you want to learn about communication, money or personal success.  You and your spouse can read the same book for a special connection.

And we’ve heard from several couples who have taken our Intimacy Reignited program remotely.  Each spouse reviewed the lesson of the week on their own and then they talked about it by phone or email.  It’s a great way not only stay connected but learn how to be a better spouse in the process.

If you’re dealing with separation from your spouse right now or you know that day will come, I hope you can put these tips to good use to keep your marriage strong.

And if you’re a member of the military or a military spouse, please accept our gratitude for the sacrifices you make in your family to serve those you don’t even know.

Better yet, we’d love to give you a gift – if you’re an active military family, please send me an email at dustin [at] engagedmarriage.com so we can get you set up with free access to our Romance the Write Way program.  Thank you and tell your military friends to request their gift, too!

Nov 10

What’s Your RQ?

By Debi Walter | Romance

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You may not be familiar with an RQ, and it’s for good reason–I made it up. 🙂 But testing of this kind has been around since the early 1900’s.

You’re most likely more familiar with an IQ, which stands for Intelligence Quotient.  Your IQ is determined by measuring your answers to questions asked from others in your age group. It is a helpful tool for educators and interesting for parents.

But have you ever considered where your marriage would stand compared with other couples with similar circumstances like yours such as: years married, age, number of children, where you live, etc.?

Wouldn’t it be helpful and interesting to know?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a standardized test we can take to measure such statistics.

Oh, there are romance quizzes, but most of those are geared to couples dating, not married.

Of course, there is The Five Love Languages Quiz, that helps you discover how you and your spouse speak and understand love spoken to each other.

If you haven’t taken this quiz, we would encourage you to start there. However, as an aside, be warned: There is danger in holding too tightly to your love language, and it isn’t biblical to do so.

For instance, the Bible doesn’t say to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” but only if they love you according to your love language. No!

The Bible is very clear that we are to lay down our lives, as Christ has layed down His life for us. We are not to consider our own interests, but should consider the interests of others as more important than our own, which includes our spouse.

That said, I believe there is a way to measure how we’re doing in the romance department to discover our RQ, so to speak.

It comes from the friends with whom we relate, it comes from the couples we know at church, it comes from the marriage bloggers we follow who share their own experiences, and it comes from asking older couples we respect how they cultivated romance through the changing seasons of marriage.

I recently asked an older friend how they managed to keep their romance alive, and her answer was simple, yet profound:

She said, “My husband isn’t the same man I married 60 years ago; he’s changed. And honey, I’m not the same woman he married either. We’ve both changed, and we’ve both had to learn to fall in love with who we are today. We’ve managed to fall in love with the same person over and over, season after season, and it’s been very good. That’s the secret to lasting love.”

Wow. I love that! And it makes me look at the struggles we’re facing today, in this season of marriage, a bit differently.

Maybe what’s needed is a touch of romance to woo my husband again, like I did when we were first married?

Maybe it’s him taking the time to sweep me off my feet, like he did when we first met?

Maybe it takes us both leaning into the marriage and instead of pulling away?

Our Romance Quotient is determined by how you measure up to others in similar circumstances. But RQ also determines those who are genius compared to the standard.

May we learn year after to year how to ramp up our RQ for the good of our marriage and for God’s glory. That’s what lasting marriages are made of, and it’s worth pursuing.

Based on what you’re doing today to romance your spouse, what do you think your RQ would be? Take some time and talk about it on your next date night. This might be the beginning of something good–real good!

While you’re at it–you might like to enter our Capturing Romance Photo Contest

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We’re celebrating our 6th year of blogging at The Romantic Vineyard, and we love to give good gifts away to those who are pursuing romance in their marriage. The deadline for entering is Midnight on the 11th (that’s Tuesday), and there are three top prizes…so click over and send us your best shot.

 

 

Oct 13

10 Romantic Ways To Fall In Love With Your Love This Fall

By Debi Walter | Romance

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Fall is in the air, and it’s my favorite season for many reasons: I love the color God puts on display, I love the cooler weather after a hot summer, and I love the longer evenings to enjoy candlelight dinners.

But the most important one is how it provides some of the best opportunities for romance in your marriage.

This is why I’m providing a list of “Ten Romantic Ways to Fall in Love With Your Love this Fall”.

If you’ve already done some of these–try it again. Or pick something that you’ve never done and have fun!

1.  Go Camping. If this is something you do often, it won’t take any special planning. But if you’ve never enjoyed a night under the stars together you’ll most likely have to invest some time and money making this one happen.

Sometimes the most romantic memories are created when you do something out of your normal routine.

Make your camp site as comfortable as possible and bring real plates and crystal for serving a special dinner around the campfire.

2. Go hiking. If you live in the mountains, this one will be easy. But if you live in an area where hiking isn’t as readily available, plan a weekend away.

Hiking provides time away from technology, which is something we all need from time to time. In order to really connect with your spouse, it requires a willingness to disconnect from the rest of the world.

3. Go biking. So many of the former railroad tracks have been converted to biking/walking trails. The project is called Rails To Trails and are located all across the country. Check out this convenient website to find a trail near you.

4. Plan a backyard bonfire. If you already have a fire pit, this one will be easy. But if you don’t, why not surprise your spouse by getting one and setting it up for a romantic evening under the stars.

Some of our best conversations have taken place in our own backyard watching the flickering flames of a bonfire.

5. Go horseback riding. Oftentimes we reserve these kinds of activities for vacation, but how fun to check out stables near your home and surprise your spouse with a day together in the saddle.

6. Have a pumpkin carving contest. Pick a design that celebrates your marriage in a special way. Here are some great examples of how to take your carving up a notch! 😉

7. Bonfire on the beach or at the lake. There’s something about watching the sunset over a body of water that soothes my soul. Add a bonfire as the stars start to appear and that’s over the top romantic!

In Florida we have fire rings at the beach you can reserve, free of charge.  They’re only available from October through April due to Turtle nesting season.

If you’re planning to visit central Florida, put this at the top of your list!

8. Tour a local vineyard. Vineyards are some of the most romantic places to spend an afternoon together. Add the cooler temperatures of the Fall along with the warm changes in color, and you’re both sure to remember this one as special!

9. Take a train ride to another town and explore the downtown area for an afternoon. In Orlando we have a new Sun Rail that takes you to neighboring towns at minimal cost.

10. Kayaking or Canoeing Picnic. Take a trip down the river and locate a secluded spot for a romantic picnic for two.

 

What are some great romantic fall dates you and your spouse have experienced?  Or are there any you’d suggest to add to the list?  Make sure you leave your ideas in the comments below!

 

Sep 15

The 4 Building Blocks of Intimacy

By Debi Walter | Communication , Romance

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Tom and I have been married for 35 1/2 years, and we’re still building our marriage. It’s a process that should never stop. Just as I will never arrive to the place of perfection in this life, so too, my marriage will always be in need of growth and change. Not realizing this fact causes more marriages to crumble than anything else.

Does that surprise you?

Marriage is like a house. If left to itself it will deteriorate, but if careful attention is given to the needs that come up, the home will last a lifetime.

How do we continue to build our marriage house? It’s simple really, but it’s not easy.

It has been said that anything worth doing is worth doing well. Our marriage is no exception. We have determined four building blocks that when used throughout the years of your marriage, will make it strong and able to withstand any adverse weather conditions that come your way.

Building Block #1 – Spiritual Intimacy

We’ve all heard the saying, “The family that prays together stays together.”

Of course, it takes more than just prayer to build a strong marriage. Prayer is not an end in itself, but is a line of communication to the only One who can truly help our marriage be all it was meant to be.

Prayer is our acknowledgement of our need for God to help us in our weakness. It’s sharing with Him what’s troubling us. It’s humbling ourselves in His presence letting Him know that we realize that without Him we are helpless to change. And when you take the time to pray to God together, it allows your spouse to hear what’s on your heart in a way mere conversation never reveals.

Spiritual Intimacy is learning together more about who God is. It’s Bible reading. It’s growing your faith by being an active part of a local church.

By all means possible, make sure the building block of Spiritual Intimacy is strong in your marriage.

Building Block #2 – Intellectual Intimacy

We should never stop learning and growing. How do you work on this building block? Make it a practice to study current events and talk about what you’ve heard. Learn new things together. Take a class or visit local museums or galleries and read the signs explaining the exhibits. Stimulate your mind by exercising it. A great tool is Lumosity, an on-line daily quiz for your brain that will strengthen your brain in ways you may not realize you need.

By all means possible, make sure the building block of Intellectual Intimacy is strong in your marriage.

Building Block #3 – Emotional Intimacy

Usually one spouse is more emotional than the other and oftentimes it’s the wife, but this isn’t always the case. If you are the one who doesn’t cry much, it takes effort on your part to grow in your understanding of one who cries at the drop of a hat. It would be easy to disregard their emotions as unnecessary, but if you do, you’re missing an important aspect of intimacy.

I remember a time when Tom and I were talking with a friend about an emotionally charged topic. Our friend asked me a question and immediately my eyes began to fill with tears and I couldn’t talk. Tom, who knows and understands me well said, “Give her a minute and she’ll be able to tell you what she’s thinking.” In that moment I felt loved and cared for by Tom. He isn’t nearly as emotional as I am, but he doesn’t make light of the emotions I feel. He listens. He knows me, and most importantly he shows his care by letting me express myself emotionally.

It’s also equally important to not let your emotions rule your heart or the decisions you make. This is why it’s good when one spouse isn’t nearly as subjective in making decisions. It takes the feeling of one spouse and the wisdom of another to consider important decisions on all sides.

Just as the more objective spouse must learn to understand the more subjective spouse, it’s also important for the subjective spouse to listen and trust the more objective spouse. This creates a strong balance in your marriage that isn’t easily shaken.

By all means possible make sure the building block of Emotional Intimacy is strong in your marriage.

Building Block #4 – Sexual Intimacy

This is most likely the first block you thought of when you heard the word “intimacy.” 🙂 It is important, but I placed it last in the list for a reason.

You see if you’re working on the first three building blocks, this one will benefit and grow stronger.

However, it takes a willingness to communicate with your spouse honestly and without fear of being exposed. To be intimate physically with another requires a vulnerability many fear because of past abuse or disappointments. It may be you’re afraid of being rejected.

Before the fall recorded in Genesis, God made them male and female. They were naked and not ashamed. What a gift they had, but didn’t realize until it was gone.

Guilt and shame made them want to hide, and it is the same for us today. It takes patience, love, and care to help a spouse who is suffering under the weight of guilt and shame. It takes unselfish love that is willing to become a safe haven for the one with whom you’ve been joined as one flesh.

The physical intimacy God intends for a husband and wife to enjoy is unlike any other relationship you’ll have. No one else sees you in this way. No one else has access to the core of who you are. It is a privilege and a great responsibility to know only one person in this way.

There is much to learn in regards to sexual intimacy, and much information is available. However, I caution you to know your source, and make sure what you’re reading is Biblically sound.

I recommend the following blogs where I’m confident you’ll receive help and hope that you can trust. Hot, Holy and Humorous, The Marriage Bed, Marriage Missions International, and To Love, Honor and Vacuum.

By all means possible make sure the building block of Sexual Intimacy is strong in your marriage.

What building blocks are in need of attention in your marriage?

Plan a date night to discuss this article and what steps you can take to make your marriage stronger.

Sep 10

The Cure for Boring (or Non-Existent) Date Nights

By Dustin | Romance

Everyone knows that regular date nights between married couples are a super good idea.

We should all do it. The same way we should drink less coffee and get 30 minutes of exercise every day. It’s good for you.

Even better, date night is an enjoyable thing to do together as a couple. Not that you’d know it, the way some people manage to avoid it.

The biggest issue with having regular date nights is that humans crave the coziness of routine. Taking even a small step outside our little regular habits requires some effort. It’s way easier to simply sit on the sofa and stare at the TV than it is to plan and execute a date night with your spouse.

There is nothing wrong with lazing on the couch to watch TV together. It’s great relaxation and switch off time. But engaging in that behavior every single night is hardly going to make your marriage sizzle.

Break the Routine with This One-of-a-Kind Date Night

So what’s a great way to ease into date night that doesn’t require straying too far from your couch, or your TV, but with all the benefits of having some fantastic, one-on-one quality time with your spouse on date night?

I’m so glad you asked. For your consideration: our couples massage videos.

Massage At-Home Date Night

Enjoy a fun, relaxing & unique date night at home – with couples massage!

I am totally biased. I’ll admit that upfront. But if I do say so myself, the product my husband and I have created hits all the right spots for a fantastic stay home date night without the problems of advance preparation, getting out of the house or even coming up with conversation topics together, which can be difficult if you’ve seen your spouse every other night for the week already.

Learning to massage your partner also ticks one very crucial box for any effective date night – novelty.

1. The planning is taken care of

The lifetime membership to our Melt: Massage for Couples video series gives you instant access to three pre-packaged date nights that are fun to repeat whenever you like. The entire series is broken down over three separate stages where you build upon your massage techniques as you go. Each stage finishes with a follow-along massage routine so you can treat your sweetie to a five, 15 and then a 30-minute massage at the end of each respective date night.

The one and only thing you will need to do in advance is get your hands on some massage oil, cheap and readily available at the grocery store or drugstore next time you’re passing through. You won’t need any other special equipment.

2. You get to stay home for this one

No babysitters. No braving the elements, or deciding whether to drive or take a cab…

This massage date night idea can be done from your very own lounge room floor. Stream the courses right to your smart television or laptop, it couldn’t be easier than that.

3. It’s something else to focus on

Massaging each other for date night means you’re not sitting across a table in a restaurant, with the whole date hinging on dazzling conversation. Some days in a marriage, the conversation will naturally flow. Other days, you may find yourselves with not much to say, which is why some people decide on the movies for their date nights instead (a.k.a. The “Look! We left the house!” version of watching TV on the couch).

In my humble (totally biased, remember) opinion, the massage videos are a better option than a movie because although you’re watching the tutorials on the screen, you’re actually engaging with each other at the same time. You quite literally have your hands on each other for the whole date night, which is tons of fun and a little bit sexy.

4. You’re acquiring a new skill

Learning new things together as a couple as well as doing something very novel and different are two ways of sparking the same brain chemistry as when you first fell in love. You’ll feel a rush of dopamine and serotonin, causing tummy-butterflies and happy sighs on your date night. Dreamy.

Get Your Date Night On!

Because we want you to have a chance to try a massage date night at home, we’re offering Engaged Marriage readers a special price for our lifetime memberships to Melt: Massage for Couples. Get instant access to the videos now and get a special deal using the link below:

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Note from Dustin: This lovely post was written by Emma Merkas, your co-host in the Melt: Massage for Couples video series.  Bethany and I LOVE these videos – they seriously make for a fun, intimate and totally relaxing date night.  I encourage you to take Emma and her husband Denis up on their special offer for a great discount on an awesome investment in your marriage.

Aug 11

The Safety Net of Romance

By Debi Walter | Communication , Romance


Cultivating romance into your marriage on a regular basis helps you stay connected heart-to-heart when you don’t see eye-to-eye.

Every marriage goes through seasons of conflict, and it’s usually quite intense when it happens. Things can be going along really well and your spouse says something that doesn’t sit right in your mind.

So, you ask a question that leads to more tension because either the question isn’t heard clearly or it isn’t understood.

So, the answer isn’t at all what you wanted to hear, which leads to more tension and more conflict. It’s a downward spiral that’s hard to correct once it begins.

Smart couples choose to go to their separate corners when tensions mount in order to think and pray before continuing the conversation.

This is a good idea, especially if you’re prone to fits of anger. Giving yourself time and distance allows the Lord to help you think with wisdom, instead of reacting with foolishness.

What does this have to do with romance?

Everything!

A couple who never takes the time to romance each other when things are going well, are going to have a harder time believing the best about their spouse when things are hard.

Romance acts like a safety net when you’re balancing on the high wire of conflict.

You know it’s a dangerous place to be, but the romance you’ve enjoyed together insures that you’ll make it through safely and together.

Romance gives you a tangible reminder of why the relationship is worth fighting for. It helps you remember the good times when the bad times are screaming at you.

I remember a time when Tom and I were going through a really difficult conflict that had no quick resolve. It went on for months, but our commitment to each other never wavered. We knew we were in this relationship together–for better or worse–and just because this was a “worse” part of our marriage, we weren’t going to give up.

The best was yet to come. It might surprise you that our lives continued on as normal; I was homeschooling our three children, Tom was leading a small care group in our home on a weekly basis, Tom had work commitments that required us both to attend with smiles on our faces, and all the while our hearts were hurting.

We did what we knew to do, which even included some romance here and there, because this was our norm. Sort of like a default setting on a computer.

It was while we were doing a normal romantic thing–slow dancing together at a work dinner–that God broke through our conflict and helped us resolve the issue once and for all.

It started with tears that lead to repentance and then, total and complete forgiveness. Had we not taken the steps to do something romantic that we both enjoyed would we have ever found resolve to our conflict?

I’m sure we would have, but because we did, it may have happened sooner because we were willing to do what we knew to do, regardless of how we felt.

Was it easy? No. Would we wish this kind of conflict on anyone? Absolutely not!

But now this story is part of our testimony, and it has helped hundreds of couples understand that a good marriage isn’t without difficulty.

In fact, if you’re doing things right, it’s not to prevent trouble, but to prepare the ground so that your love is supported through it when it comes.

What trouble are you facing today that causes you to want to pull away?

How could doing something romantic and thoughtful for your spouse help you get through the worst part to a better tomorrow?

Pray and ask God to help you come up with a plan, and then watch what He does. If He can turn water into wine, then certainly He can turn our trouble into something good.

A testimony that will help us help others who may be struggling in the same way.

Now that’s a love worth celebrating!

 

(photo source)