Category Archives for "Romance"

May 20

10 Easy Romantic Ideas to Spice Up Your Busy Marriage

By Dustin | Romance

10 Easy Romantic Ideas to Spice Up Your Busy MarriageThese days between jobs, kids and the drama of everyday life, romance tends to get lost in the shuffle.

Many couples say “It’s just too much work”, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

Some of the most romantic ideas are short and sweet.

To prove it, here’s a list of 10 romantic things that only take a few minutes to prepare:

1. Mystery Kisses

Stop by the store and pick up 5 pieces of candy with distinctly different flavors. Think of ones like butterscotch, peppermint, root beer barrels, watermelon Jolly Ranchers, lemon drops, and well, you get the idea.

Later on, when you’re alone, have your spouse sit down and close their eyes. Unwrap the first piece of candy and suck on it until the flavor has saturated your mouth. Take it out and give them a big French kiss! Can they guess the flavor? If they guess every one right they win…a kiss!

2. Strawberry and Chocolate Surprise

Buy some strawberries and a few bars of your spouse’s favorite chocolate on the way home from work to surprise them after dinner with chocolate-dipped strawberries!

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or by boiling water in a large pot and setting a bowl (with chocolate) inside to keep the chocolate from burning. Coat the strawberries and let cool, or just take the bowl of melted chocolate to the couch and feed them to each other freshly-dipped.

3. Origami Love

Express your feelings in a unique way by writing your spouse a love letter on an origami flower. Buy a few sheets of pink or yellow paper from a local copy shop and get started with these easy directions.

It only takes a few minutes of folding to create a love letter that they will never forget.

4. Custom Kisses

Remove the little slips of paper from a half dozen Hershey’s Kisses and replace them with your own slips of paper, each listing one thing you love about your spouse.

5. Their Favorite Ice Cream

Hide a pint of plain Haagen Dazs in the freezer and a few of your spouse’s favorite candy bars elsewhere. After dinner let them have fun creating their dream flavors Cold Stone-style with chopped-up Butterfingers, Snickers, M&M’s, or whatever!

6. Music of Your Lives

Take a musical journey through your lives by listening to the #1 song on your birthdays for every year you’ve been alive. See what your parents were rocking out to when you were in the cradle and laugh about the first songs you remember hearing. This is a great way to share childhood memories and funny stories.

Start by pulling up this page at Wikipedia to find the top songs and then go to grooveshark and listen for free!

7. Steamy Message

Tomorrow morning, while your spouse is in the shower, draw a big heart on the mirror with your initials (i.e. J + B) in the middle, or write a little note like “Beth is cute”. They’ll love it.

8. After Dinner Menu

After finishing up with dinner and the dishes, present your spouse with a menu for the evening’s entertainment. Design the menu to look like a real one and print it out with items for different “courses” like:

  • Appetizer: kissing, cuddling, tickling
  • Entree: romantic movie of their choice, music by the fire, board games, moonlit walk
  • Dessert: massage, candlelit bath, or ???

They can only choose one item from each course – don’t be greedy!

9. Automotive Treasure

Put together a little treasure hunt that takes place entirely within your spouse’s car. Hide 3 or 4 clues, such as “It holds your change and the next clue”, to lead them around the interior of the car and trunk. Start the hunt with a little text message or by leaving the first clue out in the open.

Make the treasure something small such as a few green M&M’s with a “Save for later” note, or bigger like a coupon for a massage.

10. Promise of Things to Come

Drop off or mail a gift to your partner’s work that hints at an exciting evening without providing any details. This could be a ripe strawberry with whipped cream, lingerie, a small vial of massage oil, or even a blindfold.

Include a note that reads “See you tonight” and let them spend the afternoon wondering. They will probably try to call you. Tell them nothing.

What are some fun, simple and romantic ideas that you’d add to this list?

Photo by blmurch
May 06

Is Your Relationship on “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob”?

By Dustin | Romance

New Moon RelationshipsMy wife is a dork.  So, please blame this post on her. 🙂

You see, as I write this post with the bizarre title, my dear wife and several of her girlfriends are downstairs having some girl time.  I am a big fan of “yours, mine and ours” time in a healthy marriage, so I’m happy she’s able to enjoy a fun Wednesday night with good friends.

What are they doing down there?  Alas, they are having a little “New Moon” party.  If you are not familiar with the insane popularity of the Twilight series of books (mostly among teenage girls, but I digress), New Moon is the second book and the latest movie adaptation to hit DVD.

So, my 29-year-old wife and mother of two (and one on the way), is watching a vampire/teen romance with her buds.  They’re eating popcorn.  And, oh yeah, they’re all wearing their “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” t-shirts…and Snuggies!

A Dork, Indeed

I think that my point has been proven on the dork-front.  When I found out those last few details of the evening’s plans, I let the gals know that I just had to write a post about it.  The challenge was making it relevant to the community here, at least a little bit.

Fortunately, I like challenges.  I’ve had several friends tell me they like how I can relate seemingly anything back to marriage and happy living.  Well, this may take the cake, but I think I just may have something to share.  And if it flops, at least I got to expose the Snuggie pals. 😉

A VERY Brief Twilight Overview

I have not read the Twilight books, but I have sacrificed for my wife’s sake and watched both movies.  I have to say that New Moon wasn’t terrible, though I won’t go any further than that for fear of losing my Man Card.

In a nutshell, the main girl (Bella) loves/lusts for this vampire named Edward.  In New Moon, she also spends a lot of time with a werewolf named Jacob.  Jacob really has the hots for Bella, but she is just biding her time until she can get all vampired-up with Edward some day when he finally “changes her” with some mild bloodsucking.

Somewhat relevant part alert: Jacob is really the logical choice for Bella.  He is the same age, he’s (reportedly) hot, he will relinquish his werewolf-ing for regular humanhood one day, and it is presumably safe for Jacob and Bella to have sex and produce babies.

Edward is not a good match on a practical level, but he is the passionate choice.  He’s a freakin’ vampire, he’s actually like 109 years old (but doesn’t age physically), he could kill Bella at any moment by losing control of his intense desire to drink all of her blood, and there’s a real fear that his sexual prowess could be deadly in its sheer force.  Plus, there seems to be a consensus that any baby-making would kill Bella, unless of course she became a vampire for all of eternity.

So, Edward is the mate of choice based on passion, raw emotion and lust.  Jacob is a better match for reasons of compatibility, reason and apparent “matchmaker” criteria.

Which Teen Heartthrob Better Represents How YOUR Relationship Started?

I hope that as you and your spouse have grown together, you’re able to say that both passion and logic draws and keeps you together.  However, I think we all have unique stories about those characteristics or circumstances that initially brought us to our spouse and got the relationship going.

So, there’s my excuse for writing this post.  Please share a comment about why you started dating your spouse.  Was it raw passion and instant chemical attraction?  Or was your courtship a more logical and natural fit?

Yes, Bethany is a dork.  But I love her dearly (although the lust may have to wait until she takes off that t-shirt with the big Edward face on it).  When I look back all the way to our high school years, I see many reasons and differences in our backgrounds that could have kept her from taking a chance with me.

I’m glad she’s a Team Edward kind of girl. 🙂

Photo courtesy of Amazon
May 03

Pillow Talk: Romance Through Words

By Dustin | Romance

Love Everyday is on a blog tour!  This week, it’s my turn to share with you the chapter on romantic writing that I contributed to this incredible project.  I have to say that the e-book version is much snazzier looking, and there are 26 other great posts there for you to enjoy.

Last Week: In case you missed it, Changing the Light Bulb was posted by Mandi at Organizing Your Way.

What you are about to read is only one piece of a 27-chapter collaborative e-book written to help you learn how to make your marriage extraordinary amidst the chaos of life.  After reading this post, be sure to download a complete copy of LOVE EVERYDAY absolutely free!

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Pillow Talk: Romance Through Words

When it comes to the most important relationship in your life, don’t be normal.  Normal sucks.

Unfortunately, in many relationships, “normal” represents a life of mediocrity and going through the motions.  It is simply too easy to succumb to the busyness of life and lose sight of how precious our spouse or significant other really is to us.

And it is even easier for our partner to feel disconnected and a bit under-appreciated.  We know how we feel, and (if asked) we are quick to tell others that our spouse is a clear number one in our list of priorities…

But does your partner know how you feel?

Tell Them

It may sound trite.  It may seem overly simplistic.  But clear communication is THE KEY to a healthy and extraordinary relationship.

When you think a kind (or romantic) thought about your spouse, let them know how you feel.  Take the time to listen to them about their day and respond with some exuberance or empathy.  Show them you care by telling them that you care.

These are the little things that make us all feel appreciated and affirmed in the face of a crazy life.

Write It Down

Talking is good, but writing is great.  To leave a really meaningful and lasting impact on your partner’s heart, take a few minutes to write them a romantic love letter.  This doesn’t have to be some cheesy Hallmark spiel about angels and achy, breaky hearts…though it could be.

And it really shouldn’t be difficult.  Here are five simple steps to write an awesome romantic letter that your significant other will cherish for life and brag to their friends about:

1. Relax.  There’s no pressure.  Simple and heartfelt is the way to go.

2. Reflect.  Think back & write around a simple theme…favorite memories over the past year, the story of your first date or proposal through your eyes, why you fell in love with them and why today they are even better…

3. Rough it out.  Just write out some phrases and let your creativity flow.

4. Write…with your hand.  Handwritten is best.  Typed out will work, especially with some cool paper to add a little personalization.

5. Recite.  Read your letter aloud to your partner.  Or have it delivered in a cool and memorable way.

Just Do It

Simple, huh?

All it takes is a few minutes to create a sweet little letter that expresses the romantic feelings you usually never take the time to consider or (especially) to deliver.  With just a small effort, you have the ability to rock your relationship and make your significant other feel as special as they truly should.

It is time.  Take the motivation you feel right now and start to jot down your thoughts.  Follow through with a heartfelt romantic letter and deliver in an awesome way.  Your spouse, and you, will be so glad that you did.

The best “pillow talk” doesn’t have to take place in bed, although I bet it will make the time you spend there more enjoyable.

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Next Week: Don’t forget to check out Let’s Go Out: Dates to Bring You Closer Together over at ONE Extraordinary Marriage.

If you enjoyed this article, please share this free download with your family and friends. Get your FREE copy of LOVE EVERYDAY today!

Feb 09

Love Everyday – Thoughts on Loving Amidst the Chaos of Life

By Dustin | Romance

Love EverydayEnjoyed by more than 100,000 readers!

I am really proud of this book and the project that created it.  I trust that you’ll enjoy it and find value in its message.  It is given freely, and I encourage you to share it.

If you appreciate what Love Everyday stands for and you enjoy its contents, I’d kindly ask you to consider subscribing (also for free) to Engaged Marriage either by RSS or Email.

When you do, I’ll send you new posts as soon as they’re available.  I believe you’ll find these posts consistent with the positive, proactive and practical message of Love Everyday.

The Story Behind the Love Everyday Project

I am proud to share with you the fruits of an awesome project that I’ve been working on for the past couple of months.  It is with great pride that I introduce to you: Love Everyday.

Love Everyday: Thoughts on Loving Amidst the Chaos of Life is a totally FREE, no-strings-attached e-book that represents the collective talents of 27 of the best relationship writers on the web…and the planet.  I was honored to be one of the editors and contributors to this project along with some incredible folks from a diverse set of backgrounds.

I was particularly humbled to share writing space with one of my idols…best-selling author Dan Miller who wrote No More Mondays and 48 Days to the Work You Love.  However, when you read this e-book, I think you’ll agree that every entry is equally compelling and this project would not be the same without the contributions of every unique contribution.  Here’s an impressive list of authors who contributed to Love Everyday:

  1. Dr. Michelle Gannon – Marriage Prep 101
  2. Paul Byerly – The Generous Husband
  3. Lori Byerly — The Generous Wife
  4. Denee King – She Just Got Married
  5. Corey Allan – The Simple Marriage
  6. Toni & Alisa DiLorenzo – One Extraordinary Marriage
  7. Stu Gray – The Marry Blogger
  8. Dustin Riechmann – Engaged Marriage
  9. Lori Lowe – Life Gems
  10. Chelle Stein – It Might Be Love
  11. Sheri Kruger – Zen Family Habits Serene Journey
  12. Mandi Ehman – Organizing Your Way
  13. Maureen Shaw – Feeling Flirty
  14. Trudy Sargent – Love Talk
  15. Isabella Mori – Change Therapy
  16. Cindy J. Taylor – Affair Care
  17. Alisa Bowman – Project Happily Ever After
  18. J. Money – Budgets Are Sexy
  19. Dan Miller – 48 Days
  20. Damien Riley – DamienRiley.com
  21. Samantha Mellen – Mama Notes
  22. Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income Blog
  23. Kathleen Quiring – Project M
  24. Jeff Nickles – My Super-Charged Life
  25. Brad Chaffee – Enemy of Debt InsideCVille
  26. Nate Desmond – Practical Manliness
  27. Carrie Burgan – Make Mine Happen

Why Did We Do This?

The collaborators to this project recognize that marriage is certainly not easy, but it’s worth it. The trick is figuring out how to make your relationship thrive in the face of all the craziness we all face each day.  How do you not only stay in love but keep the passion alive in your marriage amidst the chaos of life?  How do you Love Everyday?

That’s the question that we joined together to answer.  We were originally inspired to make this project happen after several of us read Seth Godin’s What Matters Now.  We were inspired by that business-related project and asked, “What if we did this for relationships?”

And we did.  I sincerely hope that you enjoy Love Everyday.

What Should YOU Do?

Here’s what you need to do:  Read Love Everyday by clicking on this link.  Then share it with EVERYONE you know by email, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, word-of-mouth and any other way you can.  It’s totally free and we urge you to help us spread it around the world.

Please leave a comment below with your thoughts and share this e-book freely. I will leave a link to it in my sidebar as well, so you can send people here to Engaged Marriage to find it if you prefer.

And if you are new here at Engaged Marriage, welcome!  Please check out some of the more popular posts listed below.  I invite you to sign-up for free updates via either RSS or Email and I’ll send you new posts whenever they’re posted for you to read at your convenience.  You can also get connected via the Engaged Marriage Facebook page or on Twitter!

Thank you again for your support of this project.  Please do your best to Love Everyday!

Jan 05

Do You Practice What You Preach?

By Dustin | Romance

Do you possess the knowledge to do the right thing?  Or do you need more focus, discipline or incentive to live the life you desire?

Do you ever feel a bit hypocritical through your actions?

I do.

In many areas of my life, I know the right way of doing things, and I sometimes even share my “wisdom” and give advice to others.  However, despite my knowledge and even good intentions, I still get off-track from time-to-time.  At times, I get completely derailed, like when I allowed myself to gain almost 20 pounds shortly after writing a series about the benefits of exercise!  Sometimes, it’s more minor like simply not sticking to our family budget the way I know we should to meet our financial goals.

One Area Where I Need to Get it Right

Of course, if you’ve been reading Engaged Marriage for more than say three minutes (and actually read the name of the site), you know that one of the most important things in my life is my marriage.  I mean come on, I write posts about helping others have an Extraordinary Marriage several times a week and think about this topic during most of my waking hours.  I truly and passionately believe in everything I say here at the site, and I don’t give advice simply to fill up a page or pay lip service to you, my awesome readers.

Despite this laser focus on marriage, I still get at least slightly off-track in this area of my life!

It blows my mind and, if I’m being totally honest with myself, it makes me feel hypocritical at times.  It sucks.

I am not talking about major issues here. The “creeping problems” I have noticed lately are doing things like allowing my wife and I to slack-off on our 15 Minutes some evenings, and letting things like work or this site get in the way of spending more time with my children and helping out more around the house.  My biggest grievance is probably not doing the spontaneous, romantic little things that make my wife feel special and appreciated.

Overall, I’d probably give myself a solid “B” in the husbandry category lately.  The problem is I want and expect myself to excel and rock my marriage with an A+ effort at all times.

Practicing What I Preach

Now, I do realize that it is unrealistic to keep up an A+ effort at all times.  After all, we are all human and imperfect.  We have bad days, and we get tired.  However, there is no excuse for not being proactive and making your spouse your clear top priority.

So, I am officially recommitting myself to exemplary husbandry and refocusing my efforts to be sure that my wife (almost) always feels like my primary focus in life.  I love her and she knows that.  However, sometimes I don’t make it easy for her to really feel it and that’s gonna change.

My renewed focus, attitude and energy is not limited to marital issues.  I am fired up and ready to improve myself in the areas of fitness, finances, career and Engaged Marriage.

However, if I have to settle for a “B” in some area of my life, it will be these areas.  My wife, my children and I deserve an A+ effort in my marriage.

The New Year provides a great opportunity for reflection and readjustment.  What areas of your life have veered a bit off-course and left you feeling like you aren’t following your own advice?

Photo by hyperscholar
Dec 01

Write an Awesome Romantic Love Letter: The Simple “5R” Approach

By Dustin | Romance

Write an Awesome Romantic Love Letter: The Simple “5R” ApproachFew activities offer the immediate and meaningful impact of writing a romantic love letter to your spouse.

It makes your spouse feel special, and it expresses your emotions in a format that creates a very personal keepsake.  And for you couples working toward financial freedom, it’s totally free!

If you are 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.

Sounds Great, So Where’s My Letter?

So, why don’t we write more romantic letters after we get married?  We know they’ll be appreciated and score us major points.  It doesn’t take long to do, it’s free and it’s a simple way to add some fun and romance to your marriage.

As I thought about why I don’t write to my wife as much as I should, I realized that the thought seems just overwhelming enough to continually put it off.  And this is coming from a guy who routinely writes in-depth posts here at Engaged Marriage.

[Note: If you’re interested in crafting the perfect love letter and making it super easy, be sure to check out our announcement at the end of this post.]

I decided I needed to write a post about “How to Write a Romantic Letter.”  After I jotted down some thoughts, I was stoked to discover that my simple approach to creating an awesome love letter fits into a series of five “R” tips.  Here you go!

The Simple “5R” Approach to Romantic Letter Writing

1. Relax

When it comes to writing a love letter, there is no pressure and no need to be verbose or intellectual.  A simple and heartfelt approach is the way to go.  Think about those high school notes, and try to be that pure and straightforward with your writing style.

2. Reflect

Here’s some great news.  The toughest part of writing a great letter is finding a few quiet minutes to sit and think about your spouse.  And you know that will be a good time.  Perhaps you can both do some individual thinking during your 15 minutes one evening.

It’s nice to have a simple theme to provide a framework for your letter.  If it’s an occasion like a birthday, think of the fantastic memories you’ve shared over the past year.  On an anniversary, compare your crazy first year of marriage to the current, even closer state of your relationship.

Of course, the best results are likely to come from a letter written “just because”, and I think this is a sweet opportunity to tell the story of your first date or engagement from your perspective (think emotions, expectations and excitement).  Tell your spouse why you fell in love with them and why they’re even better today.

Affirm your spouse and you’ll create real joy.

3. Rough it Out

If you haven’t written much in a while, or even if you have, it’s really helpful to jot down your raw thoughts.  When you are thinking through your theme (first date, her smile, his masculinity), just quickly write down the phrases that come to mind.  This will allow your creativity to flow more than you’d expect, and it will help you get your thoughts straight.[quote]

All you have to do is arrange these phrases, throw in a few words to connect them, and you will have the workings of an awesome romantic letter.

4. Write…with Your Hand!

In today’s electronic world, it is tough to imagine writing a letter by hand.  The thought actually makes my hand cramp a bit.  But trust me, a handwritten romantic letter will be super impressive!

The medium you choose to write on is really not important aside from helping to set the mood you’re trying to create.  It could be construction paper, a yellow pad or some fancy foil-embossed paper.  Seriously, anything can work.

Now, if your handwriting is truly illegible, you may be forced to type out your thoughts (unless you can read your own writing and follow tip #5 as suggested).  In that case, you should go for some nice paper and a cool font to add a personal touch.

5. Recite

Here’s where your romantic letter goes to the next level.  Read it aloud to your spouse.

My wife and I wrote several letters to one another as part of a recent marriage retreat, and that was cool.  However, the real magic came in the delivery when we read our thoughts to each other.  You won’t believe how much better your feelings come through in this way.

If this just isn’t feasible in your situation, do something creative with the delivery to form a lasting memory.  Mail the letter (I did this as precursor to the night I proposed to Bethany).  Hide it someplace where it will be found at an unexpected time.  Have it delivered to your spouse’s work along with a single rose or a cool picture of you together having fun.

It is time.  Take the motivation you feel right now and start to jot down your thoughts.  Follow through with a heartfelt romantic letter and deliver in an awesome way.  Your spouse, and you, will be so glad that you did.

How would you like to have the perfect letter written FOR YOU?

If you love the idea of writing a love letter to your spouse, but you’d like some help, I have good news for you.

We recently released our new Romance the Write Way program, and it’s been very popular with both men and women.  In a nutshell, it makes it really easy for you to craft the ideal message.

In fact, as a special bonus, we even give you proven fill-in-the-blank love letter templates that literally do the heavy lifting for you!  If you can play Mad Libs, you can create a personalized letter that touches your spouse’s heart.

Click here to get started instantly with Romance the Write Way - and you have good timing because it's available at a crazy-low sale price right now.

Nov 15

A Man with a Toothache Cannot Be in Love

By Dustin | Romance

Love Through Pain

Have you heard the title quote before?  The first time I came across it was this week, and it really hit home.  I believe the words “A Man with a Toothache Cannot Be in Love” originated with Shakespeare, but I’ve also seen the phrase attributed to Sigmund Freud in some internet searches.  Regardless, I thought it was a cool quote with a potentially deep meaning.

So why did I notice these particular words when I read them?  Well, I have been in pain this week.  Nothing super-serious, but for almost an entire week, I have had some pretty intense pains in my neck and upper back.

As my wife would be quick to point out, this pain is self-inflicted as it originated after spending several days sleeping in a camper by night and bowhunting by day.  I’m not sure exactly what I did, but it hurts and there is no good way to get neck pain out of your mind.

OK, so I have pain and I obviously have a low tolerance for it.  Now you must be thinking, “Quit the whining and make a point about how this affects me and my relationships.”  Thanks for asking!

Pain Can Overshadow Love

As the title quote implies, we can sometimes allow our pain to overshadow other, more important aspects of our lives.  This pain could be acute and physical like a throbbing toothache or a migraine.  It could also be the spiritual pain of loss or grief.  Or it may be the stress of financial difficulty, job loss or a difficult child.

My wife actually told me this week during one of our 15-minute discussions that I hadn’t been doing a very good job being romantic or helpful lately.  And especially not in light of the fact that I was gone the previous weekend on my “guys trip.”

That’s when I saw the Shakespeare/Freud quote and it hit me like an Epiphany.  I was allowing my own pain to overshadow my responsibilities to my wife and family.  Not good.

Show Your Love Through the Pain

There are many distractions in life that can affect our ability to properly prioritize our time and show love to those who are most important to us.  However, we simply cannot allow this to happen.  Our marriage comes first, and selfless love requires sacrifice even in the face of pain.

Of course, we are partners for a reason.  When we are experiencing pain, whether it be physical or emotional, it is vital that we let our spouse know about it.  I’m not talking about whining and complaining (though I’m good at that).  I’m talking about reaching out for help when we need it.  Whether it’s a simple neck rub or a late-night heart-to-heart about a career change, it is our spouse that we must be able to depend on in our times of pain.

Lessons Learned Through Love & Pain

It’s been a long week, but I have learned a lot.  I have learned that I need to get in better shape so I’m not so susceptible to nagging injuries.  I’ve learned that I can easily slip into a mode of selfishness where I let my own pain distort my priorities and let the romance in our marriage fade.  And I have reaffirmed the fact that I have a fantastic wife who is understanding, open and forgiving.

Above all, I’ve learned that Shakespeare or Freud were wrong.  Not only can a man with a toothache be in love, but he should be able to depend on his caring wife to help and support him.  And he should buy her some flowers, hold her hand and let her know how much her love helps to ease his pain.

Photo by dannotti

Sep 09

Take 15 Minutes Each Day to Just be a Couple

By Dustin | Romance

15 Minutes to a Happy MarriageTrust me, I know how busy your life as a married couple can be.

With work, family, extracurricular activities, exercise, kids, cooking, household chores and all of the other tasks we have to complete each day, it seems like there’s no time for anything else.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you must make time for one more thing…fortunately, just 15 minutes each day will do the trick.

That’s only 1% of the time you have available each day, so you know it’s realistic.

Couple Time is a Must

You need to make some time each day to be a couple instead of parents, employees and whatever other roles you play each day.

Your marriage is more important than your children or your career, so you need to start nourishing it.

Your marriage must come second (just behind your relationship with God if you share that belief), and it cannot be allowed to slide to any less priority in your everyday life.

15 Minutes, Really?

Find just 15 minutes each day to sit without distractions and talk to your spouse about your day, your thoughts, your dreams and whatever else you feel like sharing as long as you are engaged in an intimate conversation.

And please be sure that your conversation doesn’t revolve around things that need to be done around the house, the kids’ school activities or any other “responsible” meeting topics.

This time is for you to talk about your individual thoughts and your desires as a couple.

Find the Time

The first step in this fun little adventure in romance is to identify where you’ll find your 15 minutes.

Well, it starts with the right perspective.

What if you found out that you had to spend 15 minutes each day getting a medical treatment that you needed to survive?

Less dramatically, what if you could voluntarily give this time to help your spouse achieve a great deal of happiness? Or pump up your own happiness, get rid of stress and feel fulfilled?

You can find the time. After all, we are literally only talking about 1% of your day here!

To get you started, here are some areas where you might be able to cut back a bit:

  • Watch less television (this should do it for most of us)
  • Cut out 15 minutes of mindless web surfing (this should take care of the rest)
  • Check Facebook less often or update your Pinboards a bit less frequently
  • Focus at work so you can leave a bit earlier
  • Only check your email twice per day (this can be a HUGE time saver)
  • Cut down on video games
  • Exercise at home instead of driving to the gym
  • Put the kids to bed 15 minutes early
  • Wake up 15 minutes early
  • Quit reading Engaged Marriage – this is an absolute last resort and is not recommended! 🙂

When we decided to make this 15 minutes of “couple time” a priority in our marriage, we simply made sure the kids were in bed at a consistent time each evening and spent our time together before we did anything else.

We found that all of our other responsibilities can easily wait for a measly 15 minutes.

This is our sacred time for each other and the key to staying engaged in our marriage – and we wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Beyond Daily Time

While 15 minutes per day should do the trick, I further encourage you to schedule a date night once every week or two. It doesn’t have to be an expensive or elaborate outing.

While it is preferable to get away from the house and all of the “to-do’s” it represents, you don’t necessarily even have to go out.  Your date night can be as simple as cooking dinner together and sharing a bottle of wine, or just watching a movie together after the kids go to bed.

The important thing is that you are engaged in your relationship and focused on appreciating each other as a couple for at least a short time each week.

There you have it:  spend a measly 15 minutes being a couple each day, and you’ll feel closer than ever.  Throw in a fun date night just once per week and you will be on your way to having an awesome marriage for life.

See, it’s not hard to be Romantic after all!

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Photo courtesy of alancleaver_2000
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