Tag Archives for " Romance "

3 Daily Practices to Reignite a Smoldering Sex Life

By Dustin | Sex & Family Planning

3 Daily Practices for a Smoldering Sex LifeUse Your Head – How To Send Sexy Signals To Your Partner

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

You often see the smoke and feel the heat before you actually see the flame, and the same is true for intimacy in your marriage.

In just a moment we’ll be sharing proven techniques for mind-blowing intimacy that are built to last.

Your Brain on Sex:

As the largest and most sensitive organ in the body, your brain plays a huge role in attraction and intimacy.

Sex doesn’t just happen by chance.

It’s the brain signal processing that sets desire into motion… it picks up cues long before physical arousal occurs.

Basically, if your brain “sees” sexy, it stokes desire.

If you want to enhance your intimate relationship, you have to pay attention to what’s between the ears before you get between the sheets.

And if you want to interest your partner, you have to send the right signals.

If you don’t, there’s a lot of room for miscommunication which translates to less sex.

Think about your relationship for a moment…

Are there more “near misses” than you’d like? Have the ashes grown cold? Do you find yourself longing for more intimacy with your partner?

If you’re nodding your head furiously, then read on. You’re about to find out how to take those coals from dead cold to raging inferno!

The Same But Different…

When it comes to sex and the brain, men and women are not exactly created equally.

They have the same parts, but how those parts work plays a HUGE role in sexual desire and intimacy.

Differences in perceptions, hormonal responses and the actual size of brain structures mean that we interpret and respond to cues differently.

Without a biology lesson, here’s what you need to know:

  •  The flame ignites quickly and burns hot.

His brain has a lower overall level of activity, and he’s constantly seeking excitement. He’s hormonally more responsive to sexual feelings.

In short, he is more easily aroused. His levels of oxytocin (the bonding hormone) skyrocket with sexual activity.

  •  Her flame ignites slower but burns steadily when she feels connected.

Her brain is constantly thinking and processing information. She needs to be soothed, flirted with and encouraged (think mental foreplay.)

She is more sensitive to smell and touch. Touch (think physical foreplay) releases oxytocin which increases feelings of bonding and connection.

When you understand how differently you and your partner are wired, you can begin to unlock the keys to rekindling the flames of desire in no time.

3 Strategies for Fueling Deeper Intimacy

Here are three simple steps you can follow to bring the fire back in the bedroom:

  1. Create A Spark

Think of this as striking the match. You want to subtly send the signal to your partner that you’re interested. You want that idea to smolder.

   Make eye contact.  When was the last time you really looked into your partner’s eyes? Gazing into their eyes when you speak can be incredibly provocative.

   Use the sense of smell. Think candles, essential oils or perfume/cologne. Certain scents like cinnamon, lavender or even baby powder can be powerful aphrodisiacs.  

A dab of your perfume or cologne may be all that is needed to evoke memories of past encounters.

  1. Stir The Embers

You’ve sparked your partner’s interest. They know something is up. Now is the time to start stirring those embers and creating a sense of anticipation.

   Use the sense of touch.  You want your partner to have the sensation of skin on skin but not in a sexual way – hold hands, brush his hair back from their eyes, a kiss on the forehead.

Touch triggers the release of powerful chemicals that enhance attraction and sensation.

   Trigger a subtle expectation for sex. Remind your partner of a time when the two of you were connecting. Leave a card with a special message in his or her briefcase. Send a text with a link to “your song”.

   Do the unexpected. Do something sweet and unexpected for your spouse. Send flowers for no reason. Cook their favorite meal. Share a glass of wine on the deck.

  1. Fan The Flames

It’s time to fan those flames into a full-blown inferno! When you’re done there should be no doubt in your partner’s mind that you’re ready for action.

   Dress for success. For ladies, indulge in some lingerie that makes you feel sexy. Wear your hair a little differently. Men, the same goes for you. Find those boxers or briefs that give you all the manly feels.

Make sure the hair and beard are on point. Not only will these things signal to your spouse that you are receptive, it will also reinforce your own confidence. And confidence is always sexy.

   Be just a little naughty. One of the surest ways to fire up the interest and passion is to step out of your comfort zone. Do something a little different, a little edgy and just a little bit naughty. Send your love a provocative text or message.

Whatever you choose, remember that it’s an essential part of maintaining a deep,  multi-faceted, empowering relationship with your partner.

If you don’t tend to your fire, it can grow cold. For more ways to rekindle your passion, check out our best-selling Intimacy Reignited program:

Intimacy

http://www.engagedmarriage.com/intimacy-reignited

 

5 Communication Games Guaranteed to Bring You Closer

By Dustin | Communication

Play Your Way To Better Communication…

Communication Games Guaranteed to Bring You Closer“Let’s talk.”

Those words can stop a partner dead in their tracks.

The idea of “working on our communication” is usually met with eye rolls, shrugs or even denials of a problem.

The first reaction is often, “We talk. We talk about the kids. We talk about the house. I asked you about your day.”

You talk. But do you communicate?

If you had to stop and think about that, read on because it may be the most important thing you can do for your relationship.

Communication Is More than Talking

Talking is simply sharing information using words. It is a way to inform another person about a particular thing.

It’s important but it is not a stand-alone relationship builder.

Stick around and we’ll show you 5 simple games you and your partner can play to exercise your communication skills, deepen your romantic connection, and build a stronger life together.

But first, you need to know one key thing: communication between intimate partners is more than words – it involves establishing an emotional connection.

It is this emotional connection that is the foundation of intimacy.

The emotional connection between partners is often cited by both men and women as the most important factor that determines the quality of their relationship. Emotional connection includes:

  •        Being able to talk openly with each other
  •        Being a good listener
  •        Showing appreciation or support
  •        Doing your part to make the relationship work

That may sound really complicated, but the fact is that couples tend to build intimacy through everyday moments. It’s what you choose to do every day that enhances your level of communication and intimacy.

Verbal communication – words – makes up only a small part of how we communicate. It has been estimated that 60-90% of our communication is non-verbal.

And that 60-90% is made up of things like body language, gestures, facial expression and tone of voice. It’s the how of what we say, and it is powerful.

Learn how to master the art of emotional connection and you and your partner will find a level of intimacy that will enhance and nourish your relationship on every level.

We’ve seen hundreds of couples benefit from the techniques using our easy online system, Communicate Your Way To A Better Marriage. Along the way, we’ve learned that building communication doesn’t have to be boring, and these 5 communication games we’re about to share are anything but.

We learn by doing. And the more we do something, the better we become at it.

So grab your partner and get ready to have some fun while you break down those barriers.

#1  Twenty Questions x 2

This is a light and fun bonding game to get you started. Remember the game 20 Questions? This is the grown up version.

We sometimes forget to pay attention to the little things that make us who we are. Paying attention to the little things and remembering them creates a sense of knowing each other. Here’s the game:

Set aside some time for the two of you without distractions.

  • Prior to the sit-down, each of you should make a list of 20 detailed personal questions to ask the other. Be creative with the questions – silly, serious, different areas of life or subjects. You may be surprised what you learn.
  • Take turns asking each other a question.
  • Once you’ve each gone through your list, reverse the questions. Take your same lists and have your partner answer the question for you. For example, if you asked your partner, “What is your favorite color?” ask, “What is my favorite color?”

#2  Do You See What I See?

Here’s a fun way to gain some insight into how your partner receives and uses information. It’s also a great activity for working together.

  • For this game, you’ll need either some building blocks like Lego’s, Play-Doh or drawing paper and crayons. Facing away from each other so that you cannot see what the other is doing.
  • The first person will take a couple of minutes to build or draw something. Don’t give your partner any details or hints.
  • Next, describe what you created to your partner without telling him/her what it is. Their task is to visualize and create the same object as closely as possible using the descriptors you provide.  
  • Turn and discuss the result. How close were the two objects? What information would have been helpful to have?
  • Then switch roles so that each person has the chance to give the descriptions.

Remember, there is no right or wrong. In the beginning, it may be really hard. The more you do this activity, the easier it becomes to understand what your partner is trying to convey.

It also sheds some light on your communication style and what you might be able to express more clearly.

#3  Eye-to-Eye

This game is actually a take-off on staring contests we used to have as kids only with a grown-up flair.

The purpose of this activity is to increase comfort with expressing yourself to your partner. Being in close proximity enhances the feelings of intimacy and connection. Bonus – this game can be kind of sexy.

So here’s the game:

  • Sit facing each other so that you are close enough to hold hands.
  • Look directly into each other’s eyes.
  • Notice the feelings you are experiencing.
  • Now start talking about something. Keep it simple to start. It might be about your day or a funny thing that happened at lunch.
  • When you’re finished, let your spouse share something. Do this a few times back and forth then discuss what the experience was like.

For many couples, this exercise is uncomfortable in the beginning. That’s ok. The more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes and the deeper your discussions will go.

#4  The Top 3

This game is all about recognizing the positive aspects of your relationship and the wonderful everyday things your partner does.

  • At the end of each day, set aside a few minutes to reflect on your day. Think of the three best things your partner did for you that day.
  • Next, take turns sharing those things and why they meant so much to you.
  • And don’t forget to say, “Thank you.”

This game focuses on appreciation and expressing thanks which are two very powerful and often overlooked parts of communication and connection.

You’d be surprised at how much of a difference gratitude can make.

#5  Make a Play Date

Taken from our best-selling book 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, this is not your average date night.

Make a date to do something fun with your partner– something different and maybe even a little spontaneous. The only ground rules are that:

  • It has to be something for just the two of you and you cannot discuss kids, work or home problems like that leaky faucet in the kitchen.
  • Choose something that requires you to be present. Go sailing, go rock climbing, sneak away for a quiet weekend…the possibilities are endless.
  • Take turns picking the activity. Surprise your partner with something new.

The point of this game is to reconnect with each other in an activity that requires you both to be present for each other. You’ll be on neutral ground, away from the pressures of home and work.

This shift allows you to let your guard down and enjoy your partner while building that feeling of closeness and connection.

BONUS GAME: Picture a Conversation

This one requires a special deck of cards, but it’s fun for a couple or the whole family.  Picture a Conversation sparks real, meaningful talk…without technology!

This set of 25 cards opens the door to meaningful conversations — face-to-face, in person in real time.  No devices needed. As wonderful as our technology is, it can make us forget how gratifying and important it is to sit down with someone and just talk.

So now you have some fun and easy ways to get the communication ball rolling, and there’s more where that came from…

When you’re ready to truly revamp your relationship and find develop a deeper level of communication, we have a system to help you do just that.

Developed by Dr. Corey Allan to help his patients strengthen their bonds and change their lives, this powerful method is bound to bring you and your partner to a new level of communication, intimacy, and trust.  

Discover how deeply fulfilling your union can be with Communicate Your Way to a Better Marriage.

3 Easy Tips for Finding Time to Date Your Spouse

By Dustin | Time Management

3 Easy Tips for Finding Time to Date Your SpouseYou know a regular date night with your husband or wife is not only a great time, but it’s really key to enjoying a healthy relationship, right?

Well then, when was the last time you actually got away together for a few hours to enjoy some romance?

I’m not talking about dinner out with the kids, and it doesn’t count if you were with a group of friends either.

While both of those are excellent ways to spend an evening, you really need some quality time alone to focus on each other.

We Don’t Have Time

If you are anything like us, I bet the constraint that’s holding you back more than anything else is a lack of time.

We’re all so damn busy that it’s easy to jump from urgent task to urgent task, only to look up two months later and realize we haven’t had a single night out with our spouse.

Of course, some of this comes from being our own worst enemies and failing to manage our priorities properly.  Sometimes, we even waste a lot of time on frivolous things like watching television or playing games on our phones.

However, in most cases, I think our time constraints are legit.

I hear from so many in our community, and I know you are  hard workers with families that are hustling to make things happen, sometimes at the expense of your own time and intimacy.

Are You Looking for Some Fresh Date Ideas?

When we finally get time for a date, it's so easy to fall into the rut of "dinner and a movie." If you'd like some new, creative and FUN date ideas, you've gotta check out:

The Dating Divas Year of Dates Binder

But We Can Still Make It Happen

I have to admit that Bethany and I were struggling in this area again recently, so we made a plan to make sure we were making our date nights happen.

I want to share a few tips that we’ve learned in the hopes that it helps you find the time for some all-important romance in your marriage.

1. Schedule It

You should have a regular date time, and it must be on your calendars.  If you treat your dates as optional or “schedule” them after all of the “important” things are taken care, you will never have dates!

Seriously, your date time should be a high-priority appointment that is scheduled well in advance and doesn’t get trumped for anything short of an emergency.

If you value your marriage, realize that you NEED this time together.  Seriously.

2. Look Outside the Obvious

Our weekends are really busy, and our babysitter often has other commitments on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Our solution: we have date nights scheduled for every other Tuesday night.  It’s a set time that is much less likely to get interrupted.

Along these lines, you should look at some less conventional ways to spend alone time together that will work with your busy schedule:

  • Date during the day
  • Enjoy an at-home date night
  • Date in the morning with a standing coffee date
  • Work out together to combine fitness with recreational intimacy
  • Make another “required” event a great date.  For example, we were gone last weekend presenting at a marriage retreat.  And we used this time away from home to enjoy each other and found alone time amidst our other responsibilities.

3. Budget It

You better have a financial budget! When you do, it’s really helpful to include some money for dates as part of your budget.

This not only takes some of the financial pressure off, but it makes it an “official” household activity that you are planning for and taking seriously.

We’ve found that having a date night budget item to cover babysitting, entertainment and meals is really helpful in keeping our time out consistent and enjoyable.

If your budget won’t allow these expenses, you can simply plan for a less costly alternative (see at-home date nights above).

I hope these tips make it easier for you to find time for your spouse.  There’s really no better investment in your marriage than quality time spent together.

Your spouse is the love of your life. Sometimes, it takes a date to remind us of this fact. 

Are You Looking for Some Fresh Date Ideas?

When we finally get time for a date, it's so easy to fall into the rut of "dinner and a movie." If you'd like some new, creative and FUN date ideas, you've gotta check out:

The Dating Divas Year of Dates Binder

7 “Rules” to Write the Perfect Romantic Love Letter (in about 15 minutes)

By Dustin | Romance

7 Rules for the Perfect Romantic Love LetterWhen it comes to adding some sizzle to your marriage, nothing beats a good old-fashioned love letter.

Sure, you can buy flowers, candy or go out for a nice dinner.

Those kinds of borderline-cliche gifts tend to be less personalized and their effects fade over time.

A love letter, however, is the gift that comes straight from your heart, and is one they will keep and cherish forever.

Why?

Nothing says “I love you forever” to your spouse like taking time out of your day, putting pen to paper, and crafting the words of your very soul.

In terms of romantic rewards, the author of a romantic letter will reap dividends – if you know what I mean. 😉

You may just have to hire a sitter for the evening!

When you present your spouse with a romantic love letter, you might be shocked at the overwhelming response and outpouring of love that you receive.

Don’t be surprised if you see a bright smile that could light up the room. You might even end up on the receiving end of the most passionate kiss you’ve had since your wedding day.

By the way, ladies…if you don’t think a love letter will work on your husband as well as it works on wives, then you’ve really got to try it.

Everyone wants to feel appreciated, cherished, and loved. See for yourself!

But I’m Not a Poet or Wordsmith!

You might be excited about the idea of writing a romantic love letter to your spouse, but don’t feel like you’re creative enough to write one.

Don’t get overly concerned about writing a perfect letter just yet. Your only concern right now is to get up the courage to write one, period.

I’ll show you how to craft a perfect letter.

The only thing you need to possess is the willingness to open up and show the love for your spouse that I know you have (or you wouldn’t be reading this). If you have that, and even the most basic writing skills, you can write a romantic love letter that will melt your spouse’s heart.

You may be thinking, “Okay. I’m in love, and I can write, but how can I write a good romantic love letter?

Well, here’s the good news. It’s possible for you to write an awesome romantic love letter by following 7 simple rules.

Rules? Rules?!! Calm down. There’s no need to panic..these rules are easy to master.

Rule #1: Romantic love letters have to be personal

What does this mean? It has to be written by you…not by your friend, your secretary, your boss or someone you hired from the internet.

Your spouse longs to hear the secret words that are etched in your heart. The words that are written in the romantic letter do not have to be perfect, they just have to belong to you.

This is 1,000 times more important than earning style points.

Rule #2: Romantic love letters have to be positive and affirming

During the daily hustle of life, you may not remember to whisper sweet nothings in your lover’s ear or even tell your lover how much you care. This slight neglect may leave your spouse feeling insecure about their relationship.

A romantic letter serves as an affirmation to your spouse that the romantic flames have not been doused. It’s important to only mention positive attributes in the letter, and to show them that you have been noticing and cherishing them this whole time.

Rule #3: Romantic love letters must be specific and meaningful

No cliches! You have to put some real effort into crafting this letter. Like everything else in marriage, what you put into the letter determines what you get out of it.

So, make a list of specific things that you enjoy or appreciate about your lover. Maybe you enjoy your significant other’s hair. Or you might appreciate your lover’s kind and caring nature.

Whatever specifics you include in the letter, make sure the romantic letter gives specific details.

The more you personalize it for your spouse, the more special they will feel. Make it count!

Rule #4: Romantic Letters should be neat and attractive

Not only should a heartfelt romantic letter be handwritten, it should be written on stationery or nice writing paper…not printed, and not even on a card (sorry, Hallmark).

Think about the history of love letters…you’re tapping into centuries of tradition. Rituals can be very powerful, so do it the old-fashioned way and it will look like less of an afterthought.

You could also write the romantic letter on attractive paper and include a drawing. Another nice touch would be to spray a nice smelling scent on the romantic letter.

Rule #5: Actually mail your romantic letter to make it extra-special

Mailing the letter to your significant other adds to the element of surprise and fun. It shows your spouse that you put a lot of thought into writing the romantic letter.

Trust me – they want you to be thinking about them, and they want proof!

You spouse will be in for a real treat by getting a surprise like this from you in the mail. Talk about reaping romantic rewards!

Rule #6: Make a commitment to write romantic love letters regularly

Writing romantic love letters is not a one-time shot in the arm to your relationship. Letter-writing is just one tool (albeit a very powerful one) in your romantic toolbox.

So use them from time to time, or on special occasions, as your letters might lose their effectiveness if they are received too often. But don’t wait too long, either!

Make it a priority to surprise your spouse with words from the heart on a regular basis…not just on your anniversary or when you’re in the doghouse. The goal here is to show continuous appreciation.

Rule #7: Remember to proofread your writing

After you have written your romantic letter, proofread your writing to make sure it’s free of errors. You also want to be certain that your letter conveys the message that you think you’re sending.

After your spouse receives the romantic letter, you’ll notice the following positive benefits:

• Deepened intimacy, romance and trust within your relationship,
• Your connection will be strengthened, and help you weather the storms to come,
• You’ll be able to express your feelings more easily when talking with your spouse later on,
• You’ll both re-experience those exciting feelings you had during your dating and honeymoon stages,
• Your spouse will have a keepsake that will serve as a visible reminder of your everlasting love.

I hope that by now you’re convinced of the benefits of writing a romantic love letter, and how much they will help your relationship.

But…some of my readers aren’t convinced they can write a romantic love letter on their own.

The Perfect Love Letter In About 15 Minutes…No Matter How Rusty You Are!

Suppose it’s been a long time since you’ve expressed your feelings in writing (or in general), and you feel like you’re not super-creative and need a little help?

To help you write romantic letters that will keep the flames of your love burning strong, I created a special checklist for you, which I call…

“Our Perfect Love Letter Checklist – 5 Simple Steps to the Perfect Love Letter”

This checklist outlines:

– How to never get stuck on what to write about
– The secret ingredients to crafting the perfect love letter
– The things to say that will make your spouse’s heart melt
– The way to deliver the romantic letter that will WOW your spouse

I am giving away a FREE copy of this checklist. Download your copy now.

You can click here to grab it now:
The Perfect Love Letter Checklist-1

Then, get ready to give your spouse the surprise of the year with your own, original romantic love letter.

You’ll thank me later. Good luck!

19 Gift Ideas For Your Guy This Christmas

By Dustin | Romance

19 Gift Ideas For Your Guy This Christmas
‘Tis the season to find a special gift for husband…who refuses to give you any good ideas! 🙂

Are you shopping for your husband and can’t seem to think of a creative idea?

Here are 19 unique ideas to get you started in the right direction.

These all come from Amazon, so they are super-easy to get shipped right to your door.

Even if he already has one or more of the items listed, you may still find some options in the links below to give you the perfect idea for him, your Dad or your son!

The list isn’t in any particular order and prices range from ten dollars to over a hundred.

So whether you are trying to find a stocking stuffer or a the ultimate manly gift, this list should help you give your husband a gift he will enjoy.

Happy shopping!

Fit Bit

Fitbit designs products and experiences that track everyday health and fitness, empowering and inspiring people to lead healthy, more active lives.  Fun gift for those husbands who are interested in fitness!

Kindle Paperwhite

 

Kindle Paperwhite is a great gift idea for those husbands that enjoy reading.  There are many types of Kindles to choose from, but this one allows the reader to use it even in the sunlight with no glare!  He can relax anywhere while reading his favorite book!

 

Echo

 

Amazon Echo is a fun gift for those who love technology! Using voice technology, it can share information, music, audiobooks, news, weather, traffic, sports, and more–instantly!

 

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Grill Tools are a great gift for the guy who loves to cook outdoors!  This set comes with a nifty storage case!

 

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This Yeti Cooler is top of the line when it comes to chilling your drinks and food!

 

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If your husband doesn’t need an entire cooler, this Yeti Can Coozie is the perfect personal sized gift for him!  He’ll thank you when his drink is still cold HOURS later!

 

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Home Brew Kits are a popular gift.  Craft beers are all the rage right now, and making his own brand might be the perfect gift idea!

 

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Art of Appreciation Baskets come in many different varieties.  From candy to meat to snacks, they’ve got you covered!

51PD7s40ZZL._SX522_Cologne is always a great gift.  This scent is refreshing and classic…you can’t go wrong!

816mOAjctSL._SL1500_Tervis Cups are a great stocking stuffer. The insulation makes sure your beverages stay the temperature you prefer.  Many styles to choose from!

 

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A Bose Speaker is the perfect gift for the husband who enjoys listening to music!  This would be perfect if he is in his home office, working in the garage, or doing anything on his “honey-do” list!

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Amazon Fire TV is a useful gift for the whole family! It allows you to listen to music, watch TV shows, movies, and even play games!

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If you are searching for a personalized gift, this Engraved Titanium Ring may be it!  Lots of options available!61uYoMZXfpL._SL1500_Beats Headphones are perfect for the husband who likes to rock out! Many styles and colors are available!

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Is your man high maintenance?  I’m sure he isn’t, but this Man Groomer may be the right gift for him if he is looking to increase comfort and save time!

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Is your husband the Best. Husband. Ever?  If so, this might be the perfect stocking stuffer for him this year!

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Copper Mugs are all the rage!  Perfect for those mixed drinks he likes to enjoy!

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This Voice Activated Alarm Clock is the perfect gift for those guys who like technology…and have trouble with small buttons!

 

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Is your house the party house?  Or does your family enjoy a dance party?  This iON Speaker works well for all of those! If you have a device with music and Bluetooth capability, your party awaits!

 

If you’re the wife, I hope this list gives you some great ideas to really spoil your husband…and if you’re the husband you have some new ideas for your wishlist!

What’s on your gift wishlist right now?  Share it in the comments to help other couples with some new ideas!

 

 

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