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Category Archives for "Romance"

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.

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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

Take 15 Minutes Each Day to Just be a Couple

By Dustin | Romance

Trust me, I know how busy your life as a married couple can be.Take 15 Minutes Each Day to Just be a Couple

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!

Need Some Ideas for the Best Way to Spend Your 15 Minutes?

Click here to learn how you can refresh your marriage and rock your communication, romance, sex life and finances in just 15 minutes a day…

15 Minute Marriage Makeover

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