Squeezing Romance

Face it marriage is hard work. Add to it children, a full-time job with deadlines and demanding bosses/clients, homework, sickness and bills to pay, who has time to think about romance, much less plan something special? In fact you may not want to finish reading this post because you’re afraid I’m going to add one more thing to your growing to-do list.

I get it. It is hard to find the right balance in life. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Our pastor says often, “We make time to do the things we really want to do.” And I couldn’t agree more.

Case in point…

A busy mom was complaining about not having enough energy to finish her chores. She kept looking at the clock and couldn’t believe how slow the time was passing. Then, the phone rang. It was her best friend saying she had tickets to see the latest movie and had already secured a babysitter for the two of them, that is, if she wanted to come.

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If? Are you kidding?

Suddenly, she had a burst of energy and the chores that had been like a root canal to do minutes before were now actually enjoyable. She had a reason to finish and finish quickly she did! She was going out with a friend. Being tired wasn’t an issue any longer because she was getting to do something she really wanted to do.

Romance is one of those things you enjoy once you do it, but it’s the planning it before hand that seems difficult. This is why Tom and I have devoted our lives to helping other couples keep the romantic fires burning. We have lots of ideas, many of them we’ve enjoyed ourselves and have the memories to prove it. And we know how it has made a lasting impact on the quality of our marriage.

So, how can we help the busy executive, the exhausted mom, the over-extended caregiver to an elderly parent, find time to romance their spouse?

Below is a list of ideas for you to print, cut into strips and place in a jar. Once a week (or more if you’re so inclined) draw a slip of paper out of the jar and purpose to do that one thing for your spouse. You can both do it or alternate weeks. The point is to start squeezing romance out of your busy life. We’ve discovered that the busier it is, the more enjoyable your times are when you’re alone. This list is to help you get started thinking more about romance in the midst of the chaos.

Why does it matter? Because one day your life will slow down, your children will grow up and move away, and your spouse will be the only one looking at you across the dinner table. My husband insisted all those years ago that we would still be as much or more in love with each other then as we were when we first started. And you know what? We are! We just celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary last month, and I am grateful for the romance he managed to squeeze out of life for the good of us.

  • Compliment your spouse in a specific way, while looking in their eyes.
  • Buy them a special treat the next time you’re in the store, and tell them you were thinking of them.
  • Find a link on You Tube to a favorite love song from your past and e-mail it to them during the day.
  • Hide a love note and say something to make them remember a special time you’ve shared.
  • Do one of their chores for a week.
  • Make dinner reservations and arrange a babysitter. Then, tell your spouse after it’s all set.
  • Plan a whole evening doing something you know your spouse enjoys–jigsaw puzzle, video game, board game, cook together.
  • Start a weekly or monthly alphabet date–where you pick a letter and center all you do and eat around that letter.
  • Go for an extended walk together holding hands. Check out 10 Ways To Hold Hands.
  • Go out for a banana split to share.
  • Play a game of Blind Man’s Bluff, with this sexy twist: Blindfold your spouse and feed them different foods.  Let them guess what it is by TASTE.  Then let them smell different things and try to guess what they are by SMELL.  Next play different sounds for them to guess by HEARING and finally let them guess what they’re touching – yeah, this one can be a lot of FUN!  You may feel cold when you begin, but we guarantee things will be warming up mighty nice by the time you make it to the touching phase.
  • Make a playlist of romantic music on your iPod or iPhone. Hook up headphones and put them on your spouse and have them lie in bed. Tell them to close their eyes while you give them a massage.
  • Your turn: _______________________________________________.

As you can see romance isn’t all about sex, but some of it can be. 🙂 Romance is about the daily choices we make to think of and pray for our spouse. It’s our way of putting their needs and wants at the top of our list of importance. It’s communicating to your spouse that no other person matters to you as much as they do, and your actions prove your words.

In what ways can you squeeze out romance this week? this month? this year? Won’t you try? 

Check out our Romantic St. Patrick’s Day ideas too: For Husbands-click here. For Wives-click here.


About the author 

Debi Walter

Tom and Debi Walter have been cultivating their romantic vineyard for most of their 36 years of marriage. It has been their conviction from the start. Now they are passionate about helping other couples discover the rich harvest of romance available to them no matter the current season. Through their marriage blog, The Romantic Vineyard established in 2008, they provide regular posts about growing your marriage for God's glory.

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. Thanks for the great tips Debi! I tell people all the time, Romance is not about the big huge events, trips to a romantic destination or even the rose peddles in the bath tub type stuff. It includes the simple text int he middle of the day tell them you are thinking about them or the meeting them at the door with a hug and a kiss telling them you are happy to see them.
    Your list is great because it is a map to keeping the romance alive. All the big sweeping stuff is usually for people who are trying to resuscitate it because it’s dying.
    Looking forward to sharing it.

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