Saturday, October 29, 2011

Keeping the Spark Even Under Stress

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
 Financial “issues” are one of the largest factors cited in divorces.  Stress from all of the bills, appointments, work and even kids can really take it’s toll on the romantic side of the relationship.   Finding ways to express ourselves as a couple can be very difficult to arrange and afford.  So with our finances like they are, I have been trying to find ways to make sure our relationship does not end up on the back burner.  The main way I am approaching this is with “at-home date nights.”

This is time we set aside without the computers, writing, texting, or anything else.  We get the kids to bed and hopefully get some time to spend just with each other.  Here are some ideas that may help you keep the spark going when you are in stressful times…

Movie night.  Everyone knows this one… pull out a movie you both want to see, pop some popcorn and cuddle up on the couch.

Cook a special dinner.  Find a meal that is affordable but also fun to eat, maybe a fondue or a pasta dish.  Make a special dessert or treat to munch on.  It is fun to cook with your partner and it gives you a chance to be together.

Game night.  Everyone has a competitive side.  Pull out a board game or your favorite Xbox game and go at it.  Maybe play for “favors” or something to make it a bit more interesting or intimate.   If you want to take it further, look into a more intimate game from a specialty store near you.  Just make sure your partner is ok with this… or better, let them pick it out to keep them involved.   

Living room picnic.  Get some simple fruits and foods that are fun to nibble on and share them like a picnic in your living room.  Turn down the lights and just have a good time.
Act like a teenager.  Simply take some time to spend with your partner kissing and making out like you did back when you first met.  This time together will help keep a close bond between yourself and your partner.

Be spontaneous and take control!  It is very easy to let day-to-day stresses take the joy out of life and the passion out of your relationship.  Don’t be afraid to take charge and show your partner what you are interested in doing.  Spring the date on them when they don’t expect it!  If your family keeps a calendar, with all of the events going on it is easy to see when some good times to do this would be.  Don’t be shy, take charge and have fun!  Maybe send an alluring email or text message (make sure you double check the recipient’s email or phone to minimize mistakes) to get the anticipation building!

Also, there are books full of intimate ideas for couples.  Some of the most known books are by Laura Corn.  These books offer pages you can tear out with ideas or instructions to play out with your partner.  Some of these take some planning but others can be very spontaneous.  Once again, communication is key and it is fun to alternate who tears a page and plans for the time.

The best part about this is your only limit is your imagination.  Be sure to keep a solid flow of communication with your partner so they can also help with this.  No relationship should be one-sided when it comes to the closeness you feel together.

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