14 ways to show your spouse a lil’ love

Whoever said relationships are 50/50 was seriously mistaken. Like all good things in life- a loving relationship takes time, and quite honestly, a lot of work. You wouldn’t show up to your job and put in only 50% of your effort, and expect to be appreciated- so why should your relationship be any different?

Now, if you and your partner are each only putting in 50% of your effort, your time, and your love- how do you expect that relationship to flourish? To continue to grow? To keep that spark alive? The answer is it can’t, and it won’t.

I whole-heartedly believe that relationships need to be equal- with each partner putting in 100% of their effort. Especially when it comes to marriage- your relationship should be your number one priority above everything else (including your children). It’s easy for day to day responsibilities and commitments to take over our schedules- but if your marriage is struggling, your children will pick up on that and only make things worse. By having a deep, loving connection with your spouse, you are more inclined to perform better in every area of your life like growing tiny humans and crushing those career goals.

For me, I’d like to think that my husband Charles and I are still in the honeymoon phase, even though we have been married for just over two years now. The incredible part is that I truly believe we are stronger and closer now then we have ever been. Our connection is the strongest bond I’ve ever known, and we are falling more in love every day we share together. Now, almost 6 years together, we are truly understanding each other’s needs, wants, quirks, struggles and passions. We can convey entire conversations with just one look, and we are learning how to argue better. Seriously. Our disagreements are infrequent, and end way faster. We’re getting to be better listeners, better communicators, and better teachers. But best of all, we are still each other’s best friend, and we honor that above all else.

Now, before we jump into my personal faves for loving up on your spouse (and were going over all 14 in honor of Valentine’s Day), I wanted to share a bit of insight with you regarding the lifestyle area of relationships. As I mentioned, it’s a complex area that requires special attention- but the great part is we are able to break it down into 5 main components: Sex, Intimacy, Friendship, Love, and Touch.

A lot of people struggle with finding or experiencing all 5 areas with their partner- and that’s okay! Know you are not alone if you feel that an area is missing or lacking. For instance, you may have checked the areas of love, sex, and intimacy with your spouse, but you could be lacking touch or friendship. Or maybe you and your spouse may have a great friendship and be completely in love, but you could be lacking in the areas of sex and intimacy. Whatever combination you have right now, own it, and be proud of the connection that you do have. And of course, know that you can easily fill the void that is missing with some of the suggestions below.

Alright, so the main key areas of relationships can be understood as the following:

Love- An intense feeling of deep affection for someone, that you cannot explain and do not feel the need to have to explain.


Sex- The closest kind of contact, regardless of emotional or physical connection.


Intimacy- An exchange of tender energy between two people who love each other deeply. A close personal relationship between them, where small actions or words have powerful meaning and feelings associated with them.


Touch- A form of direct connection between two people; regardless of love or friendship. This can be a simple act such a hug, or more in depth such as a massage.


Friendship- A mutual affection between two people, where both feel no need to change anything about the other person and appreciate each other’s differences. This type of relationship is based on honesty, joy, communication and similar interests.

 

 

Take note of which areas are thriving for you, and which could use a lil’ love. As we move through the suggestions below, you’ll see what areas each one will help to strengthen. Time to say yes to a deeper, more meaningful connection, and transform your relationships this month:

1. Tell them how special they are. It really doesn’t matter if you think your spouse knows how you feel- telling them every day will reinforce your feelings and show them just how much you care. It’s impossible to feel forgotten or unappreciated when you are being told each day how much you mean to someone. Try switching it up each day and being genuine with your compliments. Instead of ‘you’re handsome’, try ‘I love how blue your eyes are’ or instead of ‘you are so funny’, say ‘I love how you can always make me laugh after a long day’.

Areas of strength: Love, Friendship, Intimacy

2. Spend your mornings together. If your schedule allows, spend your mornings together alone before the day gets going. There is something incredibly powerful about starting your day together- whether its 30 minutes before you rush out the door for work, or actually sitting down to enjoy breakfast together- it can make the world of a difference! Even if you are not a morning person and your spouse is, making the effort to get up at the same time and spend quality alone time with each other can be a game changer. For me, even on a day off, I will get up with my husband at 530 am when he gets up for work (or 430 am to go to the gym together). I personally LOVE our time together during this time. I will pack his lunch and make him breakfast while he gets ready- then we always hug each other and share a kiss at the door before he leaves. It is such a special moment to me that really connects us, and I miss it so much when I am working nights at the hospital. Give it a try if you don’t already! Even a couple of mornings a week will positively influence your relationship.

Areas of strength: Love, Intimacy, Touch

3. Hold hands whenever possible. Touch is a such a simple act, but yet so important and so easily forgotten. One of the most frequent changes I notice among my clients is that when their marriage is struggling, the first thing that they stopped doing was simply touching. Holding hands is easy, requires minimal to no effort, and can be done anywhere, anytime. Best part of all is it that it signals the brain to release endorphins- which are, you know, our happy hormones. When you are cuddling on the couch, driving in the car, or walking side by side, start to incorporate it more and more, and watch how it brings you closer together.

Areas of strength: Touch, Love, Intimacy, Sex, Friendship

4. Recognize and appreciate them. In reality, your spouse likely works very hard whether it be at their job, helping to manage the home, or raise tiny humans. And of course, so do you. But with life’s hectic schedule, remembering to say thank-you to your partner can unfortunately be forgotten. And sometimes, we can get frustrated if certain tasks aren’t being done to ‘our standards’. If you’ve ever thought or said something like ‘he did the dishes but he didn’t rinse the sink or wipe the counters’ or ‘I do a way better job so I’d just prefer to do it myself’, you are guilty of belittling your partners effort to do something nice. Think of it this way, your spouse thinks that by doing a certain chore or task for you, they are doing something nice and thoughtful for you- without realizing that they aren’t doing it ‘your way’. Now, if you come in and the first thing you say is ‘you didn’t wipe up that spill’ or ‘you forgot to do such and such’- they are likely to experience feelings of being unappreciated or taken for granted. The same goes for not acknowledging a task was done or for appreciating a kind gesture that they have done for you- no matter how big or how small. By resisting the urge to comment in any other way, work on recognizing these acts of kindness and simply saying thank-you. By putting in more of an effort to appreciate your partner, they will work harder at performing those tasks. I myself have struggled with this in the past, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little particular with how I clean my house. My husband always helps me out, and by learning to take a step back from what my personal expectations are, and genuinely appreciate him, we are closer and stronger than ever before.

Areas of strength: Intimacy, Love, Friendship

5. Be spontaneous. Nothing ignites a relationship more than some spontaneity. Whether deciding to go for a breakfast date, take a road trip or surprising your loved one with a sexy lingerie outfit… we could all use a lil’ more fun. In this case, it’s best to consider what you and your partner like, and what you are comfortable with. If they are someone who likes to have a planned schedule- a surprise weekend giveaway probably isn’t your best option. There are lots of ways to be spontaneous that do not require big funds- like an evening stroll, going dancing, saying yes to last minute invitations, or bonding with early morning sex. The more flexible and open you are to experiences with your spouse, the more connected and confident you will be in your relationship.

Areas of strength: Touch, Love, Intimacy, Sex, Friendship

6. Share a hobby together. In most relationships, there are similarities and shared passions. In fact, it is very rare for a couple to mesh together unless they have something in common. Figuring out what that is and doing it frequently is fantastic for your love and sex life. My husband and I are professional swing two-steppers, so going out dancing is something that really connects us together. We also share a love for building puzzles, being outdoors, playing board games, and traveling. We prefer to be in each other’s company, and for us, going out with out the person is not fun for us. So therefore, we personally stick to events or activities that involve us being together, and I strongly believe we are so close because of that. Try to incorporate a shared hobby or activity at least once a week and build from there- and don’t be afraid to switch it up every week!


Areas of strength: Love, Friendship

7. Cook together as often as possible. One thing I am so grateful for, is the fact that my husband and I cook together often. No matter what kind of day each of us has had, we are more than willing to spend that time together and be in the moment. Generally, he chops the vegetables while I prepare the rest of the meal, and this gives us an opportunity to ask about each other’s day and see what is new. According to Canada’s new food guide, both cooking from home and sharing meals with others is extremely beneficial to your health, and it can make the world of a difference to share that time with your spouse instead of rushing through that part of your time together. Aim for a few nights a week, and if your spouse isn’t into cooking, ask them to do a small task such as peeling carrots to help them get involved without pressure.


Areas of strength: Love, Intimacy, Friendship

8. Send a flirtatious text. Remember how exciting things were when you first started dating your spouse? The romance, the excitement, the flirting… As a relationship grows and builds, you don’t have to lose those qualities- and quite honestly, you shouldn’t! This passion is what built the foundation for your relationship and what connected you in the first place. So if feel that the romance and flirting has disappeared from your daily life, its time to reignite that flame. Flirtatious texts are easy to do, and can make your spouse feel wanted and of course, turned on. Best part? They can still be incredibly classy. Depending on your comfort level, what you send is entirely up to you and your imagination. You can easily spark a playful conversation with something as simple as ‘I’ve been thinking about you all day….’, ‘How is my incredibly strong and handsome man doing today?’ Or, ‘I cannot wait to get my hands on you later’. Especially if you live or work away from each other, this method of showing them some love can be what keeps you going strong despite the distance. For some ideas on loving & flirtatious texts, see HERE


Areas of strength: Love, Intimacy, Sex

9. Genuinely listen to them. We’ve all been there- after a long day when the couch and a glass of wine is calling your name, and the last thing you want to do is engage in a deep conversation. Unfortunately for most, this scenario often becomes a daily occurrence and can result in a lack of communication between partners. When your partner speaks, are you genuinely listening to them? Or are you guilty of being distracted or disconnected- whether from the kids, your phone, or tasks around the house? Truly listening and giving your spouse your full attention when engaging in conversation can be all your relationship needs to strengthen. When you both get home in the evening (or whenever your schedules permit), start by asking how their day was. Put your phone away and focus on what they are saying. Ask questions, engage. And as you get better at being present in the moment, start to incorporate this form of listening into each conversation you have with them. As I mentioned above, I love cooking with my husband, and this is our time to connect with no outside distractions. We always ask about each other’s day, and this keeps our communication open and strong.


Areas of strength: Love, Intimacy, Friendship

10. Have sex, often. Getting some alone time can be a challenge on its own- but finding the energy to pleasure each other can be even harder sometimes. If scheduling sex on your calendar is something that must be done to make sure it doesn’t get pushed aside, then great! Do whatever it takes to keep that passion alive. Even if you don’t feel like it- whether it be because you are tired, have a headache, had a long day, etc.- still put in the effort to love up on your spouse. All marriage books out there will tell you that by having sex even when you’re not fully into it, you will ignite that flame and get in the mood once you’ve started. If libido is a problem, figure out what may be causing it and work on improving it. A large majority of marriages end because partners are no longer connected or attracted to their partner, and a big part of that is their lack of sex life. Aim for at least a couple times a week and build up from there. You’ll be blown away by how this can transform a lot of things in your life. After all, orgasms also release endorphins, spiking our happy levels.

Areas of strength: Love, Intimacy, Sex

11. Make a monthly date night a priority. One of the best things I started doing for my husband at the beginning of our relationship was this. For Christmas each year, I give him a gift with 12 envelopes in it, each with a month written on it. On the first of every month, he opens the corresponding envelope, and inside is a pre-paid date night inside. For us, making date night a priority at least once a month has kept us connected, and I love that I get to treat him with this each month. You don’t have to wait until Christmas to get started! Simply start by writing out a day each month for your date night and make it a priority. Dates can be as simple as going skating or for a walk together in the evening, or they can be more in depth like a dinner theater reservation! Use your imagination and the options are endless.

Areas of strength: Love, Intimacy, Friendship

12. Help out with their usual tasks. If your relationship is anything like ours, we each have tasks around the home that we each take care on an almost daily basis. For me, as I mentioned, I love a clean house- so I usually take on cleaning the kitchen, doing dishes, sweeping, laundry, etc. For Charles, his hours are longer than mine, so he takes on the more physical tasks like shoveling the driveway and doing the cat litter (which I am not fond of doing). But, on the days where I don’t work, or if I have time when I get home, I like to surprise him once and a while with doing his tasks. All last week I did the cat litter for him, and even shoveled the driveway one day. It made me feel good that he was so appreciative of me taking on those tasks, and that he could just relax in the evening with me instead. Think of what tasks you usually divide up between you and your partner and consider helping them out with something that they would normally do. Not only will they love being free of that ‘chore’ for a night, but they will also have more time to spend with you. A win-win really!

Areas of strength: Love, Friendship

13. Kiss each other before bed, every night. Showing your partner you care, no matter how long the day was or regardless if you have had an argument, is absolutely crucial to the strength of your relationship. Sleep is a very important part of our health, and if we are trying to fall asleep feeling disconnected or unsure what the other person is thinking- we are guaranteed to have trouble falling or staying asleep. Making the first move or putting in the effort to always kiss each other goodnight is the perfect way to show them a lil’ extra love and to make sure they know you care about them. By ending the night on this note, you and your partner are likely to feel at ease, feel happier, and feel like you matter to someone.

Areas of strength: Love, Intimacy, Touch

14. Surprise them with small love notes. Nothing is more heart-warming then an unexpected act of kindness and thoughtfulness. This is one of my favourites to incorporate. In the morning before hubby races out the door for work, I’ll jot down a short love note on a post-it-note and stick it in his lunch kit. He doesn’t see it until he’s on his first or second break, and he always messages me right after he see’s it and says how much he loved it. Other times I will leave a little note on the mirror in lipstick or send a personalized and caring text message. And as a special bonus for Valentine’s Day, I have created a love note freebie just for you! On the button below, you will find a PDF of hearts to print off, cut out, and fill out to show your partner just how much you love them! Sometime this month, tape them to the bathroom mirror to surprise them when they get up or get home from work!

Areas of strength: Love, Friendship, Intimacy

I hope the ideas above help inspire you to rekindle your relationship and help strengthen your passion for your loved one. Have fun implementing them into your daily routine!

You can catch me live on Facebook HERE on Wednesday, February 6th at 2 pm, where I share some extra special (and budget friendly) Valentine’s Day ideas to have a fabulous date night in!

 

Love,