Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Take on a Few Tips

I opened up my Internet browser to prepare this post, and as I scanned the news features before going to our blog site, an article caught my eye.

"Staying Committed and Keeping That Spark Alive!"

Well, hey! Alright! I can use some help with that. I mean, that's what we're all about here at Romance Your Spouse . . . keeping the spark in our marriages alive.

So I started reading the article by Jackie Black, PhD, and while I do agree with the essence of the piece, there were a few suggestions that cracked me up a bit. I'm including some of the tips (and this is not the whole article, you can read that at, and I'll explain what I mean by cracked up.

Do you and your sweetheart carve out quality alone-time together every
week? Do you both take responsibility for it, or does the task fall to one or
the other of you? Do you allow "real" interruptions to get in the way and spoil
your planned time together?

I'll start here by saying I agree with all of these questions. I agree you need alone time together. It's crucial to a healthy marriage (IMO). And it's a good question of who in the marriage is pushing for your time together. If it's just you, you might need to nudge your spouse (or use a baseball bat to the head, whichever method works best for you and your loved one) to be the one to bring the romance once in a while. And if you're always allowing little distractions like the phone, the TV, children who do not have a medical emergency like a broken limb or foreign objects shoved up their noses, to interrupt your time together, you need to find a way to make it about you as a couple.

Here are a few simple suggestions to prioritize your partner:
Meet once a week to look at your schedules and set aside time
for each other.

I agree with this, too. Maybe a little rigid, but still necessary if you both work, have kids with activities, and you need to schedule things right down to the last minute to fit it all in. So if that's the case, go for it. Schedule your time together and stick with it.

At least once a week, plan a date night. Once a month, plan
a date day (that's right, a whole day from morning to evening). Once each
quarter, plan a weekend get-away. Once each year, plan a week away together.

Okay, I have to say it. This is the one that cracked me up the most. While I agree with the concept behind this suggestion, the reality is sometimes a little harder to come by. My husband and I have three young kids. Loud kids. Energetic kids. Occasionally obnoxious kids. And we're broke. We can't afford to go out once a week because of the cost of babysitters and the cost of the actual date itself. Plus, I don't think we can pay anyone around here enough to stay a whole evening with our kids without breaking the bank.

Now, actually a date day is something we might be able to do if we call in a bunch of favors to arrange for family to watch the kids, but we certainly can't do it every month. They live too far away, and they love us, but not that much.

A weekend get away every quarter falls into the same category as the weekly date, no money and no sitters, and a week long vacation, while a dream come true that I might consider selling some plasma to bring about, there's no way we can make that happen.

So these are good suggestions for some, but mostly unrealistic for couples with young kids.

Mark your planned time in your calendar, just like a dentist appointment or
an appointment with a client. Write it in ink! Mark yourself out for a block of

Definitely do this if it helps, and do your best to stick with it.

Take turns planning your dates each week.

Another good suggestion. Sometimes it can be frustrating to be the one coming up with the romantic ideas for you and your sweetie, but if you let them know in a nice way you'd like a hand, usually they'll comply. They love you and want you to be happy.

Do the grocery shopping and buy a bouquet of flowers for your partner.

You should actually try this for your hubby, too. He can take them to his job (if he works in an office), or they can sit by his favorite chair, and be a reminder of your sweet gesture every time he sees them.

Write a love note and leave it for your partner to find.


Take a break from watching TV and doing laundry or other chores. Go to bed early and share massages, talk, or cuddle.

Yes, but again, with little kids, it's sometimes easier said than done. But try to do it anyway, at least once a week.

Turn off the TV, turn on the stereo and have a talk.

This can be SUPER relaxing, and a definite must once the kiddos are in bed.

Kiss your mate Good Morning and Good Night every day. Just say, "I love you."

And when you kiss them, kiss'em like you mean it. No quick peck on the cheek or lips. A real hello and good-bye kiss can speak volumes to your spouse. I know it gets my attention when my hubby does it!

So, anyway. Overall, I liked the article, with a few points that are a little unrealistic for us at this time, but still good ideas to shoot for.

If you can fit any of these ideas into your marriage, I say go for it. But if you are able to get away for a week with your honey, know that I am SOOOOO jealous, but happy for you, too.



  1. Some good ideas here, if only we took more time to incorporate them. I like to think of romance as being more spontaneous, but sometimes planning is necessary.

  2. Actually, I think you're right, Myra. My ultimate romantic evening would be a surprise date my hubby had cooked up for me.

    I'm not a big "scheduler" of anything, really.

    But I liked the idea that if you're so busy you have to schedule in sleep, it's probably a good idea to include time with your sweetie, too.