All you need is love... Oh if only that were true... Relationships would be alot easier.
We watched Date Night the other night. We had seen it before, but we are huge Steve Carrell fans so we wanted to see it again. The beginning starts out showing what their real life is like, having kids and a job and how after years of being married the spark was gone.
There is no doubt we have all had times in our marriage or relationships (including ours), where you lose that passion you once had due to so much happening in your lives. I can remember feeling at the end of the day that I had nothing left in me, especially being intimate. Well fast forward to where we are now and we can truly say we feel as much in love today (if not more), as we did when we first started dating. So how did we get to that place?
Well we can only tell you from our personal experience how we got the "spark" back. But remember, what worked for us may not always work for everyone, since some relationships have years of resentment and anger built up. If that is the case for you, it may be hard to sift through all of that without marriage counseling and lots of prayer.
One thing I can tell you that has never changed for Todd and I is our loyalty and love for each other. Even through the times where the passion wasn't there.. there was no doubt we loved each other deeply and unconditionally. So it's important that you have a very strong foundation to work with.
Hopefully you have a very similar situation and just need some ideas to rev things up a bit.
So here five tips we recommend:
1. Make weekly date night mandatory!! No matter what is happening around you, take a day or evening to focus on each other, even if you don't have children. If you do have children .. get a babysitter and make sure to budget for it, or ask a family member you trust. You could also trade out nights with another couple who has children. We have had date night since our first child was a few weeks old and haven't stopped since.
Whatever you do... DO NOT discuss issues that have to do with work, kids or finances while on your date. Find topics to discuss that are fun or interesting. Talk about things to add to your bucket list.
Try to think of it as if it were a first date and talk about things that interest you both. Look up subjects on the internet or discuss something you heard or saw on Facebook that day that was interesting.
Whatever you do.. Don't make excuses.. make date night happen!
2. Invest more time in taking care of yourself! When you're together for so long.. it's easy to get comfortable and put on extra pounds and not put as much effort into how you look.
I look back at pics of myself when our children were young and think, "geez Tammy, you could have put in a little bit more effort". There was a time that I was happy to just pull my hair back in a ponytail and go. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with ponytails, but I also had 20 extra pounds I needed to lose and probably could of invested in a better wardrobe.😉
Think about what you looked like when you started dating and what attracted you to each other. I don't think that looks should be a make it or break it in a marriage, but I think it's an important factor in not only how your spouse/significant other feels about you, but also how you feel about yourself. I think it can affect your sex life as well. If you feel good about yourself then you are more comfortable being intimate.
Todd joined the gym years ago and works out daily. He also is very conscientious of what he eats. I on the other hand, am less disciplined and work out only three times a week, sometimes less.
Either way.. Start doing 20 minutes of something at least 3 times a week. It doesn't have to be a crazy workout routine, you could even start walking or find workouts online to do at home. I prefer home workouts just because I'm more of an introvert and not really into working out at the gym. I also like to read and do that while I'm on the elliptical. I want you to know that I started out only being able to do 2-3 minutes on that machine !! Now I can do 45 minutes to an hour. I usually only do about 20 and then do a few cardio exercises for about 10-20 more minutes. I'm not as consistent as I should be, but I keep telling myself that it's more than I did yesterday and it's something. Whatever you do.. DON'T set yourself up for failure by going to the extreme and burning out!
It's important you start eating better as well. Maybe start working on eating better as a couple . Make dinners that are healthier for you and your family. We still eat out and still have carbs but we do it in moderation.
I cannot tell you how much better I feel physically, as well as mentally, when I'm working out consistently and eating better. If we can do this, then so can you!!
3. Avoid taking on too much in your life as well as your children's. There was a time in our lives that we had so many things going on that there was very little downtime. I was working part time at the hospital and then trying to run a full time baking business on the side, as well as take care of our home, be a mom and a wife. It started taking a toll on our marriage. I was basically "phoning it in" as Todd likes to say. I started to realize what was happening and thankfully alleviated some of my responsibilities. It was such a relief for me to be able to focus on my family and marriage again!
I strongly urge you to take a look at what occupies the majority of your time and takes away from investing in your relationships. Is it your job, your children's activities, your hobbies, your electronic devices? No matter what it may be, if it's taking the focus off of your significant other, then it's probably time to make a change before it's too late.
4. Find out what your spouses "love language" is, and make an effort daily to do something that speaks to it. I'm sure you've all heard of the book "The Five Love Languages", if not, then I suggest you get it. It helps you to know and understand how you best receive love. The five languages are : Affirmation (love through words), quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.
Once you've both discovered your love languages, consciously make an effort to express that love language to your significant other as often as possible. You will be amazed at how it will change your attitudes towards each other.
5. . Start looking at how you dress. This tip goes back to tip number two. Are you still wearing the same clothes you wore 20 years ago? Maybe it's time to invest in a few new outfits?
Find clothing that accentuates the positives. If you have nice legs, show them off! If you have a nice derrière, then maybe wear something that's more fitted. If you men have a nice chest or arms, then find a shirt that accentuates it. Todd likes these shirts and I love how they look on him. Invest in a nice pair of jeans to wear on date night. These are a favorite of Todds and I love how these jeans fit him.
Another idea is to ask your partner what they like to see you wear and then maybe shop together. I personally love shopping at Express and Kohl's for myself and Todd. You may have a store that suits you better. If you need ideas look at Pinterest or Instagram, better yet find a friend whose style you like and go shopping together.
When we go out, I like to dress as if it were our first date. Think about how much effort you put into getting ready in the beginning of your relationship. I can remember thinking about what I was going to wear days before, and then sitting in front of the mirror getting ready for hours. Obviously, we don't have that much time anymore, but we still make the effort to look good for each other.
Ladies just remember... when you are accentuating the positives .. you can still be modest while doing so. Remember .. we are trying to get our men to notice us, not every man in the room. 😉
We hope that these tips will inspire you to take a look at your relationships and see where you can improve. It doesn't matter if you've been together a year or 30 years, what's most important is you invest time and effort into your relationships so they don't become stagnant.
If you are the only one interested in working on your relationship, we suggest trying some of these tips. We bet your partner will take notice, and may start making an effort too. Either way, we hope you will be successful wether you take our advice or not!
❤Todd and Tammy
Note: My coffee cup and stir stick came from the dollar section at Target. I love it!