by Rachel Keller
Do you want to increase your love and passion for someone? By investing a little extra time with that special one, your love increases because feelings of love come with the functions of love. Yes, you could enjoy an exquisite dinner at a fine restaurant, but your wallet may not permit such romantic gestures. So how can you maintain a loving lasting relationship without breaking your budget?
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Take walks together. Nothing warms the heart like a romantic walk on a warm moonlit night.
Create a romantic atmosphere in your home by burning scented candles or potpourri. If you don’t have a potpourri burner or candles, just mix citrus rinds and cloves and boil on the stove. Keep it simple. Too many fragrances can destroy the mood you are trying to create.
Serve dinner by candlelight.
Relax in front of a crackling, glowing fire.
Leave brief notes of endearment around the house (on mirrors, inside a clothing drawer, etc.) or in your spouse’s lunch.
Laugh together. Collect cartoons or jokes that you know your partner would enjoy.
Participate in activities you both enjoy (running, fishing, cycling, hiking, boating, etc.)
Play games together.
Try a scavenger hunt. One husband taped a note on the door for his wife. The note led her to numerous other notes until she discovered her husband in the closet holding a "pot of gold" (her cooking kettle with a gift inside it).
Hide a heart or other small item. Years ago, a friend gave me a plastic red heart. I hid the heart in a place where my husband would find it. When he found it, he hid it. You can play this game as long as you like.
Surprise your spouse by doing something unexpected.
Work on a puzzle together.
Read a book together.
Watch a relaxing or fun video/DVD.
Reminisce by browsing through picture albums. Consider doing a scrap book together.
Remember your first days together. If possible, reenact your first date. Nothing seems to spark the flames as remembering your first fun time together.
Court again. Do what you did to win the affections of your mate.
Spend time alone together, especially if you have children. This is important for both you and your children. If you can’t find a babysitter, exchange child sitting services with someone else.
Each day make time for each other.
Practice "couch time." Spend at least 15 minutes sitting together on the couch without children. Stress the importance of your "mommy and daddy time" together. Not only will you have precious moments together, but your children will gain security knowing that their mommy and daddy enjoy spending time together.
Show appreciation for the little things. Occasional cards, flowers, small meaningful gifts, or even just a simple "thank you" can mean so much.
Say I love you often. Reveal you care by your words and actions.
Always give your spouse a goodbye hug and kiss in the morning.
At the end of the day, greet your spouse with a hug, kiss, and "how was your day?"
Take time to really communicate and understand your spouse. Share your feelings with each other.
Remain faithful in thought and deed. Nothing destroys a marriage quicker than infidelity.
Don’t belittle your spouse, especially in front of others. Respect your spouse even when you disagree.
Wives, build up your husband’s ego and honor and respect him. Husbands, treat your wife like the queen you want her to be. Practice TLC: tender, loving in little things, and care in contact.
Read the Bible, pray together, and attend church regularly.
Decide to love your spouse. Love is not a feeling but a mental attitude: the unselfish, self-sacrificial desire to meet the needs of the cherished object.
If you think it’s possible to love your spouse too much, you probably haven’t loved enough.
"A lasting relationship is like a garden– tend it lovingly and you will reap bountiful rewards."
-Norman M. Lobsenz
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Copyright © 2005 by Rachel Keller. All rights reserved.