Chores, school, discipline, work, cooking, carpool, activities... When this is a typical week for your family, when does time for your marriage happen?
I'm a firm believer that investing in your marriage needs to be an everyday occurrence. A date night a few times a year is simply not enough to keep our marriages in a healthy place. We need to be spending time each day, even just a few minutes, connecting with our spouses and building our relationships to stand the test of time.
This month we are celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary and I'm convinced we've never been happier. Every year our relationship gets better because we make it a priority. That isn't to say we don't have the occasional struggle - but because of the foundation we have put down these tense times last only a few hours, rather than days or weeks like they might have otherwise.
I think one of the biggest contributors to the strength of our marriage is that we make fun a priority. Think of your strongest friendships - you have fun together! The people you have fun with are the people you want to continue to spend time with on a regular basis. Marriage shouldn't be any different - and really I believe your spouse should be your closest friend.
You may also enjoy:
Micah and I built our friendship and eventually our romantic relationship on having fun together. We were friends for nearly a year before we were an official couple and we've kept the fun rolling right through our marriage.
What is fun for you and your spouse might look different than what is fun for another couple. For instance, my parents LOVE to go camping. We went all the time as a family and now that all of the kids are grown and moved out they still go camping as a couple on a regular basis. Getting out together in the wilderness, sitting around the campfire, and going fishing are all things they really enjoy. The same cannot be said for us ;)
So while actual activities might vary, here are five ideas for bringing more fun into your relationship.
1. Find a hobby to enjoy together
Micah and I collect LEGO. Yup, two thirty somethings that have a pretty decent sized LEGO collection. We build the sets together, taking turns on each step. It's team building and an activity we both enjoy.
We also do our fair share of co-op gaming. We enjoy all the LEGO games as well as Mario games that allow us to work together towards a common goal. Teamwork and fun = a good time for us!
LEGO and video games might not be your thing. But what about hiking? Or home improvement? Maybe reading books and discussing them? Grow a garden? Try a cooking class in your city or just try a new recipe together at home. The possibilities are endless!
2. Keep flirting
Technology can have it's downsides in a relationship, but one of the best things to come out of it is the ability to send fun messages to each other. GIFs have become one of our absolute favorite ways of flirting. We often use clips from our favorite TV shows like New Girl, Scrubs, Brooklyn 99, or The Office to say hi, wiggle our eyebrows, or drop an inside joke.
GIFs or flirty text messages not your thing? Leave a note where your spouse will find it like in his lunch bag or on the bathroom mirror. Whisper "I love you" as you walk by and quick tushy squeeze is always a good addition ;)
3. Keep dating
I know, I know! Babysitters are hard to find and it gets incredibly expensive to go out all the time.
Did I say you need to go OUT on a date? Nope. At least 75% of our dates are at home. It's just the way things go. We watch quite a few movies together and anytime we put away our phones and focus on the movie is a date for me. When the phones come out and we are only kind of paying attention to the movie, it ceases to be a date. It's about being intentional with our time and using our phones is not being intentional.
Not all dates need to be a movie night at home though! Have a game night. Share a dessert after the kids go to bed and keep all electronics put away. Build a fort and just talk to each other.
The important thing is making the time to spend time being with one another, not necessarily the activity. This Take Back Date Night bundle can help get you and your spouse on the same wavelength for dates plus gives you 52 date night ideas - both at home and out on the town!
4. Bring in some healthy competition
We may enjoy co-op video games and building LEGO sets that require us to work together, but we are also both first borns and love some friendly competition. I usually lose, as whatever we are doing is often something he's better at, but it doesn't mean we aren't having fun!
You could even make a small wager for choosing where or what to eat for dinner, who is in charge of bedtime tomorrow, or maybe loser washes dishes?
5. Never stop woo-ing your spouse
Yes, I already said to keep dating and keep flirting to keep the fun alive, but woo-ing is a completely separate thing all on it's own. It's doing those sweet things and expecting nothing in return. It's remembering a special date and surprising your spouse with a treat. It's doing the dishes or making breakfast when she was up all night with the baby. It's packing his favorite snack in his lunch bag.
Um, Katie? I thought this was supposed to be about fun?
Who said sweet gestures can't be fun? Fun doesn't need to be laugh out loud hilarious adventures. Fun can simply mean enjoyable and pleasant. Something that brings a smile to your face and gives you a good memory.
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to bust out the controllers and try to beat Micah at Mariokart again. Maybe if I distract him somehow I'll cross the finish line first ;)