Oh my, only 26 days until Valentine’s Day! Are you stressing out yet? A little dramatic, I know, but for some couples, planning Valentine’s Day is a big deal. Where I live, if you want to have a nice dinner out, you have to make reservations weeks in advance. However you feel about Valentine’s Day, it is important that we set aside some time to recognize those we love in a special way.
You may be the type that says, “I don’t need a holiday to show my love for my spouse; I do it anyway.” Well, I am here to tell you, your spouse may disagree. Because Valentine’s Day is usually about big, fancy dinners and gifts, it can create a lot of pressure, too. I have found that romance isn’t just about grand gestures! There are sweet little things you can do to remind your spouse how very loved they are. Here are a few tips that will help you spoil your spouse any day of the week.
Give more kisses
Try giving your spouse a quick kiss when they enter a room, or when you leave one. Don’t get carried away with this or it will seem manufactured and not genuine. A few surprise kisses every once in awhile will go a long way.
Bring home their favorite take-out
This works. We have four kids and an active lifestyle, so having to plan and prepare meals during the week can become quite a burden. Surprise your spouse with a text message that says, “Don’t worry about preparing dinner tonight; I am taking care of it.” This will be a big relief.
Clean something up
Does your spouse have a certain room in the house that has to be clean or they’re unhappy? Are they the one that usually has to clean it up? One day when they are gone, without saying a word, whip it into shape and let them discover what you have done.
Leave love notes
Put a meaningful note into their purse or briefcase. Stick post-it notes on the mirror, the inside of their windshield, their pillow…literally anywhere. Not a writer? Well, send a romantic text! The key here is you are taking the time to show them you were thinking of them. This is also a great idea for kids. My kids have saved notes I left for them months ago.
Let your spouse pick
I have counseled more than one person who told me they wish that their spouse was more interested in the activities they enjoy. One way to accomplish this is by taking turns in sharing each other’s activities. So let them choose the restaurant, the movie, the activity. It’s as easy as, “You pick this time!”
Ask what you can do
If you have been married for any period of time, asking this can be tricky. Your spouse may say, “Honey, why are you asking me what you can do, don’t you know by now what you could do to help?” But for the sake of offering a generally acceptable approach, you should try it. You can also ask, “Can I get you anything?” or “What can I do to make your life easier today?” Both of these questions are going to earn you about a million brownie points with your spouse, and make their day brighter, too.
Put your phone away
This absolutely drives me crazy. I can’t tell you how many couples I see that sit across from each other at a restaurant with their phones plastered in front of their faces. There is absolutely no conversation going on. Isn’t spending time with each other more important than keeping up on social media for just one hour? Make a habit of putting your phone away and give your spouse your undivided attention.
We all have things we appreciate about our spouses, but we don’t necessarily let them know what that is. Does your spouse know what you value most about them? Tell them, and if appropriate, say it in front of close friends. We usually have no problem bragging about our kids, but often fall short when it comes to our spouse. We should definitely brag about our spouses more.
This is another small romantic gesture that we simply forget to do. Simple, yet powerful. Try it when you’re at a restaurant, or sitting next to each other at church, a social function on the couch at home. It will mean a lot.
Slip a gift card into your spouse’s wallet
Does your spouse have a favorite lunch or coffee spot? Is there something you know they have been wanting to buy? Imagine what a nice surprise it will be when they open their wallet and find a gift card and know that you put it there.
Call or message them just to say, “Thinking of you”
I know someone who has an odd little tradition. Anytime he or his spouse notices that the clock reads “11:11”, they send a quick “I love you” message. In fact, they can simply text “11:11” and they both know what that means. You’d be surprised how often it happens, and it’s a sweet exchange between the two of them that keeps the romance alive. You may have your own “secret code or gesture” that reminds you of your love and appreciation for one another. You should use it regularly. It is important to have some fun and keep your marriage fresh.
You can see that none of these ideas are particularly difficult to do. I have tried them all and they work. It’s just an issue of being mindful in the moment, and soon they’ll become habits that will delight your spouse. It is important to spoil your spouse on a regular basis, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not. They deserve it!
Do you have suggestions of your own? Tell us in the comments.
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