Romance is simply thinking of your spouse above all others when it comes to time, attention, generosity and kindness. Your spouse should never feel that they come in second place to your other priorities. Of course there are seasons when it is necessary to do otherwise, but it should be the exception and not the rule.
This got me thinking about what it is romantic couples do on a regular basis that other couples may have neglected in recent years. It is never too late to turn up the romance in your marriage, and here are ten ways to get started.
- You keep your appearance up the way your spouse likes it. I know of one couple who have been married 60+ years. She still puts on her makeup, including lipstick, everyday because her husband loves it. That’s romance.
- You make it a priority to know what is on your spouse’s schedule and do what you can to help them accomplish it.
- You listen when your spouse is telling you about their day. This includes putting down your screens and looking at them.
- You plan romantic surprises that they will love, not necessarily what you would want them to do for you. Sometimes we can do things for our spouse in an underhanded way to show them what they’re not doing for us. This is a romance killer—don’t do it!
- Let your spouse know that making love is important to you by making the first advance. This can start in the morning and last all day long. Flirting is always practiced by romantic couples.
- Plan regular dates where you can connect heart to heart. Go the next step and plan the whole evening ahead of time: babysitter, where to go and what to do.
- Pay attention to their off-the-cuff remarks. Often times they will say what they really wish they could do in this way, but they don’t think it’s a priority or affordable. The most romantic memories we share are when we made something happen that the other didn’t think was possible.
- Be kind. Open their car door. Rub their shoulders after a hard day. Bake their favorite dessert. Buy them their favorite drink and hand deliver it. Call them and compliment them on something they’ve done recently. Kindness begets kindness. And romance grows strong in the soil of kindness. Be their biggest fan!
- Keep your promises. We have heard many women say there is nothing so romantic as a man who washes the dishes. If you said you would do something to help your spouse, make sure you do it and do it well.
- Don’t do what you see other couples doing without studying your spouse to see what they want to do. We can miss getting to know our spouse because we make assumptions. Your spouse is unique and so is your marriage. Romance is cultivated when both of you are focused on pleasing each other, not copying what you see or hear other couples are doing.
Being romantic isn’t hard, but it requires being intentional.
Romance Prompt: Find a couple you see who are romantic and ask them over or to go on a double date. Spend time asking them what they’ve done to cultivate romance in their marriage. Commend them for the example they’ve been to you, and then offer to buy their meal, if you’re able. It’s good to encourage couples you see doing things right for it builds humility and gratitude in your own heart, and it edifies them for doing something well.
Gratefulness is the first step towards change. In what ways are you grateful for your spouse?