As much as we work on ourselves and our personal growth, nothing nourishes the soul more than sharing this with another person. So why do we take our relationships for granted? Why do assume they'll always be here, and expend our energy chasing the dream, when in most cases...the dream is already here?
In today’s society, we're encouraged to move fast, and to covet what we don’t have, instead of nourishing what we do have. We can damage beautiful relationships if we don’t give them the attention they deserve. Much like a plant needs water, love and attention, so do human beings!
Right now, I'm conducting an experiment in my own life. My husband and I have been married for almost ten years, and we came to realize that we hadn’t taken a vacation without our daughter (who is eight) in at least five years.
It’s so easy to get caught up in a routine which eventually sours if we don’t try something new. It's so important to get away for a night or two, let go of the family responsibilities, and date your spouse again!
You don’t have to go anywhere to feel the effects of a night or two by yourself--even if it's just grabbing the keys to a friend’s apartment for a night while they are away, I highly recommend it!
This weekend, for the first time in way too long, we did just that. We left our daughter with my parents, and drove an hour away to enjoy a mini-vacation. I limited my check-in calls, as I knew my parents would be in touch if they needed me, and agreed to let loose.
(I didn’t get that crazy, just took a break from my phone and email.)
This was an amazing experience. But it wasn’t just about that one night, it was an agreement we made to give our relationship the attention it deserves in many ways.
Here are a few ideas to nurture your relationship and date your spouse:
1. Plan a surprise getaway.
Pick a date, place, or even and surprise your spouse. Or ask your partner to do this for you. Just that element of wonder adds a little spice to life!
2. Talk more, watch less TV.
Instead of watching television at night, try to set aside a few nights a week to do things together for your wind-down time. Try something new, such as listening to music, or making a vision board together... how you both would like to see your life in the future? Listen to a book on tape or read to one another. Try playing cards or a board game.
Mundane things like cleaning up after dinner, or folding the laundry are not so mundane when you do it together, and add talking about your dreams, desires and fantasies. You can discover so much about one another that you may miss otherwise. Take time to communicate!
3. Share your desires, goals, and dreams, and write them down!
We may have no idea what the other is thinking unless we ask. And try not to put fear or pre-judgement in your way! If you think your spouse will not be open to one of your ideas, that is an opportunity to plant a seed. Be optimistic and think your spouse may entertain a new idea, and I guarantee your conversation may go better than expected.
4. Develop a spiritual practice with your spouse.
I can’t express how important this is, and what a difference it makes to trust in a higher power with your partner. Just by sharing a belief system with someone and practicing it together strengthens your connection.
5. Share some hobbies!
To truly nurture our relationships, it’s helpful to have a hobby to do together. This doesn’t have to get complicated! Maybe it’s bike riding, bowling, or collecting art. Maybe you take a cooking class together, or decide to take a course at your local college or high school.
Join a book club, take an art class or a wine course together, or start going to concerts or the theater. Get certified in scuba diving! The options are endless when you think outside the box, say goodbye to your old routine, and invent a new one!
My husband and I are experimenting with some of these ideas. I will keep you posted, and hope you give some of them a shot! We are intended to be happy, and the best way to follow up on that intention is to start in our home, and nurture our loved ones.