To strengthen unions, marriage experts advise couples to "make weekly dates" or "go away on a couple's weekend." Those are great ideas, but let's be realistic: how often can busy couples expect to drop everything and get away? These 11 quick and simple ways to express love let busy couples rekindle romance among the chaos of everyday life.
1. Embrace your past. Assemble a scrapbook together, pull out your wedding video, or write your own personal romance story. Reliving special memories together is a great way to strengthen your bond.
2. Be kids together. Have a pillow fight, challenge each other to a game of hopscotch, or cuddle on the couch and laugh as you watch cartoons.
3. Wrap your mate in love. While your sweetie showers, sneak his towel into the dryer, and as he steps out, wrap him in fluffy warmth. Or use the same idea to warm her feet when she snuggles in bed on a chilly autumn night.
4. Speak the languages of love. Surprise your "amante" (Italian for "lover") with some international sweet talk. Access an exhaustive list of ways to say "I love you" in different languages at www.electpress.com/loveandromance/iloveyou.htm.
5. Write love notes to each other. Spell it out in his oatmeal with raisins, on her dashboard with yarn, or use lipstick on your bathroom mirror. Compose your own poem, borrow a verse from Song of Songs, or just write "I love you."
6. Turn on the charm. Who says you have to stop flirting once you're married? At your next party, wink at him across a crowded room, or slip your arm around her as you make social small talk. That personal connection amid the crowd is like saying, "This is great, but I'd rather be with you!"
7. Connect online. E-mail your spouse throughout the day, just to say you're thinking of him.
8. Remember the little things. When you step in to help with the day-to-day "drudge" chores—making dinner, bathing the kids—your spouse knows she's appreciated and loved. And completing a chore for your sweetie frees more time and energy for the two of you to enjoy other activities together.
9. Send it snail mail. Take time to write an encouraging note, slap a stamp on it, and mail it. Your spouse will love the surprise—especially since it won't be a credit card bill or junk mail!
10. Celebrate everything. Most couples celebrate the anniversary of their marriage or first date, but how about the anniversary of your engagement, or first kiss? (If you don't remember, make it up!) There have been all kinds of milestones throughout your relationship, so mark each one with flowers, a card, or a romantic interlude.
11. Just say it. Your spouse needs to hear those three simple words daily. Whisper it, sing it, shout it. Say it.
Beverly Dillard, a freelance author, lives with her husband in Georgia.
Copyright © 2005 by the author or Christianity Today/Marriage Partnership magazine. Click here for reprint information on Marriage Partnership.