Keep your love alive (and chocolate on hand) all year long.
Valentine’s Day is only 24 hours, once a year. So how do you keep the love growing in your relationship year round? It takes some work and it’s not always easy especially when you're tired and had a busy day.
But imagine a relationship where real connection, chocolate, and love notes are common, not the exception.
Here are the top 15 ways to keep your love alive and make it even better after Valentine’s Day. Doing these every single day is how love grows:
1. Don’t pet your dog first.
How many times do you walk in the house and your dog gets a kiss and smooch before your spouse does? Be sure to greet your loved one first, before the kids, before the dog or before you get a snack.
2. Get rid of the mess.
Who likes to come home to a messy home? No one! Taking a few extra minutes to make things nice and tidy for your spouse. Doing this oozes with "I'm ready for you to be home". And this works for him or for her.
3. Flowers aren’t just for special occasions.
Not everyone loves flowers but most do and we don’t know a guy who wouldn’t love a balloon bouquet with a love note attached!
4. Keep the element of surprise alive.
A new place for dinner, a surprise camping trip, a room cleaned out, a garage newly organized, taking the kids for an hour or two of "free time", a back massage. Keep the element of surprise alive in your relationship.
5. Have consistent date nights .
We cannot express enough how important this is. Even when Bethany went through her cancer journey we still took one time a week where we went out, just the two of us. Once a week — that’s right, keep it consistent. (Or as consistent as you can.)
Your kids need to see your love grow and the only way for love to grow is if you spend time together. Believe it or not, it makes your kids feel safe, knowing that mom and dad love to spend time together!!
6. Send love notes.
Make it a goal to send at least 1 love note a week. Either through a text, note on the mirror or letter on their steering wheel. Try a theme to the notes like, "52 wonderful memories I have with you" or "52 reasons why I love you!"
7. Invest in your relationship.
Don’t let this year go by without going to a marriage seminar, class, or retreat. These programs are designed to bring you closer together.
8. Get a Ph.D. on your spouse.
Make it a goal to learn everything there is to know about your spouse. Be inquisitive. Know their love languages, their favorite color, their favorite candy and of course their 2 Money Personalities. (Click here for access to the free Money Personality Assessment).
9. No more "Yes, dear."
Don’t pacify your spouse. It isn’t nice and it doesn’t help with your connection. If you don’t understand where your spouse is coming from--ask questions. If you can’t finish a job for your spouse then tell him/her you can’t and when you do plan to finish it.
10. Defend each other.
We all need to know our spouse "has our back". Defend with love and honor.
11. Brag about your spouse.
Once a week, either to a friend or colleague be sure to brag about your spouse. It will come back to your spouse and boy does that feel good!
12. Refuse comparisons.
The grass is always greener on the other side — another person may have shinier hair, or longer legs or a thinner waistline. Make a conscious decision not to compare. You found the love of your life, don’t forget it.
13. Maintain great eye contact.
Nothing says, "I care" more than great eye contact. Nothing says, "You don’t matter" more than wondering eyes. When your spouse speaks, listen, and give the gift of great eye contact.
14. Start and end each day holding hands.
Ahhhh, how sweet is that? Be one of those couples that you see who really love each other after 50 years of marriage. Take each other's hands and say, "I love you" or
Thank you for doing the dishes" or — if appropriate — hold hands and pray together.
15. Don’t raise your voice.
Who likes to be yelled at? No one. Just don’t do it. The dog doesn't like it, and neither does your partner. Shelve the shouting.
Have a Happy Valentine's Day, all year long!
Scott & Bethany Palmer, The Money Couple, are financial planners, authors, and speakers who help couples tackle money issues in their relationship. Grab a copy of "The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language," and take the FREE online Money Personality Assessment.
This article was originally published at The Money Couple. Reprinted with permission from the author.