I’ve been with my hunk of a husband for 8½ years. I’m often asked how we keep it fun and lively. How do we always seem to be happier than a turtle on a skateboard? I could respond with the bland, basic answer of being a good listener, going on dates, and sharing life goals. And if you look up “How to keep a marriage fresh,” those are usually the kinds of answers you’ll find. That stuff works, but I like a more creative approach.
My husband and I share the ideal to never be in a rut. That doesn’t mean the monotony of daily routine doesn’t sometimes creep in and put a damper on romance and whimsy. It happens. But there’s a few things we’ve discovered that work for us. They’re a bit different, and I thought I’d share them for any other couples who need new insight.
Here are the three unconventional ways I keep my relationship fresh and fun…
1. Daily goof-off time
I’m lucky enough to work the same schedule as my spouse. We both arrive home around 5pm. Whether our work days have been busy, slow, or stressful we don’t let it affect our evening with one another. A couple of years ago we came up with what we call “daily goof-off time.” Daily goof-off time is the period right after we get home where we act like silly juveniles. We chase each other around the house, play tag, dance, fake-karate fight, or play hide-and-seek. It’s a time where we put our workplace baggage on the shelf for the evening and lighten the mood.
I’m a firm believer that laughter and playing is a vital part of any relationship. Too many people assume that once they’re an adult the fun is over and that it’s only acceptable in society to be serious. False. You can be responsible without having to grow up completely — make a little time for it each day.
2. After-work sex
(If you’re my brother or one of my grandparents reading this, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SKIP TO #3 NOW!)
When relationships begin sex happens ALL THE TIME. I know, I remember all too well that steamy night 8½ years ago when the mister and I had sloppy, tequila-fueled, college sex for the first time. Several months after that the infatuation was still hot but dimmed month by month, year by year. After moving in together we assumed the frequency would increase but with both of us working, training for half-marathons, cleaning the house, etc. we’d be too tired and fall asleep. Days without sex turned into weeks without sex and we decided we needed a change. Now we are still just as busy as before but do the deed before anything else. We make time for it when we still have the ummm, energy. Our relationship was strengthened by doing so and our bond even more.
3. Unplugging from technology
I’ll be the first to admit that I am addicted to my phone. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… like herpes, they’re the gift that keeps on giving. I’ll find myself with my nose buried in my Facebook newsfeed while my husband is talking. “Are you listening to me?” he’ll ask. Those are the moments I’m ashamed. Life is happening NOW. Our phones will be there later during downtime.
Pick-up games of basketball? Naked dinner dates? Bubble bath time? What are the unconventional ways you guys keep your relationships fresh?