With Valentine’s Day coming up, I get caught up in all the feels of celebrating with my love. I know many people believe it’s a made-up holiday for florists and candy companies, but I’ll take any chance I can get to tell my loves that I love them. For our family, that usually means we celebrate together … all 5 of us. Valentine’s Day usually falls on a weeknight and we typically have all of the activities anyway, so cooking a meal at home together (or grabbing a heart-shaped pizza) and adding a few special heart touches has usually been our thing. We don’t go all out and typically keep it fairly simple. This is totally fine, most of the time, but sometimes (especially during the love holiday), I’m feeling a little disconnected from the hubs and am looking for something a little more than what a family Valentine’s Day celebration allows, if you know what I mean. 😉
We are usually running from one thing to the next with no real-time for intentional date nights. I realize this is the season of life we are in, and mostly we embrace that with a few date nights sprinkled in when we can. I have a mile-long list of fun dates nights around Kansas City, but I was taken aback a little when I was forced to sit down and really think about ways to connect with my significant other when there really is no time for a date night. I hate to admit this out loud, but we’ve gone months without a one-on-one date night. Gasp … I know a simple google search will yield no less than 1 million reasons why dating your spouse is important for your relationship. I get it. I always feel more connected after a night out sans kids. But that is not our reality right now, with three kids involved in all the things we barely have time to speak to each other let alone escape for a date night. Please don’t get me wrong, I am so very thankful for this season of life while our children are home and know that regular date nights will return to our lives in the future. I also try to remember that a clean car and house will also return to my life someday … but that’s an entirely different post.
So, if Valentine’s Date Night is not on the agenda this year here are few ways to connect with the one you love anyway. I feel it’s easiest to just pick one and go from there. A little effort and change can go a long way in the connection department.
Ask questions beyond, “how was your day?” Thought-provoking questions show that you actually care. Plus, knowing your spouse and sharing your life with them is part of marriage.This can be difficult sometimes as I hate cheesy, forced questions, but when we can achieve authentic conversation about life I feel re-energized. Sometimes it’s as simple as devising a plan of action on how we’ll conquer the week together, but it brings me joy and comfort to know that I’m not tackling it alone.
Plan the Future
I always enjoy talking about things we’ll do in our retirement and our upcoming vacations. It’s fun to plan things together as simple as a family night out or as extravagant as a vacation. Planning for the future gives you something to look forward to together. In our family, our current looking forward to is our upcoming Spring Break trip to Florida. Thinking about and planning this gives us life right now during these cold dreary winter days.
Relive a Memory
In our house, we like to talk about the day each of our girls was born. Our girls like to hear the story of their birth and it’s also great to relive that memory as a family so each child can feel how special we think they are and the blessings they brought to our family. I never feel closer to my husband than when I see our girls curled up in his arms listening intently as he tells them about their birth story. Another crowd favorite in our house is the story of how daddy proposed to mommy. I love it because it reminds me that my husband can be romantic (maybe that will return when the kids are older … hmmm) and they love to hear that one, too. We are now at the point where my oldest can easily re-tell the story herself.
It’s a great feeling to know that you always have someone on your side no matter what. Be that person for your spouse. Be their cheerleader, their biggest fan, and their ultimate supporter. You are their person and they deserve that from you. What amazing confidence you will give them and it will have a trickle-down effect on your relationship.
Connect Throughout the Day
Grabbing lunch out or even a simple text to let them know you are thinking about them is a great way to stay connected with your spouse. On another related note, turn off your electronics when you’re together. For us, we rarely get time together alone, so when we do it’s important for us to be intentional with that time. Show them they are the most important person in the room when you are with them.
These are just a few ways that work for us to stay connected in this season of life. I find that when I embrace the season of life we are in, I am more content in what comes with that season. I know that someday we will return to our favorite pre-kids date nights of happy hours and movies in the theater, and I want to make sure that I am looking back fondly on previous seasons and not regretting my lack of intentionality in them. So, for now, I will do little things to stay connected to my spouse, knowing that bigger things are not far away.