Peter’s couple therapy blog

Couple time ideas part 4

Many a marriage expert (or possibly your own preconceived notions) would have you believe that you need to spend huge blocks of so-called quality time working on Life’s Most Important Relationship to keep it going strong. For most of us living in the real world, however, those just-the-two-of-us candlelit dinners and deep, soulful talks don’t fit into a regular routine. And that’s okay. The fact is, marriage is in the details: the little stolen moments you two share each day. Need inspiration?

INSTRUCTIONS

One way of handling the number of ideas in these four posts is to print or write some of them, cut into strips, fold and place in a cookie jar. Then take turns pulling one out each week or fortnight. That way you remove the issue of intitiative and the one who picks it delivers.

Try any — or all — of these sweet and romantic ideas, most of which take no more than five minutes and will keep you crazy in love. Retrieved and edited from magazines.ivillage.com 17/04/06.

The original article was written for the heterosexual woman so you will have to fit it to your gender and and sexual preference. Use your imagination.

77 Ideas for time poor couples

1 Tell him why he’s so much sexier now than when you first met him.

2 Pat his leg when he passes your chair on the way to let the dog out.

3 Bring him a cup of freshly brewed coffee when he’s up late working.

4 Watch The Three Stooges with him without even once asking “What’s funny about this?”

5 Develop code gestures for when you’re out in public or with family or friends that communicate pre-agreed warnings or exit signals or love and hugs.

6 Get up with him a half hour earlier than usual and use the time to talk, meditate, make love or just read a book together, side by side.

7 Link up your screens and leave him a love message for the day.

8 Plop onto the sofa and give each other simultaneous five-minute foot massages.

9 Play “your” song on the stereo when he walks in the door after a sweaty bout with the brush cutter.

10 Farm the kids out to their friends’ houses one night every month. Note: Double-check to make sure that they’re all gone on the same night.

11 Play a game of strip Yahtzee. (Watch out for the large straight.)

12 Never underestimate the power of a sudden passionate kiss before dinner.

13 After driving his car, refill the tank.

14 Once in a while, go ahead and wear the lingerie he likes — even that thong you wish you’d never bought.

15 Get him a gift card for a free coffee at his favourite cafe and slip it into his bag when he’s not looking.

16 Hold his hand at parent-teacher conferences, football games and school recitals.

17 In bed at night, make sure to touch at least one part of his body, even if you don’t go for full-tilt spooning.

18 Smile across the pillow at him first thing in the morning.

19 Go grocery shopping together and pick out something really luscious for dessert.

20 Then sit on the couch with your legs entwined and take turns feeding it to each other.

21 Don’t ask him if he thinks you look fat in that dress.

22 Brag about him to your friends when you know he might overhear.

23 If you’re up late, take 10 minutes to go outside and look at the stars together.

24 Strip down and go skinny-dipping with him whenever humanly possible.

25 After supper, ignore the dishes and slow-dance in the living room.

26 Ask him to slowly and gently brush your hair.

27 Write a magnetic love poem on the refrigerator about the day you met him.

28 Call his mom up sometimes just to say hi.

29 Go ahead — tell him your favorite dirty joke.

30 Develop a secret language based on things you’ve shared (for example, use “jiffy love” to mean your spur-of-the-moment, five-second groping sessions).

31 Tell him three reasons you think he’s a great father.

32 Meet him with a big fluffy towel when he’s getting out of the shower, and give him a rubdown from head to toe.

33 Take the television set out of the bedroom, and bring in some candles and satin (or flannel) sheets.

34 Mention that your old boyfriend has gotten really fat and bald, and that you thank God you married an eternal stud muffin like him.

35 Get him those funky gel soaps, moisturizers or loofahs you know he’d totally love but wouldn’t be caught dead buying himself.

36 If he has to go on a business trip, slip your sexiest lingerie into his suitcase.

37 Listen to him when he’s unhappy but without giving advice, even if you have to bite your tongue to keep quiet.

38 Help him make time for puttering around the shed, working on his golf swing or doing whatever else he loves.

39 Give him plenty of sweet, sloppy nicknames just for special times. (Don’t let one of them be “Dad.”)

40 Whisper in his ear sometimes, even if it’s just the grocery list.

41 Now and then, take lunch at the same time and have a picnic.

42 Knead his neck when he’s driving.

43 On cold winter days, warm up his clothes near the fire or in the dryer before he puts them on.

44 Hug him when he’s washing the dishes.

45 After you’ve gotten your hair cut or colored, don’t ask him, “So what’s different about me?”

46 Instead of drinking your morning coffee at the breakfast table, sit together on the couch, shoulders touching.

47 Now and then, lug out the old photo albums or run a slide show on the laptop, and remind each other of how much fun your life together has been.

48 If possible, try to arrange to carpool together to work.

49 Say no to outside activities that sap too much time and energy from your marriage, such as joining school committees and planning boards.

50 Don’t argue in bed. If you’re mad at bedtime, get up and have the discussion in another part of the house.

51 Together, tell the kids the story of how you met.

52 Surprise him with a take-away dinner and a movie.

53 Crank up some mood music.

54 Write your birthday and anniversary dates on his calendar, along with week-ahead reminders to give him time to plan something special.

55 Read the same books. That way when you pass each other in the hall or on a leg of the kid-taxi service, you’ll have something thought-provoking to say.

56 To nurture your marriage, make sure you’re nurturing yourself, too. Take a few minutes every day to close your eyes and sit quietly, stretch or indulge in a hot, scented bath.

57 For his birthday, make an impromptu card using cut-out photos of the two of you.

58 Gossip with him about other couples you know, and tell him why he’s so much more handsome/nice/considerate than the other guys.

59 Buy him a sport cap with his all-time favorite team’s logo.

60 Blow him a kiss whenever you pull out of the driveway.

61 Give him a body-part-of-his-choice massage before he climbs out of bed in the morning.

62 Perfect the art of The Quickie before going to work, while the kids are out, or when the two of you are changing clothes for any reason.

63 Go to a playground and push each other on the swings.

64 Surprise him by vacuuming up all the kid-produced crumbs in his car.

65 When you’re both busy at home, try to be busy in the same room. Some of the best conversations are born that way.

66 Tell him all the things that you can’t wait to do with him once the kids are grown up and out of the house.

67 Ask him to polish your toenails.

68 Listen, riveted, when he describes a football or baseball play in minute detail, even if you haven’t the slightest idea what he’s talking about.

69 Give him (and yourself) a gift certificate for a handyman service so you can get the gutters cleaned or the faucet washers on the sink replaced without having to take time away from your marriage.

70 Ask him to zip up your dress, then stand extra-extra-close while he does it.

71 When you’re using hand lotion, tell him you’ve put too much on and you need to rub your hands against his to sop up the extra.

72 Leave kisses, hearts, and the words “I love you” in lipstick on the bathroom mirror.

73 Before going to sleep, read him a selection of torrid love scenes from your favorite romance novel.

74 Oh, go on — make out in public occasionally.

75 Kiss all ten of his fingertips while he’s watching television.

76 Figure out what works to defuse a looming argument. Try making a funny face, giving him a big smooch, unbuttoning your shirt or talking like Donald Duck.

77 Put down your fork at dinner, lean across the table, look him right in the eye and say, “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.”

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