Celebrate Love Today

Today is Valentine’s Day so lets talk about what that means to you.

Are you the kind of person who thinks Valentine’s Day is just a bunch of hoowie? Just a way for consumers to spend money and retail is the big winner?

Maybe you are the type that really enjoys Valentine’s Day and all the gifts that could come with it.  Romantic dinner, flowers and candy!  Go ahead honey go all out for me kind of day.  One of the few times your spouse really puts some effort into romancing you.

Do you dread Valentine’s Day because it puts a lot of pressure on you to be more than you normally are?  You feel you have to do something or your spouse will be upset, but really you wish it would go away because you do not seem to live up to the expectations of your spouse.

When we were first married, we did not have money to get gifts for each other.  I am a gift loving romantic.  My husband is not.  I was lucky to get a card and that might have been all for many years.  We were so busy trying to build our business that we really did not have time for Valentine’s Day.  He was working in the evenings and I was working during the day so it was almost like “never the two shall meet” kind of life for a while.

One solution we had to this is we would celebrate Valentine’s Day every four years on Leap Day.  Every Feb. 29th we took time off and scheduled a date with each other.  The first one was a picnic lunch and then we went to the movies.  Then we went thirty minutes out of town for dinner and spent the night at a hotel.  On Valentine’s Day we gave each other cards and move on to a regular day.

Nowadays, we do both.  I don’t need $50 – $100 flowers to feel special so he goes to Costco and picks up a $20 – $25 bouquet.  We have cards and most of the time he gives me a gift from one of my favorite stores.  I used to get him gifts too but throughout the years I have learned that he either returns my gift or doesn’t really find value in it.  He is not a gift man, he is an acts of service man.  So if I take his truck to get washed and detailed then he really appreciates that. If I make his favorite dessert or give him a gift certificate for someplace he likes to go to and have an adventure then he is good.

~In case you have not read Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages I would recommend that you get it and you and your spouse read it together.  Or it is on audio so you can listen to it together.

~If you are looking for some quick, easy and inexpensive ways to date your spouse go back to my posting “21 Inexpensive Dates” to get some ideas.

Like I said I am the one who likes the romance.  I have dream dates that will likely never happen.  Like my husband arriving at the office in a limousine, dressed in a tuxedo with the bouquet of flowers to whisk me off on a romantic getaway.  My luggage is packed with a beautiful new dress that is perfect for me and of course the cutest shoes and handbag to match.  He has handled all the necessary issues with kids, pets and work and we leave our cell phones off and we take time off to just enjoy each other.

Who wants this for themselves too?

What is your dream date look like with your spouse?

The main reason we choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day is because in marriage it is easy to get stuck in our same old comfortable routine.  Every holiday/event day should be celebrated so that you commit to take the time away from the regular and step into discovering more ways to have fun with your spouse.  It does not have to cost you money, it will however cost you time.

Learn a new card game to play, pull out a board game and play as if you have nothing to lose or relate it to your life right now.  Invite friends over for a potluck, make it a time when you invite singles over to your home so they are not alone.  Get creative and have fun finding ways to be with and discover more about each other.  I still learn things about my husband and we have been together for almost twenty four years.  I make a conscious effort to learn more about him because he is growing as he does new things in life and I change so I can look at things he has done forever with a new view on it.

If you think Valentine’s Day is hoowie then make sure to find time to connect with each other on a regular basis.  Love the romance then go all out with what is in your budget to do.  Keep the pressure out by communicating with each other about what your expectations for this day or romance in general. You will have a much better time with each other.

Today I wish you the kind of love your heart is meant for.  Whether you are married or not, in a relationship or not, find something today that expresses love.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love you.  Go out and do something you like for you or do something for someone else.  Buy some kids valentines cards and hand them out on the street.  Anything to get you to celebrate love today.  Enjoy celebrating love today.

Goals In Marriage – Why Bother

I am a goal master!  I set goals in all areas of my life.  I have all of my clients set goals when working with me.  This has become my way of life for many years.  It has gotten me from the welfare mom to the successful business owner that I am today.  With that being said, one area that is often forgotten when setting goals is in your marriage.  I believe it should be the first place to set the goals but I understand why it is not often put as a priority.  I mean come on, if the relationship is going well and all feels good then why would we need to set goals?  “Don’t fix what isn’t broken” kind of mindset with setting goals in marriage.

I don’t know about you but happily ever after has not shown up in this marriage.  I mean the challenges we have been through in our marriage have been so many that I sometimes think that there is no such thing as an easy marriage.  If there is, it didn’t find its way to my front porch!  With that being said I want to be clear that I am not complaining about my marriage.  I am just being honest about the fact that we have had a lot put onto our plates that we were not prepared for nor ever thought we needed to plan for.

I was a facilitator with a seminar company for many years. In that time, hundreds of people would set goals to have a better relationship with their spouse.  They would say “I want to have a number ten relationship with my spouse”.  What did that really mean?  When asked what that would look like for them, the attendees would often describe how they wanted the outcome to be at the end of a 10 week period of working on this goal.  Very rare if ever, did I hear anyone say they wanted to sit down and set goals with their spouse so they both could work on the goals together.  It was more about what I am going to do and hope she/he would see the difference.

What goals have you set with your spouse lately in regards to your relationship?

I want to be the first to tell you “Your marriage will be more successful if, you work with your spouse on the goals you both want to achieve.  Doing so will help you achieve the kind of marriage you want!”  I discovered a while back that when I am working secretly on a goal with my husband and he does not know anything about it, I do not have his support and chaos is sure to ensue.  There have been times when I thought I was on the right track but since he did not know what my plans were, he made other plans and my goal got interfered with!  Often causing resentment and in many cases, hurt feelings!  Unless you are planning a surprise party or like this is not the strategy to a successful marriage.

How can you set goals and have your and your spouse on the right track in marriage?

Here are a few questions you could be asking to get the ball rolling to a fulfilling marriage. 

Each of you sit down and ask yourself these questions then come together and share your thoughts with each other.

  • What do I want our relationship to look like in the future?
  • How will I know when we have succeeded?
  • What is something I have always wanted to do as a couple?
  • What do I miss as a couple from our dating years?
  • How I want you to respond to me when we do not agree?
  • What romance looks like to me? (her)  or What respect looks like to me? (him)
  • Specifically, what I would like to see us accomplish this year is…

After getting together and sharing these answers, sit down and set some goals for this year.

Goals do not have to be complicated!

Some examples of some marriage goals:

  • To say I love you and kiss you each morning and evening.
  • Send her flowers once a month for the year.
  • Leave a love note in his car each day before work.
  • Read together each night.
  • Never argue in front of the kids.
  • Every three months we get away for a night without kids.
  • Lunch date every week.
  • Each month we will go over finances and plan for the next month.
  • Hire a housekeeper to come in once a month to do deep cleaning.

What would be a goal that you might or have set with your spouse?  Share here.

Sometimes your spouse will make the bet accountability partner when setting goals.  Sometimes it is better to get someone else from the outside to help you keep your goals with your spouse.  You can include another couple and then the four of you could check in with each other once a month via pot luck or double date and support each other in having a strong and healthy marriage.

My husband and I go over calendars in the beginning of each year and plan our confirmed vacations and important dates.  This way when something comes up and you have been invited to do something you can look at see if your calendar already has a priority on it.  Your spouse and family is always your number one priority.  If something comes up that is a once in a life time opportunity then talk with your spouse and work it out!  Communication is always the key to being successful in marriage.  When you set goals, plan your calendar around those goals and keep open the lines of communication then you are on the right track to a successful marriage.

If you need some support in setting some marriage goals, reach out and ask me.  I am always supportive for a successful relationship!

21 Inexpensive Dates With Your Spouse

Being in relationship with your spouse or significant other can get lost when so much focus is on success and work. Here are 21 inexpensive ways to connect, be together and keep your relationship as important as anything else in your life.
Over the years I have found that my husband is not looking for me to get him the most expensive gift to keep him in love with me. He wants to know that the relationship is important and I will be there for him when he needs me. Doing more little things with him throughout the year keeps us connected and supporting each other in our relationship.
It takes time to plan and put effort into your romantic life. You might want to dress yourself up a little, write a note, or just think about how you want your attitude to be while you’re together. If you want your spouse to enjoy being with you, make your attitude enjoyable.
Taking on one of these tips each month could create romance all year long. Enjoy these tips and feel free to share one of your own.
  1. Be a tourist and go around your town and rediscover your town and rediscover each other. Likes, dislikes, passions and so on.
  2. Visit a local museum or art gallery, look around, share with one another which items or pieces of art you like and don’t like.
  3. Go to a fancy restaurant after you’ve eaten dinner at home and just order dessert and coffee.
  4. Light candles in your bedroom, get a bottle of warm massage oil, and give each other massages.
  5. Hire your kids to make you breakfast in bed and serve you both.
  6. Go to a local coffee shop together and talk about all the ways in which each of you feel blessed these days, as well as your hopes and dreams for the future.
  7. Find a cookbook, pick out a delicious looking meal or dessert, then make it together.
  8. Play board games, cards or do a crossword puzzle together.
  9. Go to a community play, sporting event or a school concert.
  10. On a Saturday morning, make breakfast together, take it back to bed and eat and then snuggle together.
  11. If you have a wood burning fireplace, set out a blanket, play music, make a fire, and make popcorn or S’mores in the fireplace.
  12. Read a book out loud to one another.
  13. Take a blanket outside somewhere (or even on the roof) and stargaze with your sweetie.
  14. Make a date and both of you create a dream board for your relationship together.
  15. Put your favorite hot beverage into a ‘to-go’ cup, bundle up, and go on a walk together at a nearby park.
  16. Feed the kids early and rent a movie for them to watch. While they are watching movie have a candle lit dinner for two and then invite the kids back for dessert.
  17. Set up a tent in the back yard and camp out for the evening. Lay out and star gaze and enjoy each others company.
  18. Set a date in the middle of the day while the kids are at school or napping. Enjoy sandwiches and cuddling.
  19. Trade off with other couples for babysitting and date nights.
  20. Invite another couple to a pot luck and discover more about your friends in the process.
  21. Bring your minds together and discover an inexpensive date together.

What date looks inviting to you? What is an inexpensive date you would suggest that is not on the list?

Just A Little Less Togetherness

My husband and I live together, work together and play together. Sometimes we need just a little less togetherness. Do the many things with your spouse as you should and take some time for you too.

When my husband and I first met we were friends and built our friendship over the years. I learned to love him, cherish him and know that we need a break now and again.

By taking a break I am talking about getting away to regenerate. Take time with friends, or get away by yourself and relax. A getaway for and hour to get yourself a manicure and pedicure. An evening dinner with a friend can do a lot if you and your friend are not talking about spouses. A weekend getaway to relax is a wonderful way to jumpstart your energy to stay committed to yourself and your spouse.

Now let me just say in order for you or your spouse to get away there must be a level of trust you both have for each other. If you are away and your husband is home wondering if you are being faithful or going crazy partying it is likely that he will not enjoy the thought of you getting away and vise versa. If you are always wondering while he is away then you will not be happy. Make sure you both build that level of trust and keep trust high on your priority in your relationship. Trust can be easily broken and it takes a long time to rebuild.

Find things to do to get away. Pick something within your budget and keep your priorities straight.

Be it short and sweet or long time break you both deserve the time to regroup and recommit! Remind yourself why you are together and what is important in your marriage.

Here are some of my favorites:
Dinner out with the girls
Movie – alone or with a friend
Going for a walk in a park
Shopping at a mall/outlets out of town
Weekend at a spa/hotel/
Separate vacations
Week out of town by self or with a friend

I want to say this… If you are an extrovert and want to get away for a quiet week… start with a weekend as you may not be so happy with the quiet time alone. And if you are and introvert… be careful to not get so lost in the quiet that you have a hard time fitting back in when you get home.

Find what rejuvenates you so you can replenish and then get back into the grove of the life you have chosen. Make sure you and your spouse get time to regroup and come back together and make your marriage better today that it was yesterday.