So many couples get caught up in their busy lives or in hurt feelings and drift apart and feel lonely and disconnected. But what we truly desire are those fabulous feelings of togetherness and joy that are typically associated with the holidays. During those times, we gather together to ring in the New Year, exchange our Valentines, hunt for Easter Eggs, BBQ while “Oohing” and “Ahhing” at fireworks in the summer, dress up and go Trick-or-Treating, gather together to count our blessings (while stuffing ourselves with turkey) and then exchange gifts at Christmas time. But the real question is why do we need a special holiday to take a moment to spend time with the person we love when it is possible to have fun with our partner for the rest of the year? All it takes is some planning and a good attitude!

Time spent alone with your spouse as a man and a woman is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship. After all, you can’t very well stay in love if you don’t spend one-on-one time together. It is during these personal moments that you develop good communication and show affection. You also get a chance to resolve any issues.

So, what can you do to stay better connected with your partner throughout the year? Here are some ideas:

1. Take a risk and try something new together: Ballroom dancing, bungee jumping or maybe just planting a garden together. (For some couples, that’s risky enough!)

2. Sometimes the simple things are best: Walk hand-in-hand through the neighborhood; share a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) while snuggling on the porch.

3. Pack a lunch, jump in the car and head out for a scenic drive. You may or may not have a destination; have an adventure, look around and enjoy the view. Then stop, take a brisk hike (or a leisurely walk!) and have a picnic.

4. A small, private bonfire, a bag of marshmallows, and two sticks make a perfect way for just the two of you to spend time together without spending a lot of cash. If you don’t want to light an open fire in your back lawn, (could be messy in some areas), borrow a fire pit from a friend or neighbor and enjoy a quiet night together under the stars.

5. Speaking of stars, stargazing is another opportunity to spend time outdoors without spending money. Gather binoculars, plus a few pillows and blankets, then add a pair of comfortable chairs that allow you to lie back and look at the sky.

6. String Christmas lights around a patio or backyard (No, silly, it doesn’t have to be Christmas time to put up Christmas lights!) and/or light several candles around the same area and have a romantic dinner for two. Consider putting on some tunes and slow dancing a bit….. One thing may lead to another and oooh la la!

7. Speaking of which, take a cue from the youngsters and “sext.” The written word can be an easy and powerful way to transition into more sexual adventure — sort of like storytime for adults. Consider reading erotic stories in bed or text your significant other with a few lines from your favorite story throughout the day. It may give you ideas to try the next time you have a weekend alone, and at the very least, it can help you explore fantasies and use texting as foreplay.

8. Cook a fancy meal at home, dress up and have a date - just for the two of you.

9. No need to hit up the adult emporiums when you have all the makings of a sex-filled night in your own kitchen. We all know about chocolate syrup and whip cream but what about making your own body sugar? Mix about two tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar with your favorite flavor (e.g., freshly chopped basil, cinnamon, cocoa powder, or vanilla sugar) to taste. Sprinkle on your partner’s body and lick away! (By the way, this is definitely not the time to count calories….).

10. Or, send your spouse a love letter. Write down all the things you love about them and why, given the chance, you’d marry them all over again!

In the end, the key is not to stress about finding time alone together. If you keep a positive attitude and stay grateful for all the good things in your life, you’ll find the time and you and your partner will be happier than ever.
Have you any activities that you and your spouse do to spend time together? Please comment below.

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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,
StrongMarriageNow.com