Your spouse is your number one partner in life, but the day-to-day grind of work and life can get in the way of your fun relationship. If the spark and chemistry aren’t quite what it was when you started dating, don’t worry, it’s normal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a small effort to make your spouse’s day. Doing so improves your relationship, makes your spouse happy and doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some fun ideas to get you started.
Take a moment to tell your partner why you appreciate them
In your daily life, it’s easy to take your spouse for granted. Maybe they go to work for eight or more hours per day to support your family. Maybe they take care of the laundry and other household tasks. Whether you fall into traditional gender roles or forge your own path, in the rhythm of daily life you may not even notice how much work your partner does that improves your daily life.
Take a few minutes to say thanks and tell your partner you appreciate what they do. It’s free, and only takes a little thought and a few moments of your time. At the end of a long day, it feels great to know that your efforts are noticed and appreciated. If that recognition comes from someone you love, it has even more meaning and impact.
Plan a surprise date to help make your spouse’s day
One of the most fun memories I have with my wife was an early dating anniversary, where I planned an entire day of surprises and fun that included visiting a local wilderness area, building a fort in our living room, lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant, and an evening cuddling on the couch with a favorite movie. I turned the day into a fun scavenger hunt, and the entire cost beyond a little planning was minimal.
I made up clues and printed them out myself, bought some snacks at the grocery store for our home-based activities (about $5), and had a Groupon that made our fun, outside-the-norm lunch about $20 for two. For an entire day and a wonderful memory, my budget was just $25.
Cost: Varies – can be as low as $20
Flowers… just because
I recently took a trip to Dallas for a blogger conference, and on the way home from the airport picked up flowers for my wife (and a tiny bouquet for my daughter). They were not expecting the flowers and it gave them both big smiles.
“Just because” flowers make a much bigger impact than Valentines and anniversary flowers, as those are rarely a surprise. For a spouse, roses are always the best way to go, as they are a long-time symbol of love. Have them delivered to your partner’s workplace to get some extra brownie points when your spouse gets visits from jealous coworkers.
Cost: Starting at $49 for delivered roses
Take care of a chore you don’t normally handle
Does your spouse normally vacuum the house? Maybe they usually do the lawn mowing or dusting? Take care of something they normally do and make it a surprise, to score a big win in making your spouse smile.
At least once every week or two, I try to pick up an extra job around the house. I normally take down the trash and mow the lawn, so I try to add in help with the laundry or other cleaning to take a load off from my wife’s busy week. It only takes a little time. You’d be amazed how much scrubbing a toilet to give your partner a break can make their day, and it only takes a few minutes.
Take them on an adventure, their style
I like science fiction movies and startup-related speakers and events, but my wife has far less enthusiasm for either category. If you really want to wow your wife (or husband), plan an adventure that is all about what they love, not what you love.
Maybe it’s a cooking class. Maybe it’s a romantic movie. Maybe it’s a baseball game. Whatever it is, make it about them. Relationships and marriage are a two-way street, and ensuring you give, and don’t just take, will help you enjoy a long and successful relationship.
Cost: Free (sometimes)