Written by Bethany Bartholomew
It’s summer, which means family reunions, friends’ weddings, game nights, double dates, triple dates, and more. It’s so fun to be able to get out and hang out with friends and family when the sunshine lasts a little longer and the nights feel a little warmer. And it’s always a good thing to get out and spend time with the people you love.
But, inevitably, especially in large groups, people seem to split off into different groups and different conversations. One conversation might be happening around the kitchen table. Another might be on the back porch. And even before people start to separate out, there are tons of different conversations with different people all going on at the same time. How do you stay close to your spouse when there are so many people all wanting to talk and all going different directions?
Here are some quick tips for staying together even when you’re not physically near your spouse.
1. Make Eye Contact
If you and your spouse are still in the same room even though you’re both part of different conversations, it’s easy to grab each other’s attention just for a brief second. And, of course, looking for a handsome man or beautiful woman that you’re already madly in love with is always fun to do in a crowd anyway.
So find your spouse and flirt! Wink at them. Make a face. Blow a kiss. Wiggle your eyebrows. Mouth the words “olive juice” to each other (it looks just like you’re saying "I love you," but only the two of you know the silly secret). Do something that’s quick and just between the two of you. You can jump right back into whatever conversation you were having, but that brief couple of seconds of eye contact will mean a lot.
2. Talk about Them
Once you’re married, your entire life changes. Everything you do somehow involves your spouse. So it’s easy to find stories to tell that involve your spouse. This is your chance to tell an exciting tale about an adventure (or even just a fun date) you went on together or to laugh about how you accidentally texted “I love you” to your spouse in a group message instead of in a private message to your spouse.
Try to say something positive about your spouse at least once in each of your conversations. It will help you stay connected to them even if you haven’t gotten a chance to talk to them face to face in the past hour. And it’s an important way to build trust in your marriage. When your spouse knows you say positive things about them, they will feel better about themselves and more trusting of your conversations without them, even if you’re participating in one of those unpredictable conversations with a gaggle of giggling girls.
READ: 3 IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT FORGIVENESS IN MARRIAGE
3. Touch Each Other
Physical touch is a quick and sweet way to connect in a group setting. Go grab a drink of water and squeeze your spouse’s hand on the way over. Stop and give them a quick shoulder rub on your way back from throwing away your napkin at a family lunch. Find a way to “accidentally” bump into them while you’re all playing some kind of sport outside. Anything from a quick kiss on the top of her head to a flirty pinch on his backside is a fun way to say “Hey, I’m thinking of you. Love you.” Of course, you’ll have to be aware of who’s watching…
4. Catch them Off Guard
Maybe you’ve all finished eating dinner as a family, and you found the candy bowl for dessert. Surprise your spouse! Yell, “Think fast!” and toss them a piece. Or maybe you’re gathered around a table playing board games with friends, and your spouse is on the other team. Time for a distraction! Play footsie under the table (but make sure you’ve got the right foot!) and throw in a wink or two.
Or maybe you’re sitting with a bunch of friends talking when your spouse walks by in the middle of another conversation. Include him or her in your own conversation for a second with something like, “When did we go to that one restaurant again?” or “But he’s really better at telling that story. Right sweetheart?” Little moments like this are a great chance to tease or just to make your spouse feel like they’re a part of what you’re doing.
READ: 10 WAYS TO CHOOSE JOY IN MARRIAGE
5. Steal away for a Few Minutes
Sometimes, even with all the teasing, talking, touching, and eye contact, you still feel in need of some good “us time.” That’s okay! Sneak away for a couple of minutes of conversation on the patio. Or take a quick walk around the block to hold hands and talk. Or ask your spouse to help you grab something from the car and then steal a quick kiss.
Being with friends and family is great, but there’s no harm in taking a few minutes to be alone together. Take the time that you need to recharge and reconnect before jumping back into the fun and excitement with the rest of the group.
So the next time you find yourself in a crowded room and feeling desperately far away from your spouse, just try a few of these tricks. Or make up your own! Inside jokes, silly faces, code words—whatever you want to do that’s specific to the two of you. Go enjoy that time with friends and family while still feeling close to the one that matters most.
Photo Credit: Crooze Photography
“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.”
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