Written by Bethany Bartholomew
You know those couples. The Instagram couples with picture-perfect vacations. The Pinterest couples with the most well-thought-out and creative date nights and family events. The ones who can surprise each other every anniversary and never seem to repeat date ideas.
And looking at those “perfect” couples can make you feel discouraged. Maybe you don’t have time (or the resources!) to take your spouse to Paris for a long anniversary vacation. Maybe you don’t have the funds to buy your spouse their favorite things every day leading up to Valentine’s Day to make it a huge event. Maybe you don’t have room in your schedules for even a half-day getaway.
That’s ok! Most of us don’t.
Spontaneous may seem like too much to ask. Togetherness may feel like another to-do. Date night may keep getting postponed. Valentine’s Day may be stressful. Your anniversary comes and goes before you can plan anything big enough to qualify for a proper celebration.
But it doesn’t have to feel overwhelming! Not everything has to be over-the-top to be great.
Find your everyday instead.
If you’re going to be married all day every day, why not take advantage of that time? Instead of focusing on the huge and grand and oh-so-amazing, just focus on your together moments you fit in each day for a few minutes here or there.
Find something fun to do with your spouse that is just for the two of you. And schedule it every single day. No pressure if you have to skip it a few times here and there. No consequences. No hurt feelings. But put somewhere in your planner or your phone a time when you do something specific to the two of you.
It can be anything. For example, my husband and I recently heard about an online quiz that challenges you to know the names of all the counties in a US state. So we decided to memorize the names of the counties in our state.
Random, I know.
But we have had so much fun trying to remember our counties each night. We laugh about the ones that are hard to pronounce or silly sounding. We plan out how we’ll remember them all. These are all related to people’s names that we know. These are related to food. These are like landmarks. And so on.
So find your “counties quiz.” It can be putting a few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together, reading a few pages out of a book, or learning the lyrics to a new song. Whatever you want!
You can talk about each of your hobbies and find something fun for both of you to do together. Try finding new board games you’ve never played before. Or spend time planning your dream vacation together—where you would go, how long you would stay there, what you would do in each place, etc. Or take up frisbee golf at a nearby park. Or walk around the mall trying to find the most ridiculous outfits you each could wear. Or watch all the seasons of your favorite TV show together.
And if you can’t think of anything, try remembering what you liked having in common back when you were dating. What did you do on dates together? What was your go-to activity when you got bored in the afternoons together? Where were your favorite places to hang out?
Just find anything that is specific to the two of you. Find something completely unrelated to work or any of your other responsibilities. Find something fun. Find something random. And make it yours.
As you establish patterns of togetherness, you’ll create lasting bonds that help you both feel loved, cherished, and noticed. Making a plan for being with your spouse every day shows your spouse that you want to make them a priority in your busy life. And having a routine can help you both take the stress off of trying to do something grand for all your date nights.
Of course, the routine will get thrown off here and there. And don’t let it worry you! Be flexible with your expectations. If you know in advance that something is going to get in the way of your planned together time, let your spouse know. You can plan another time when you can do your just-the-two-of-you thing that day, or you can decide to spend an extra few minutes doing your thing the next day instead.
Just choose your everyday thing that gets you both excited to see each other for a few minutes. A few minutes away from daily stresses and schedules and struggles. A time when you can reconnect, relax, and revisit the things that make you happy to be the unique couple you are.
Get into a comfortable, casual habit of togetherness every day. And save those Pinterest posts and Instagram ideas for a time when you both want to put in the effort to make a big deal out of a big event.
“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.”
You Know You Want to Read
Everybody Loves These