Hey guys, here’s a heads-up: Valentine’s Day is less than a week away. You might already be well aware of that and have been wracking your brain trying to come up with something extra special to give your wife this year. Or maybe you think Valentine’s Day is a big racket invented by the greeting card companies and you’re feeling frustrated that you’re supposed to come up with something “romantic” to do year after year. It’s also quite possible that you’re thinking “Uh-oh!” because you’ve totally forgotten about it in the crush of post-holiday season catch-up at work.
Wherever you stand on Valentine’s Day, know this: whether we’re celebrating a holiday or not, your wife needs to feel loved and romanced by you. Every day of the year, she needs to know that she is your one and only, that you’d choose her again. Very simply, she needs to know that you love her.
It might surprise you to know that your wife doesn’t feel forever loved and happy just because you declared your forever love and married her. In fact, 82% of women in our research have an unspoken question about “am I loveable?” and “does he really love me?” that doesn’t go away in marriage.
Your wife is asking that unspoken question every day, and you are answering it “yes” or “no” every day—whether you realize it or not.
Answering that question “yes” in the little things of life—on Valentine’s Day and every day—is the way to truly romance your wife and make her feel secure and happy.
Here are four ways to do that.
Real-Life Romance Action #1: Continue to go on dates.
You might have thought you were off the hook for initiating the date nights out or other activities that were designed to win her over before you were married. But you’re not! She’s a smart woman, and she has realized that the best way to ensure that your attention is pulled away from the house/kids/yard/work and focused on the two of you, is to have time together. That makes her very happy.
Having dinner with your small group from church, taking her to a company party, or going out to breakfast with the in-laws is great, but isn’t a date. She needs (and deserves) your undivided attention. Set aside schedules and projects for a few hours. Escape the busyness of life and just enjoy being together.
The good news is: dates with your wife don’t have to be extravagant, complicated, or meticulously planned. They can be simple, casual, and inexpensive; matching your schedules to grab lunch together, meeting for coffee while little Jessica is at ballet, or getting a babysitter and going to a movie. Dating your wife is an investment that pays big dividends in the long-term health and happiness of your marriage.
The important thing is that your wife feels special, pursued, and loved. Because of her hidden vulnerability, your wife’s “I do” will always mean “Do you?” Dating her keeps her answering it well.
Real-Life Romance Action #2: Spend time together, regardless of what you’re doing.
It turns out that spending time together strengthens your marriage, no matter what you are doing.
This is where breakfast with the in-laws or dinner with your friends from church does count. This is where doing a hobby together, sitting on the couch and watching TV, or hiking with the kids does make a difference in your marriage. In fact, spending time together is a powerful predictor of a happy marriage, according to survey respondents from the research for my book The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages. Survey results showed that 83% of “very happy” couples spent time together at least weekly.
Finding ways to connect and strengthen the friendship between the two of you will always make your wife happy.
Real-Life Romance Action #3: Put down your phone, turn off the TV and listen to her—so it’s obvious that you’re listening.
Want a quick “wow” from your wife? When she starts sharing something important about her day or is telling a story about how her sister stood her up for lunch again, stop what you’re doing, put your attention on her, and listen.
Make a point of showing her that your attention is on her. For example, if she’s upset about something that happened at work, sit down at the kitchen table instead of continuing upstairs to change out of your work clothes.Pull out a chair and sit and listen—and pull out a chair for her as well. Put your phone on the counter, so you aren’t distracted. She will feel very loved.
Real-Life Romance Action #4: Do the little daily things that say, “I would choose you all over again.”
You chose a wonderful woman to be your wife. She needs you to keep choosing her. And you can do that with the simplest actions. Like putting your arm around her in church. Like taking her hand when you are crossing a parking lot. Like calling her for no reason, just to say hi. Like apologizing when you’ve been in a funk and reassuring her that the two of you are okay. Like sending her a text message during the day that says, “I was just watching some drama play out at work and feeling so grateful for how kind and generous you are. I really scored when I met you. I love you.” We promise: she will screenshot and save that text message.
The good news is: even if you hadn’t realized how vital these actions are to making your wife feel loved, now you know. They are super simple. You can start right away. And what better time than Valentine’s Day? Review this list again and think about the specific ways you will give your wife the gift of real-life romance—of love, security, and happiness—on Valentine’s Day… and every other day of the year.
This article was also published at Patheos.
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