We seem to have a particular affinity for traditional, old-school things in our house. I embrace traditional real food preparation methods, I prefer old-school toys and games for kids, and I enjoy old-fashioned family values like sitting down to the dinner table together.
As it turns out, we’re also kinda old-school in our love life too. We’re coming up on our twelfth anniversary this spring (which is nuts, really) and instead of kicking it up a notch in the romance department, as seems to be the trend in our culture, we’re actually getting intentional about lowering the bar a little.
No huge and public displays that cost a bajillion dollars. No fancy and expensive gifts (can’t afford ’em anyway). No pressure and crazy expectations that only end wind up becoming a let-down.
In other words: our romantic efforts are not worthy of a viral video on youtube.
They’re simple. Old-fashioned. A couple of lovers, exhausted from the daily grind of life with young kids and chores and working to pay the bills, just digging in and connecting on a heart-level, day after day.
Sometimes, the rut gets wide and we get stuck. Sometimes we let our irritation and exhaustion from the day nudge its way in where it doesn’t belong. Between us. So back to the basics we go.
When we remember to do these sorts of things? When we actually give them a fair shake? They’re intoxicating. Those happy, romantic hormones get fired up, and the mood in the home is noticeably better.
At 2, 4, and 6, the kids are still too young to understand the complexities of a marital relationship, but they do know that everyone’s in a better mood when Mommy and Daddy are being lovey-dovey to one another.
Here are our five favorite old-school romantic moves that are all-too-often neglected:
1. Candlelit dinner
Our family actually loves to eat dinner by candlelight on a regular basis, but a candlelit dinner becomes uber-romantic by one simple act: making alternate dining arrangements for those sweet, darling children of ours. A nice meal, including dessert, with candles. The perfect setting for heart-to-heart reconnection.
It’s a post about romance – you had to know it was coming. For those of us who have been married a number of years and had a bunch of kids, lingerie may just have taken a backseat as of late. I’m bringing it back, baby. Uh, after I find it in the back of my closet, that is.
You know the sweet spot. You know the thing that’ll make your partner swoon. Flirty texts? Baking their fave treat? A little “just because” gift? Grabbing his butt in the kitchen while cooking dinner and dancing to Taylor Swift? A 30-second back rub for no reason at all? Do all of the above, or do just one thing. Be cheesy or be serious. Just get flirty.
The “well, duh” item on the list that is highly underrated. Kissing doesn’t get enough attention, but its magical romance powers are not to be forgotten. Some couples commit to kissing daily for 10 seconds or longer. In other words – lock those lips!
5. Heartfelt notes in cards
My number one favorite thing to receive from the hubs has always been – and will always be – a simple card with his heart spilled out in words. He doesn’t do it often, which makes it even more meaningful.
I have no hope of receiving this sort of thing on a regular basis, but if I get it once a year I’m a happy woman. Being the more word-full one in the relationship, this comes a lot more easily to me.
What’s your favorite old-school romance move?
This post is sponsored by Hallmark – masters of the classic old-school romantic card tradition. Check out what they have to offer.
Oh man. Man. I needed this. We just finished an international special needs adoption and now have 3 kids… A 3 year old, a 1 year old, and a 13 year old who is developmentally about 3 months old. Babysitters are out of the question for bonding reasons and we have had a terrible time building any kind of connection with each other. I think intentionality is key… We aren’t going to have tons of romance time so we need to really make the most of what we have.
Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
Kissing, yes! That’s a big one for my hubby and I’ve tried to take note. Long hugs are nice too 😉
One thing you can do to make solo candlelight dinners together more frequent is letting the kids eat their dinner and then eating separately after they go to bed. It’s a nice change of pace (certainly for moms who are used to every meal being interrupted ten times).
Red & Honey
That’s a great idea, Lisa! Thanks for weighing in.
We never eat by candlelight and we definitely should! I’m going to break out the candles tonight!
Red & Honey
Woohoo! Glad to have inspired you, Paula.
Amy @Home & Farm Sense
This is great Beth! I am coming up on my 25th wedding anniversary and we are “old school” too (the 18 kids probably has something to do with that…). Love tip number 3…:)