We’re decidedly pro-sex here at Thriving Marriages, just in case you were wondering. I say that because today’s post from Sheila at to love, honor, and vacuum is a lot of things – insightful, romantic, practical – but it’s also pretty sexy, especially toward the beginning. Hope it – ahem – inspires you this week.
It’s Valentine’s Day month!
And I believe that we can make Valentine’s Day last ALL month, because this is a special February. This one has 29 days. So let’s do something different!
In fact, I’m doing something different today. Usually I have my “Top 10” posts on Tuesdays. But since today is the beginning of Valentine’s Day month, I decided that we should launch it today!
I’m a big believer in marriage, and so I want to share with you 10 ideas–all of them very different–that you can start TODAY and do for a whole 29 days. Why settle for just one day of love when you can make it last for 29?
So choose the idea that would work best in your marriage, and DO IT!
Sexy Ways to Connect for Valentine’s Month
1. Work through 29 Days to Great Sex!
Four years ago today this blog exploded. My traffic went up tenfold just over the course of the month because of my 29 Days to Great Sex series, which I wrote leading up to the release of my book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex.
If you never did that series, today’s a great day to start! Directed at wives, there are challenges everyday that will help you get to the point where sex really is awesome in your marriage.
I turned this series into a longer book, 31 Days to Great Sex, with challenges directed at couples. I turned some of the days in the original 29 into “time outs”, added several more challenges, and changed the slant so couples can work through it together. If you’d rather have it all in one place, with extra challenges and with things your husband can do, too, check out the book form! (and best of all, the ebook version is only $4.99!)
2. Try a Different Position Each Time you Make Love–can’t repeat one this month!
Want to spice things up in the bedroom? Make a pledge that this month you won’t make love in the same position twice! That’s a fun way to try new things and add a bit of adventure (and a lot of laughs!) And who knows, you may even build your flexibility.
The rules: You have to START in a new position. You don’t have to FINISH in a new position. After all, many women have one or two “go to” positions that feel the best, so just use the new one as foreplay, if necessary, and then you can always switch around. But let him know that you want to keep things fresh, and even spontaneous!
3. Buy Some New Satin Sheets
Make your bedroom brand new! Buy some new romantic sheets or bedding that you can enjoy all throughout the month. Okay, you may have to do laundry, of course, but you can make it feel extra “special”.
4. Revel with the MELT Massage Course
I absolutely love the MELT Massage videos! It’s an online program where you get access to all of their step-by-step instructions on how to give a sensual–and therapeutic–massage.
Just touching each other can bring us so much closer together. And massage relaxes you, releases toxins, and helps you feel oh-so-wonderful.
Ever since I hit 40 I’ve found that if I don’t get a regular massage, I’m in pain. So massage has become a regular occurrence in our marriage. And Denis Merkas shows in these videos exactly how to give an amazing massage–with lots of tips to keep it romantic, too! Each video is just a few minutes in length–you watch it, and do it. By the time you’ve finished one series of videos, you’ll know how to give a half hour routine.
But if you’d rather just do a 15 minute routine, or if you only have time for a 5 minute routine–Denis shows you which strokes you should use for those, too!
When I watched the videos for the first time we learned a ton about what we were doing wrong. We were starting too hard–going right for the knots. We weren’t using the right kind of massage oil. And I wasn’t even positioned properly! With his tips it’s totally changed, and now Keith gives almost as good a massage as my massage therapist.
Romantic Ways to Connect for Valentine’s Day Month
5. Write a love note everyday–28 Things I Love About You
Everyday, give your husband a boost and tell him a NEW thing you love about him, or a memory that you enjoy with him. Write it on a note (you can even cut it into hearts) and stick it somewhere he’ll find it. Maybe in his lunch, or in his pocket, or with his keys. Try to pick a different place everyday so that he starts looking forward to finding them.
6. Everyday text or email a picture of 28 memories
Here’s a variation on the love note idea: instead of writing notes about what you love about him, send him a text or an email everyday with a different photo, and tell him why you love that particular memory. Celebrate the life you’ve made together!
“Build Your Relationship” Ways to Connect for Valentine’s Day Month
7. Start a Hi/Lo Marriage Daily Check In
As I shared in 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, it’s DRIFTING that’s natural. Staying close takes work! So what are you doing to stay close?
Many couples only communicate about FACTS, the things that are going on in their lives, or about OPINIONS, or what they think about things. To really know each other we have to share our feelings and our vulnerabilities. Here’s a relatively easy way to do that: everyday, share what your highlight was and what your lowlight was.
But my husband and I put a little bit of a twist on it. We don’t just share when we were happiest or when we were most miserable; we think instead about when we were most “in the zone”–when we felt the most at peace, the most satisfied, the most like God was working through us. And then we share when we were troubled, or out of the zone.
It helps us reflect ourselves and see patterns of where God is working in our lives, but it also helps us to know what’s going on in each other’s hearts!
Read more about how to implement this new marriage habit.
8. Walk Every Day
Do you find that screens eat into your together time? Do you find that you don’t talk very much because of netflix or video games or television?
Take a walk everyday after dinner! It will give you time to talk, and you can even do it when you have young kids. Just stick them in the stroller and go outside. We started walking when our kids were small; we found they were much quieter when they were in a stroller. And it gave us time to connect.
Bonus: Combine walking with sharing your hi/lo for the day for added intimacy!
9. Start a Big Fun Game or Puzzle
Spending time together playing something rather than watching something creates shared memories in a much more tangible way–and gives you a chance to laugh together and talk, too!
So what about starting something that will take a LONG time to finish–and then challenging yourselves to finish it in February? Say a 5000 piece puzzle.
Then at the end of the month you can say–we did this together!
When my husband and I were traveling around in our RV this fall and winter we started a Medieval War campaign computer game (it’s more strategy than hacking off limbs, don’t worry!). We’re playing the Venetians, and we’re almost finished. But it’s been on ongoing game, and I’ll always remember this year as the year of the Venetians!
Don’t want to do ONE thing for a whole month? Then how about making February the “let’s play games” month, but trying new ones? I’ve got a list of 2-player board games here.
10. Bedtime Routine–Go to Bed Together (and at a Decent Time!)
What about making February the month of the 10:00 bedtime? Or the month that you decide, “after the kids are in bed, we don’t use any screens except for Friday night at home date night”?
With kids we have bedtime routines–we have a snack, take a bath, read a story, sing a song, say prayers, give kisses. It helps kids make the transition from daytime to nighttime.
Adults need bedtimes, too! Instead of staying up on screens until you’re tired, decide, “I’m going to go to bed in time to get 8 hours of sleep.” But that means going to bed even earlier! If you want 8 hours of sleep, and you have to get up at 6:30, that means going to sleep at 10:30. So this month, head to bed with your hubby at 9:45. Take the next 45 minutes to snuggle, to talk, to share your hi/los, to pray as a couple, and to read Scripture together. And, of course, you can always make love!
Go to bed early enough that you have time to connect. Spend that last hour together, rather than on screens. And get enough sleep. And you’ll find you don’t just feel more romantic. You feel more energetic!
There you go–10 ways to make Valentine’s Day last all month!
It doesn’t need to be just about flowers or chocolates. You can decide that this month you’ll prioritize your marriage and start something new to help you keep close, love each other a ton, and prevent that drift.
Happy February everyone!