There are a lot of people who aren’t fond of Valentine’s Day because they feel that you should show love for your significant other, family and friends all year round, not just one day. I will continue to love Valentine’s Day because I love holidays and I love the opportunity to be a little more intentional in the way that I love those around me. But I’m with all of you who feel that your spouse deserves to feel loved and know that you love them all year long. So in honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a list of fourteen different things you can do to make show you love your spouse no matter what day it is!
14 Ways to Show Love to Your Spouse All Year Long
Use their love language
If you’re not familiar with The 5 Love Languages, they are the ways that we give and receive love in all relationships in our lives. The love languages were developed by Gary Chapman and they are quality time, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation and receiving gifts. Once you know what your spouse’s love language is, I would challenge you to find one way, small or large, that you can speak love to them in their language each and every day. Start by taking the love languages challenge. It will help you learn your love languages and how to be more intentional with them!
Make date night a priority
I’m a huge advocate for regular date nights in your marriage. Date night is any time that you set aside to intentionally spend time together and connect as a couple. I personally feel that date night is a time to have fun together and do something outside of your usual routine. We make weekly date night our goal, and try to get out of the house together for date night at least twice a month. The rest of those date nights are something planned out and intentional at home after the kids are in bed. I would challenge you to define what date night looks like for you in your marriage and make it a habit again.
Create a daily connecting ritual
Life is busy and it can be so easy to let your daily tasks and the “business” side of your marriage take over. You and your spouse deserve to connect on a deeper level each day and to feel pursued and loved and like a spouse, not just a business partner. I would challenge you to find one thing that you can do together every single day to connect and continue to date each other throughout every stage of your marriage. We loved going on late night walks early on in our marriage, but now that we have kids and can’t leave our house after they’re in bed, we’ve changed that ritual. We love to sit out on our roof or on our deck together and talk during the warmer months of the year. When it’s colder outside, we sit on the couch in our front room and drink hot chocolate together instead.
Find a hobby you can share
Do you have a hobby that you participate in together regularly? I know some couples who play tennis together weekly or who go to the gym together every morning. Other couples love to travel or explore the area that they live in. Maybe you and your spouse like food and decide to eat your way through all of the restaurants near you or cook your way through a cookbook or blog together. Some couples play video games or go to see all of the new movies in a certain genre. I would challenge you to find something that the two of you both enjoy and participate in it together. Study your hobby, do your hobby and enjoy your hobby together!
Surprise each other
Many couples become so familiar with each other and that comfort is good, but I would challenge you to find little ways to surprise each other on a regular basis. Whether that’s surprising your spouse with their favorite treat, or a date night activity that you’ve never done before, or even an adventure or a trip. Find ways to surprise each other and keep the novelty alive in your relationship.
Physical touch is important in any relationship, whether it’s your love language or not. Research has shown that people need eight meaningful touches every single day. I would challenge you to take every opportunity to give your spouse a hug. It can be a short, brief hug or it can be a long embrace, but find times to hug your spouse. Hugs release stress and let your spouse know that you care and are there for them.
Share at least one 10 second kiss each day
Have all of your kisses turned into pecks, unless you’re in an more intimate moment? Do you remember back when you were dating and you couldn’t kiss each other enough? I would challenge you to grab your spouse and give them a long, dating days type kiss at least once a day. A lot of people grab a quick kiss on their way out the door or in passing because they have their mind on whatever they need to get done. Taking a few extra seconds to really kiss your spouse is not going to derail your day and it will show them that they are a priority to you.
Look for ways to serve your spouse
Acts of service is my love language so this is something that comes naturally to me, but I think it’s something that everyone can do in their marriage. Your service can be something small, like throwing your spouse’s towel in the dryer and bringing it to them warm when they get out of the shower. Or your service could be bigger like filling their car up with gas and getting a car wash while you’re out running errands in it. I would challenge you to find one thing that you can do each day to serve your spouse and make their life just a little bit easier.
When your spouse is talking, really listen to them. Put down your phone, stop whatever task you are doing and give your spouse your full attention. Rather than thinking about and formulating your response to what your spouse is saying, truly listen to what they have to share with you. I would challenge you to make this a goal in your marriage and be more aware of how you’re showing up for your spouse in conversations.
Get away overnight together
We live for our twice a year overnight getaways. For 24-48 hours, we set aside all of our parenting, work and homeowner responsibilities and we just enjoy our time together. It’s like an extra long date and we love it. Every time we come home from an overnight getaway, our relationship feels rejuvenated and our love for each other is refreshed. I would challenge you to plan an overnight getaway or small vacation together, then follow through with your plans.
Learn your spouse’s “usual”
Do you know what your spouse orders when you go out to eat, if they stop for a drink or when they want a treat? Knowing your spouse’s usual can help you surprise them with lunch at work or a drink after a long day. I would challenge you to make a list of the things you know your spouse loves at different restaurants,
Have fun together
Set the business of life aside and have fun together! Laugh at ridiculous memories, go to an amusement park, spend the day playing with your kids, and just take time to enjoy life. Don’t let your relationship get too serious. I would challenge you to take time to do something fun together ever day, even if it’s just laughing at ridiculous memes or silly YouTube videos before bed.
Give your spouse a night off
Each week I try to have one night when I don’t request anything of my husband and just let him relax, do what he wants and play with the kids. There’s always a honey do list and I could easily fill every evening with tasks and every day off with projects, but I try not to be a major task master. Some weeks we take a night off together and we both go do our own thing in an area of the house for self care. I would challenge you to plan one night each week that you each “have off”. It can be a night when the other flies solo and takes care of the kids so one spouse can get lots done or run errands or just spends time alone doing something you love.
Be intentional with your ‘I Love You’s
Do you ever feel like saying ‘I love you’ has become a habit in your marriage? LIke you are so used to saying it that sometimes you accidentally say it to random people as you’re hanging up the phone or leaving a store or something? I would challenge you to really think about how you feel when you are saying ‘I love you’ to your spouse. Are you sincere and genuine and do you convey the emotion you are feeling when you say those three words? Make sure you really mean it when you say it and be thinking about reasons you love your spouse as you speak so that love comes through.
I loved this thought that I read from The Gottman Institute this week. “The term 'un-birthday’ was coined by Lewis Carrol in Through the Looking Glass. It’s a day that’s celebrated on any or all of the 364 days on which its not the person’s birthday. So by all means, celebrate Valentine’s Day. Do something meaningful with your partner. But celebrate the other 364 Un-Valentine’s Days, too.”
What are you doing on a daily basis to celebrate your marriage and your love?
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography