In the dating world, sparks of attraction fly from every direction. It begins with the lust phase, characterized by not being able to keep your hands off of each other. This is of course coupled with a constant barrage of texting and calling. Each moment is filled with spontaneous adventure as every interaction is fresh and new. As time moves on, this raw passion evolves into becoming best friends and soulmates. Inevitably years of marriage tends to shift couple's lives into more mundane routines. Putting thought and effort into the quality of time spent together makes all the difference and ultimately sets the foundation for enduring love and happily ever after. In contrast to the dating phase, togetherness no longer has to be a four course dinner or an all out extravaganza on the town. The simplest of plans can be made into memorable moments that build bonds.
• Food Shopping: Walking up and down the supermarket aisles need not just be a chore for grabbing bread and milk. Think of this as an opportunity to plan meals that the two of you can prepare together over the coming days. Start by researching recipes online. Bring your list with as you hunt down the perfect ingredients for your nights ahead. Imagining cooking and taste testing your delicacies together is certainly a mood setter.
• Sunday Afternoon Walks: When else does a couple have uninterrupted mono-mono time to hold hands and talk? Not even texting or emailing is easy while in motion, so leave your electronic devices in your pockets and focus on the great outdoors and each other. With warmer weather and trees covered in flowers it is a magical time of year that will certainly be uplifting to your spirit.
• Staycations: Neither a week's time off, nor a plane ride, need be the definition of a get away. Make a pact to stay in for an entire weekend. No friends over, running errands or catching up on work allowed. It is the two of you with a packed refrigerator, some good wine and movies preselected via On Demand. This is your opportunity to snuggle on the sofa without any distractions.
• Beautifying the outside of your house: Gorgeous days with no humidity set the stage for making your yard into a Garden of Eden. Take a trip to the nursery to pick out flowers and shrubs to plant together. Coming home to a vibrant, lush garden handcrafted by the both of you will bring joy for months to come.
• Car Rides: A spontaneous trip to the country allows for both quality catching up time during the ride and adventure as you hit your destination, whether it be hiking, antiquing or exploring new terrain. Bring along a picnic basket and blanket so that you are prepared for a romantic lunch to round out your plans.
• A Day in Town as a Tourist: How many people take advantage of what their city has to offer? Make time to visit your local attractions which most of us never get around to doing. Whether its nearby museums, historic landmarks or the latest shows, it is fun to rediscover what is in your backyard together.
• Pillow Talk: There is no better way to express affection than by the words shared as you are side by side. This type of intimacy is what will make you inseparable.
The enhanced connection that couples create over the years makes their time spent together richer no matter what the activity involves. Never lose sight of the fact that when you peel back the glitz and sparkle of whatever the two of you may do, it all boils down to the fact that these moments are shared with the one you love.
Follow Monica Mandell, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/monicamandell