Because we were already thinking about our relationship's health in the areas of sex and intimacy, as we were planning for the class a friend suggested having a basket full of' 'challenges' from which attendees can pick. After almost 20 years of marriage, I'm embarrassed to admit that all my ideas are getting old. And someone else's ideas, though old and tired to them, are new to us!
Facebook is great for information gathering, so I sent a private message to some friends and asked them to share their ideas to foster intimacy, and separate ideas to put a spark in your sex life. It was fun to read them all! : ) We saved some ideas to throw out to the group during discussion, and put the rest in the basket.
Without further ado, here are the intimacy ideas that made the baskets. And I challenge you to pick one and give it a try!
* Give the gift of your time by doing chores for your spouse that your spouse doesn't like to do, such as folding the clothes, running an errand, washing the car, etc.
* Share memories by looking at old photographs and talking about memories you share together.
* Write unexpected love notes and leave them in unexpected places.
* Schedule a day or a date to just be leisurely together. Hold hands, be a tourist, share a kiss or two, remember to enjoy each other.
* Give a small gift ... just because you love your spouse. Receiving or giving an unexpected gift is a true delight, try to choose something your spouse will enjoy, not something you want for them.
* Put a blanket on the floor or bed in your bedroom and enjoy an intimate picnic with one another. Or go to a pretty park for the picnic
* Start to write what you're grateful for about your spouse in a journal. Share it with them, or save it to give as an anniversary gift. Either way you will start to notice more and more things to be thankful for.
* Make a point to encourage your spouse on a regular basis via email and text, challenge to send encouragements 5 times each day. (It’s easy to do with a cell phone each time you go to a bathroom!)
* Trade nightly foot rubs. It’s easy, it’s intimate, and it just makes you feel good. It can be tough to concentrate on anything else when your feet are aching and tired. Get some pleasantly scented lotion or oil and let it go wherever you feel led.
* Blind date night: pick a place to meet at a certain time but get ready at different places when you both get there, act like it's the first date ask questions about each other what you do for a living or what hobbies or activities you like. Get to know your mate all over again.
* Tickle time that doesn't HAVE to lead to sex. Set a timer...
* Take turns reading a book out loud to each other. Choose a book you may both like, or a book on relationships/sex with a light hearted tone.
* Voucher to do that thing I always refuse to do.( ie I hate to ice fish, so if I pulled that, then I need to go on a limb & vice versa. )
* Sit down, & tell your spouse something that you have discovered, & love about them that you didn't know when you married them.
* Spend time just watching your spouse while they are not aware that you are watching them. Just take in the wonder of the fact that you belong to each other! Then, tell them what you just noticed.
* Look for ways to speak your spouse’s love language. For instance, if they are all about acts of service, love them with an act of service you don’t usually perform.
* Make a mixed tape (CD) together. Spend time remembering songs that you both like, maybe danced to, or sang to when you were dating, or just songs that make you think of each other. Then put them on a CD or play list to enjoy together or play when you are apart.
* Plan a little alone time with your spouse during the day to do something fun, maybe over lunch or before work. It could be going for a walk, surprising your partner with a muffin and coffee, make breakfast together, walk downtown, grab a cookie at a bakery, etc. whatever fits and is mutually meaningful.
* Agree to daily cuddle time that will not (have to) end in sex. No obligation cuddles!
* Give a back-rub with scented oil.
* Spend some time this week noticing when your spouse goes out of their way to encourage you and thank them. Find a new way to encourage them back.
* Spend some time praying out loud for God's blessing on your spouse this week, thanking God for who He made them to be. Don’t try to pray any changes over them, just bless who they are.
* Snuggle up and watch a romantic movie together. You might want to pick one that you watched when you were dating. Avoid distraction, wait ‘til the kids are asleep, grab a blanket, and enjoy being close to each other.
* Find something to do together – with the TV off. Do a puzzle together, play cribbage or battleship… Something that promotes one on one time with each other.
* Think hard. Is there something you’ve never told anyone else? Take a quiet minute with your spouse to share that memory.
Tomorrow, the sex challenges!