Life as parents has its own brand of stress and challenge - your intimate relationship should be the place you recharge and feel totally at home in. But for so many of us, the intimacy itself feels stressful when it’s just another thing on the to-do list (pun intended).
We want to make your life easier, more fun, and with a lot more pleasure. Here are 28 days of keeping intimacy alive, well, and thriving in your marriage (and on your own); we dare you to take this challenge, and watch how things feel a little lighter, and a lot more loving when the month is up.
Here we go!
1. Do you speak your partner’s love language? Take this quick and easy quiz (both of you!) to find out how you best receive love. When you know which love language your partner speaks, you can show them how much you care in exactly the right ways. It’s a powerful communication tool that should be a part of each couples’ arsenal.
2. Date Night! We’re planning this one for you: we know that finding the energy to go out can be challenging, and that once you’re out, you tend to go on the same date over and over. So tonight, book the sitter (or friends and family) and go somewhere you've never been before. Walk, transit, or drive until you find a place you’ve never been and lean into the adventure of it. Take the pressure and ennui off of “same old, same old,” and go have some fun; a new environment might be just what the doctor ordered, and who knows - maybe that level of excitement with follow you home to bed…
3. Give your love a massage, unsolicited, for 20 minutes. It will relax both of you. Try somewhere unconventional like their arm or leg, or…
4. Text a racy picture to your sweetheart. (*Double check you have the right recipient BEFORE you press send!)
5. Do a chore that you both loathe, before your love asks you, and before they get to it. Don't even mention it, just do it just to take it off their plate.
6. Find “your song” online and send it to your sweetie while they’re at work.
7. Married, couple, or solo: make time for a little “me time” in the bedroom. Self-pleasure works wonders for your own comfort with your body, which makes your intimate life even more fun. Get your sexy soundtrack on, dim the lights, and let yourself explore places familiar and unknown, with hands, toys, or anything else your imagination can come up with.
8. Book an hour of time today or tonight to give your love your UNDIVIDED attention: no screens, no kids, no work, no nothing - just the simple pleasure of paying attention to what each other wants to talk about, period.
9. Tell your love three reasons you are grateful for them today - not because of things they’ve done, but because of qualities that make them who they are. Shower them with compliments of why their rad-ness makes your life even better.
10. Day Date! We’re planning this one for you: sometimes dates at night are just too much pressure when you balance out the responsibilities of work, home, and family. So, go on a day date! Book a playdate or sitter for the kids, and go explore a new neighbourhood, go for brunch together, catch a matinee, go for a hike, go lingerie shopping - whatever. Just go somewhere alone together like you did when you were dating and enjoy that throwback to your roots as a couple.
11. Give your partner the gift of sleep today. Encourage them to go back to bed, have a nap, or go to bed early while you handle the rest of the house.
12. Not all intimacy is between partners: today, book a solo date night with yourself. Schedule a time when you can just go and do what YOU want to do, completely on your own.
13. Read to your love tonight. Reading out loud to one another is hopelessly romantic, old fashioned, and a very intimate act. Bonus points for poetry…or erotica?
14. It’s Valentine’s Day! No matter what you have planned tonight - going out or staying in - take the time to look each other deep in the eyes and tell each other “I love you” in the most genuine way.
15. Bring something special home for your love, just because. Something small and lovely (or lavish and wild) JUST to show them they’re on your mind.
16. Go and fill your partner’s gas tank as a surprise. Fill it up, get rid of any old garbage in their console, and surprise them with their favourite gum or a coffee gift card in its place.
17. Date Night! We’re planning this one for you: and it’s about to get steamy in here. Build a soft and cozy nest of pillows and blankets on the floor. Light candles and play your favourite sexy slow jams. Take a page out of tantra and sit cross legged across from each other (clothing optional), maintaining eye contact and holding hands. Breathe slowly into it if it makes you feel silly at first and start to feel the electricity build between you. Stay in that space, and keep breathing, always with eye contact. The rest of the night, we’re pretty sure, will take care of itself.
18. Nothing says I love you like saying I love you. Write your sweetheart a love letter today and hide it somewhere they will find as a surprise.
19. Plan a sex date! If you’re coupled, do this together, and if you’re single, plan it with yourself. Pick a day on the calendar that you're dedicating to getting sexy with all the things: music, lingerie, toys…and look forward to that date until it happens. The lead up is natural foreplay.
20. Make a list of the top three chores you each don’t want to do: maybe it’s dealing with the car, taking out the compost, calling the plumber, whatever. Make the list, and trade them so that you each do the things the other person has been avoiding. A little gesture goes a long way.
21. Take the time to call your love on the actual phone, ask them how their day is going, and tell them you love them.
22. Bring home your sweetie’s favourite snack and leave it in their bathroom drawer to find as a special and surprise.
23. Cook together. Make something simple that you each have a part in planning, prepping, and executing. And if things get a little 9 1/2 Weeks while you’re at it, more power to you! But the real point and pleasure is the act of doing something from daily life that you do together.
24. Date Night! We’re planning this one for you: and it’s all about play. At the core of your relationship, you are the best of friends, and reconnecting to your playful side will bring out that deep connection. Go tobogganing, play a board game, go on the swings, go out for ice cream or candy and play catch, skip stones, whatever. DO something so decidedly un-adultlike that you feel like kids, laughing and playing and seeing each other as you truly are.
25. Prepare a special meal for your sweetie, with your kids. Keep it a surprise and treat your partner with their fave breakfast or lunch, and watch the delight as your kids see you planning something totally special for your love.
26. Text your Bae the story of when you knew they were the one, and do this completely out of the blue. Bring yourselves back to the first iterations of you as a couple.
27. Treat your sweetheart to an at home spa: let them choose a back massage, a pedicure (guys will love the no polish version), or skin care with a store-bought mask and lotion. Take the time to make them feel pampered and cared for.
28. Tonight, don’t have sex. Commit to kissing, making out, fooling around…but not actual intercourse. For some this will take the pressure off, and for others this will drive you wild with desire, for the next time you let yourselves “go all the way.”