Originally written for the Guiding Star Project.
Last night at quarter after nine in the evening, there was still light outside my window. As usual, summer has fully arrived almost without me realizing it! I don’t know about you, but this summer is a particularly busy season for my family. We’re juggling selling one house, buying another, moving, keeping up with growing little ones, new job responsibilities, traveling, weddings, graduation parties, and lots of time with family. Does this sound like your summer too? While this is all wonderful and exciting, it can also be rather draining. My husband and I are feeling a bit frazzled and distracted these days. Romance is often on the back burner, and it can be hard to stay connected. Thankfully, there are ways to work on staying in love! Here are some ideas for nurturing your relationship with your spouse this summer:
1. Small gestures have big impact
Between long hot work days, crowded family reunions and kids’ baseball games, it’s easy to lose track of each other and disconnect physically. If you’re hosting houseguests or traveling, you may not have much alone time for days or weeks at a time. In these moments, eye contact, holding hands, and stolen kisses serve as powerful reminders that you are there for each other and still interested. Never underestimate how grounding (and sexy!) a meaningful glance can be.
2. Visit old traditions and start something new
Remember that diner you went to every week while you were dating? Or that walking path by the river you haven’t visited in forever? What about that album you played constantly when you first got together? Even though life may be different now (kids, new jobs, new wrinkles!), try a trip down memory lane to rekindle some of that old summer romance.
This could also be a great time to start a new tradition. Discover a new summer soundtrack, find a new picnic spot, take up croquet, or go on a short road trip. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, time-consuming, or expensive–just find something enjoyable and special to both of you. It just might become your new favorite memory!
3. Have each other’s back
There are few better ways to communicate sincere love and care for your spouse than by looking out for their needs. Ask yourself, what is one way I can serve my spouse today? Some ideas: making them lunch to take to work, offering moral support at a boring work party, writing a encouraging note, or taking your houseguests out to lunch so they can have an hour of peace and quiet. This might be the last thing you want to do, particularly if you feel like you deserve an hour of peace and quiet! But building a habit of intentionally nurturing your spouse can have surprising effects on your relationship and even the way you feel about each other. It’s a great way to put your love into action and set a romantic tone to your summer.
4. Talk about your dreams
Long summer nights are the perfect time to snuggle in front of the campfire and visit some of your big picture goals. There is something really special about sharing your hopes and dreams with the one you love, especially if those dreams involve both of you. This is something we do so easily when we are dating, but may forget once we’ve been married a while. Take a moment to breathe in the warm evening air and rekindle the excitement about the future you are building together!
It might be tough during this busy season to make the time to connect, but it’s so worth it. Hopefully by the time September rolls around, rather than feeling burnt out, you’ll be refreshed and more in love than ever