One of the things that works to keep relationships alive is spending quality time with each other. In this day of the information age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to carve out the necessary time to nurture our relationships. What with long work hours, helping kids with their homework, transporting them around to their extracurricular activities, getting dinner, cleaning up and going through the bedtime routine, what time is left?
Unless you orchestrate the time for your relationship, other less important things will crowd in and take what precious little time you do have. Pick a night that will be "date night" with your partner and make a game out of being as creative as you can be. Try to see how many things you can do without spending money.
To get you started, I've come up with some suggestions to help you for the next year. What follows are 52 ideas for how to spend creative time together without spending money. Feel free to add or modify any of the items on the list to suit your particular relationship and circumstances.
1. Take a drive to look at the Christmas decorations.
2. Play cards — perhaps strip poker.
3. Watch a movie together.
4. Go outside and have a snowball fight.
5. Get some finger paints and create your own body art with each other as your canvass.
6. Go sleigh riding.
7. Go ice skating.
8. Work out or exercise together.
9. Stage your own improvisation show.
10. Sing to each other.
11. Review or create a photo album or scrapbook of your memories together.
12. Play a board game — perhaps chess, Scrabble or Twister.
13. Go to a book store, get coffee and read for hours.
14. Work on a remodeling project together.
15. Plan and complete a yard work project together.
16. Do the spring cleaning together — room by room. When done, reward yourself by making love in the room you've cleaned.
17. Put on old clothes and mud wrestle after some drenching rain.
18. Give each other a massage.
19. Play catch — football, baseball, softball or Frisbee.
20. Go to a car dealer and test drive the car of your dreams.
21. Shoot basketball together.
22. Dance together.
23. Take a shower together and wash each other — everywhere.
24. Take a free adult education class together.
25. Go to a mall and have a contest to see which one of you can get the most free samples.
26. Go rollerblading or bike riding.
27. Build a campfire and roast marshmallows.
28. Go swimming or skinny dipping.
29. Give each other a manicure or pedicure.
30. Go somewhere crowded to people watch.
31. Go to a free outdoor event, perhaps a concert.
32. Lie on a blanket outside and watch the clouds or stars.
33. Go on a picnic.
34. Watch a fireworks display.
35. Be creative and engage in sexual role plays. Be anyone you'd like to be for the night who is also exciting for your partner.
36. Sit by the water somewhere.
37. Do a prolonged strip tease for each other.
38. Have a water balloon fight.
39. Sit outside and read poetry to each other.
40. Go for a drive together.
41. Go window shopping.
42. Incorporate food into your love making — chocolate syrup, whipped cream, fondue, strawberries — anything you and your partner enjoy.
43. Call or write to someone you haven't had contact with in a while.
44. Cook something together.
45. Spend an evening just talking with each other. Talk about the things you have done, plans you have for the future, important people in your lives or current events.
46. Take a bubble bath together.
47. Go to a free movie or museum.
48. Take a drive and find the potential in old houses and their properties.
49. Create an imaginary story together — either orally or in written form.
50. Take turns being each other's genie in a bottle by fulfilling your partner's every wish and fantasy.
51. Play in the fallen leaves.
52. Create an exciting scavenger hunt that ends in your bed.
Now you have 52 suggestions for things to do with your partner for every week of the year divided by season. Certainly you don't have to follow my suggestions. Feel free to add your own or to repeat your favorites as often as you'd like.
The main point is not to see how kinky you can get. The idea is to keep your relationship alive by making time together a priority. It is important that you find things to do as a couple that you can both enjoy. If you have vastly different interests then you can enter this with the spirit of taking turns and each agree to happily participate in the activity chosen by the one whose turn it is that week.
As long as you make a habit of making your relationship a priority and allocating time each week for rejuvenation of the feelings that attracted you in the first place, then you stand a good chance of staying together for the long haul.
Please don't let insidious boredom enter into your relationship through the back door. This is what frequently happens when we are busy placing other things ahead of our time for each other. You know what I mean — the job, the kids, our friend in crisis, etc. There will always be a competing interest for the time you've set aside for each other.
Other than natural disasters, threat of death or major crises, do not allow your time together to be invaded by any outside forces. Make sure to create opportunities for you to do things together without outside influence. With more than 50% of today's marriages ending in divorce, make this small investment in the longevity of your relationship. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. What's stopping you? Start today.