- Must be 100% free: Borrow & Beg.
- Must primarily benefit your spouse.
- Bake cookies! The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- Clean the house! Pick 1 room! (Wives LOVE this surprise!!)
*How to Speed-Clean Your Kitchen - Real Simple*
- Stir up some piping hot cocoa, tea or coffee in a thermos and create your own walking tour of your neighborhood. Make up stories about the unknown residents of different houses. Collect some beautiful leaves while you're at it!
- Decorate the living room or bedroom with a theme. One of our favorites was the Camp-In!
- Romantic massage. Grab some lotion and get to it! If you have massage oils, all the better! Video. Step-by-step: This page does a great job touching on a few basic points I learned during my time in massage school.
- Go for a direction-less drive in the country and watch the sunset. Take turns choosing directions! Be sensitive to your partner's needs. They may be tired, and want to spend a night in. Just ask. =)
- Like to Hike & Bike? Find trails near you!
- Movie night: Popcorn. Blankets. Cuddling. If you are tired of your own movies, ask to borrow a few from friends & family. Libraries can also be a great source of "free" entertainment. Check out some reviews or fire up Netflix (requires paid subscription) for your browsing pleasure.
- Storytime. Did you know that Dorothy didn't have ruby red slippers? They were silver! Spend an evening on the couch or snuggled in bed reading aloud your spouse's favorite classics and fairytales, or make up your own stories! Here are some suggestions.
- Gameplay. Play a boardgame, video game, or create your own game. It can be as tame or crazy as you want. You can even take turns making up short games. Beware! You might end up laughing so hard it hurts! Just remember to respect your partner's comfort levels and boundaries.
- Do a photo shoot! Your subjects can be anything from yourself or your spouse (if they're not shy) to nature or architecture. What you see is what you've got! Grab your camera phone, point-and-shoot, or DSLR, and have a blast! You could even do a scavenger hunt!
- If your honey likes to garden, surprise them with a winter herb garden for the kitchen window! If you think they would enjoy it, you could plant it together. Enjoy delicious, fresh, healthy herbs all winter long!
- Cook dinner ~ for them or with them! Put those herbs to good use and whip up something tasty! Make it elegant and pull out the good stuff ~ candles, goblets, china, and all! (Wives LOVE this too!) Check out Allrecipes.com for a highly rated recipe that is sure to be enjoyed!
- Stargazing. Some of you may need to drive a bit to see the gorgeous lights of night, but it's worth it. Check the weather and the night sky before you head out. (I know I said free, but this is really cool: The iPhone has an app called "Star Walk - 5 stars astronomy guide" that might make your date think you're a modern-day Galileo for $2.99.)
- Create a treasure hunt around the house, with you as the booty.
- Establish a fun ritual. For awhile, Steve and I were spending Friday nights with our great friends, Jon & Kari, watching a favorite TV show and greedily eating brownie sundaes. When the show was cancelled, our ritual sort of fizzled out. We have such great memories from it though!
- Time & Space for Passion. Though it seems rather passive, allowing your partner time, space, and encouragement to pursue a passion, old or new, can be invigorating to a marriage. Especially if you are actively encouraging them.
Steve has always liked motorcycles. Recently, he expressed the desire to get his learner's permit and buy a bike. I encouraged him to by quizzing him on the test questions and relinquishing my grip on the $$. While his hobby of fixing up his "new" bike (this type of bike) has gotten under both of our skin, at times literally with a wire brush, I was excited to see him animated and passionate about something. He's eager to give me a ride on the back of his bike. I'm not sure "excited" is the best word for what I feel at that suggestion, but I'm always up for a little adventure. Besides, if he drops his bike, it's been shaken upon that he owes me a $200 shopping spree. ;)
Drop the bike! Drop the bike!
- Study a subject your spouse is fascinated by. Find out what perks their interest. What TV shows do they enjoy? What news articles do they bother reading past the headline? What do they invest their free time in? The Bible is naturally my first suggestion, but not all people are admittedly fascinated by it. You should be! If this isn't the case...
- Pray for your spouse. It is free and it will 100% benefit them! Pray for them privately, humbly, and persistently. Ask God to lay it on your loved one's heart to pray for you too! I guarantee that anybody currently in a marriage needs prayer. If you deny that, you need it twice as much! ;)
- Listen up! I'm going to say it! Sex. I want to make a very important clarification here. Sex is not love. Sex is an expression of LOVE. I looked up the definition of LOVE using Google.
Does it anger anyone else that one of Princeton's definitions of LOVE is "sleep together: have sexual intercourse with"? Sex does not equal love. I hope we are clearly teaching people this. It should break each of our hearts if 1 single person has ever believed this. What heartache is theirs...
Ladies & Gentlemen...
It is my great pleasure to introduce to you...
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
1 Corinthians 13:7 The Message
This is the kind of love you never fall out of.
Let's give our spouses true love!
What are free or inexpensive ways you show your spouse you love them?