How to Spice up Romance and Give your Husband a Break

3 Ideas to Initiate a Date Night

I don't know about you, but my husband, though a great leader, sometimes gets tired of always initiating every idea. He loves it when I give him a break and come up with something on my own. But that's not my strong suit. So how do we women initiate romance?

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If you've seen the movie “Fireproof” with Kirk Cameron, you may remember him reading to his firefighter friend about the Love Dare. His challenge for the day was to study his wife, to learn more and more about her. The book likened this learning to getting an education: first, get your high school diploma, then work toward a college degree, and then finally master the art of studying your spouse with a PhD.

I really resonate with this illustration. I love to learn, and relationships grow the more and more we can learn about the other person, and the more they can learn about us. That's what dating was all about. But neither of us should stop now that we're married.

And, of course, just as a diploma requires time and effort, so does marriage. It takes spending time together, observing what touches your husband, what upsets him, what delights him, what he values.

The more I grow, the easier it gets in expressing what I like, so that he can learn about me. When my husband affirms my value to him, it's so romantic! But I also have learned that my husband needs affirmation; he lights up when I tell him I'm proud of him and why.

You, too, can learn more and more about your husband. If you don't feel like you've gotten your diploma yet, well, start working on that GED! Ask questions, observe, pay attention to him.

To get you started, here are a few ways you can be more attentive to your husband's needs, what he needs from you:

1. Find your Husband's Love Language

Ask him to take the Love Languages test by Gary Chapman, if he's never done it before. (If he refuses, take it for him, taking your best guesses.) Then once you have his primary love language, set aside a time to focus on loving your husband in his number one way to feel and express love.

If his primary language is Words of Affirmation, set aside a special dinner just the two of you at which you read him a poem or a list of great traits he has.

If his primary language is Gifts, slyly ask him for a few ideas of birthday gifts and then surprise him with one of them out-of-the-blue, a no-reason gift.

If his primary language is Acts of Service, ask him what is the one thing he really needs help with around the house and set a time to work on it together, if possible. If not, hire a professional to get it done for him.

If his primary language is Physical Touch, plan a night of cuddling in front of the TV and then run in and put on a little perfume to get frisky in the bedroom.

If his primary language is Quality Time, you are in luck. Just take any hobby or activity he likes and do it together, even watching a movie, as long as he is allowed to talk about it during and after.

2. Determine a Block of Time

Be considerate of his time. If you only have 30 minutes from the time you put your children to bed and you need to get ready for bed, or especially if your husband needs to get up early the next day, be considerate. Eating into his sleep will make him groggy and grouchy the next day, which won't bode well for future planning of romantic times.

That leaves you two choices: plan something that will only take the allotted time, or push back other constraints to create a bigger block of time. Put the kids to sleep earlier.

You also may want to consider hiring a babysitter or asking a family member or close friend to watch the kids.

3. Decide between Staying in or Going Out

Ask these questions:

        • Is my husband an introvert or an extrovert? If introvert, more than likely (though not always), he would be just as happy with a special dinner at home than going out.

        • Does my husband like going out as a treat? Does he often go out for business or with the guys? Or would it be a special treat, something out of the ordinary?

        • Is he stressed out about finances? If yes, you may want to skip the high restaurant tab and dazzle him with your frugal cooking skills. If, like me, cooking is not your thing, ask someone you know to “cater” for you, in exchange for a service you can provide (such as raking leaves or grocery shopping or providing handmade cards—whatever is your specialty or ability).

        • Does he like surprises? If not, tell him your plans and ask for feedback. Some of us like to have a say. Some of us like to not have to make any decisions sometimes. Just make your best guess of what he would prefer.

Conclusion: This is all about your husband: finding out what he needs, what he wants, what he likes, and pampering him. That's all “romance” is. And what that looks like is different for everybody.

Don't let the world tell you that flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears are required to have a sizzling relationship. If those things really tell your husband he's valuable to you, then have at it! But the majority of men don't.

Every man just wants to feel appreciated, special, and heard. Listen and learn. Start working on that diploma or degree. ;)

What is your husband's primary love language? And what is one way you can show him love in that language?