Last week I challenged you to be more loving, kinder, gentler, more giving, more attentive, more willing to serve and provide, more committed to being a real partner to the most important people in your life. So, I decided this week to provide you with a few ideas that might stimulate your thinking and ignite you to try some new or different ways that will help you to keep your promise by performing an additional act of love every day for a month.
1.) Make a cup of tea or coffee for your partner without having to be asked… or when asked say, “sure.” This could be in the morning while he or she is still in bed
2.) Take total responsibility for cleaning up after dinner (this includes everything – the counters, rinsing out the sink, putting leftovers away, taking out the garbage, starting the dishwasher, etc.
3.) Suggest an activity that your spouse is more interested in than you are (craft fair or a baseball game) but you are willing to go in a good spirit just because you want to spend time with him or her.
4.) Send flowers… Leave a kind a note under the windshield… Acknowledge your spouse for something he/she does for you each day especially if it is something you take for granted (like who makes the bed every day picks up the mail, drives the kids to the bus…)
5.) Hold hands more often and hold them with feeling like you did when you first met.
6.) Start the day off with some positive acknowledgment of your spouse (kissing when you get out of bed, spending a minute longer in bed before getting up being kind and tender
7.) Take something off your partners “to do list” – something he/she doesn’t really enjoy.
Please Note: Don’t be surprised or get thrown off course – that is, your renewed commitment to putting your partner first – because he/she may be surprised by your change in attitude and behavior. You might receive some critical or negative remarks at first like, “are you feeling OK today”, or even worse, “it’s about time you started pitching in around here”… when you are changing your behavior to be more of service to others.
8.) Go to the door to greet your spouse when he or she comes home from any event. You would do this for a guest – why not the person you love?
9.) Make sure that your “hello’s and goodbye’s” have meaning and feeling in them (like the way you would have wanted to remember them if you had experienced the 9/11 tragedy)
10.) Add a hug to your hello and goodbye’s… take any routine out of your greetings… help take the groceries out of the car… meet your mate naked… use your imagination.
11.) Think of the way your dog greets you at the door when you get home… do the same for your mate.
12.) Touch your partner gently during the – without it being a sexual touch that has something in it for you
13.) Prepare a hot bath for your mate and don’t get in it with him/her unless expressly invited (otherwise, your gesture will be interpreted as a manipulation)
14.) Practice pulling yourself together after a rough day at the office – before walking in the front door – so you don’t act with the attitude… “I already gave at the office – now it’s time for somebody to take care of me.”
15.) Express interest in your partner’s hobbies… if it’s gardening, learn the names of the flowers in the garden… if it’s a sport, learn something about the team and when they play their games.
16.) Be the one to initiate a sexual encounter if you are the one who usually doesn’t
17.) Don’t whine, sulk or try to make your partner feel guilty when you want to be sexual and he/she doesn’t
18.) Don’t take “Not tonight” as a personal rejection
19.) Open the car door for your mate just like you used to do when you were dating.
20.) Watch a favorite TV program of your partners choosing.
21.) Give a gift for no reason at all
22.) Take your partner’s car to the car wash or do it yourself
23.) Go to a religious service with your partner – because it is important to him/her and he/she would love your company
24.) Make a list of five things that you and your spouse did while you were dating that you both enjoyed that and for some reason have stopped doing (like dancing, theater, weekends away alone, candlelight dinners, tennis, etc. Start doing the ones that you choose.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this any further, let’s continue the discussion below.