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Fourteen romantic “time-outs” for parents

Here are 14 fun and spontaneous time-outs, specifically designed to help you remember to pay attention to those little things that are so important to lasting intimacy. You might be surprised how much your love life can improve in just two weeks!

Kissy kissy!

Day one

Spend fifteen minutes kissing. Many married couples report that the simple act of kissing is the first part of intimacy to disappear — so today, recapture the power of the smooch.

Day two

Today’s loving gesture: Declare a personal moratorium on criticism. Pay attention to the number of negative thoughts you have about what your spouse says and does. How critical are you — and how does being a faultfinder make you feel? Even when you don’t actually voice your criticism, it still can drain your energy and draw your focus away from more positive thoughts.

Day three

Call, email, or write your mother-in-law (or send a simple bouquet of flowers). Let her know how grateful you are for her child.

Day four

Spoon.(Not the utensil — the cuddling pose.)

Day five

Reflect on your first date with your mate, writing down as many details as you can remember. Now make plans to recreate it.

Day six

Spend tonight in your guest room. Pretend that you and your spouse are on a romantic vacation in a distant port.

Day seven

What’s your spouse’s favorite cookie? Bake a batch. PLAY ME cdNot a cookie kind of guy? Go in the kitchen and make him his favorite anything: salsa, three-course dinner… or how about your famous mocha souffle cake — the one you usually only make when you’re having company over?

Day eight

Record a love message — sexy or sentimental — on a CD. Maybe add a few of your favorite love songs. Put it in your spouse’s car with a note that says “Play me.”

Day nine

Declare today a Forgiveness Day. Are you holding a grudge — how ever deep — about something your mate has done or said in the past? Get to the bottom of it today. Then work on letting it go.

Day 10

Assess your listening skills with your spouse. Just for today, slow down and try not to interrupt.

Day 11

Write a note and stash it where you know your spouse will find it some time throughout the day. This can be as simple as a lipstick kiss on a folded napkin or as elaborate as an original poem. (For a special touch, fold a Hershey’s kiss inside.) Day 12
Leave a sexy voice message on your mate’s voicemail.

Day 13

List all the reasons you love your mate. For 15 minutes, just let your pen move. Don’t stop to think too hard about the task. Just write. Then present your list.

Day 14

Ask the kids to write down a few of the things they love about your parenting partner. Encourage them to be as specific as possible. Write them down on slips of paper, put them in an envelope and place it on your spouse’s dashboard for a heartwarming surprise.The next step? Spend some time creating your own 15-minute romantic gifts for one another!

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