Daily dose of romance: Keep the love alive

Mar 11, 2010 at 6:38 p.m. ET

Sometime between "I do" and the rest of your life, you might find the spark that once made your marriage exciting is, well, fizzling. The love is there, it's just… Buried under a lot of laundry, the bathroom that needs repainting, and the long hours at work…. How, in between working, running a house, and raising a family, are you supposed to find time to be romantic?

Actually, it's easier than you might think. And here's a cheat sheet with 10 quick ideas that won't take more than five minutes each. Try just one a day for the next 10 days, and see if you haven't rediscovered romance.

1. Email your spouse

with a quick note to say how much you appreciate something specific. For example: "Thanks for taking the trash out today! Made my morning go much more smoothly!"

2. Leave a loving message

on his cell phone voice mail. You really can "just call to say I love you." You can go the sexy route or just plain say, " I wanted you to know I was thinking of you."

3. Stick a note

in his backpack or briefcase or whatever he carries to work each day. "Have a great day!" Decorating with stickers is optional.

4. Sweeten his day

with a doughnut or another breakfast treat -- box it up and leave it on the counter or in his car the night before. Or get up early and make him a specialty coffee to go. Try this copycat recipe for a mocha Frappucino.

5. Deliver lunch

-- or at least have it delivered to him at the office if you know he's having a particularly stressful day. Call his favorite take-out place and dish up something delicious.

6. Lighten his load

by taking care of his dry cleaning or some other errand he normally handles. When he asks, just say, "I took care of it." And smile.

7. Send a text

like "Miss you already" right after he leaves in the morning.

8. Order something special

from his Amazon wishlist or another trusted source. For no reason. Just because. Think of it as the equivalent of flowers.

9. Mail a card

to him at home or at work. Go funny, sexy, romantic, or whatever, but choose something that will speak to him, and take the time to write a personal note. Bonus points if you write about a shared memory from the early days of your courtship.

10. Say "I love you,"

face to face, unprompted -- and not right after sex.

No matter how long you've been together and how far from romance your mind is these days, you can recapture the magic that once brought you together. Invest a little time in your spouse, and you'll love the rewards you reap.


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