I’ve read dozens of women’s magazines about ways to make a relationship more exciting.
And they all suggest similar things – weekends away, writing each other love letters, getting dressed up and pretending to be completely different people for an evening…
And that’s all well and good but what if you don’t have the time, money and interest in fancy dress required to make them happen? What if your idea of role play is having him fill the dishwasher while you play on the X-Box for once?
The problem with these suggestions is that they don’t cater for those of us wishing to spice up the mundane. What a relationship needs is small scale, every day gestures to keep things fresh.
So, seeing as lady mags refuse to do it for us, I have stepped up and written some suggestions of my own. Follow these steps and see daily life move from monotony to out-of-this-world excitement before your very eyes. You’re welcome, ladies.
1. Serve snacks in your very best vessels
So what if all you’ve got to offer for pudding is a packet of Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons? It doesn’t matter that it’s not a homemade trifle or a hand-crafted tart, all you need is to bring out one of your best bowls (you know, the ones that don’t have any cracks in at all) and all of a sudden pudding has become dessert. You’ll be so blown away by the effect it has on the atmosphere in your house, you’ll be looking for a waiter to ask for the bill.
2. Schedule at least one night a week when you won’t fall asleep in front of the telly
Now, this will take some planning but it’s well worth the effort. Think how amazing it’ll be to have just one evening where you don’t wake up dazed and confused on the sofa at midnight to the sound of your other half shouting from the bedroom “I won’t call you again – please just come to bed!” Think how amazed he’ll be to see you conscious for an entire night – you might even get to see a whole television programme together! All you’ll need to make this happen is an early night every night for the week leading up to the event, a bowl of water on hand for face-splashing purposes, and something extraordinarily compelling to watch on TV. I recommend Don’t Tell The Bride.
3. Make outlandish culinary suggestions
The secret to a happy relationship is to integrate the element of surprise into everyday life. For example, when my husband got home the other day, I suggested that we ate a sauce I’d originally made to go with cod, with steak. I KNOW. And then, when he was already dazzled, I floated the idea that perhaps we could explore other sauces to liven up our dinners. If that doesn’t keep him coming back for more, I don’t know what will.
4. Incorporate jokes into everyday life
“Would you like a little bit of chocolate?” he says.
“No, I’d like LOADS!” I say.
“Are you in the bedroom?” I say.
“No,” he says, clearly sitting in the lounge.
“Oh I just assumed you were, seeing as THE LIGHT IS STILL ON IN THERE.”
NB: Sarcasm can be considered relationship kryptonite when used incorrectly so think carefully before deploying it. Always ensure the person you’re dealing with realises you’re trying to be funny and that you’re not just being mean.
5. Suggest very small-scale home improvements
Some people might think redecorating a room or building a conservatory is the perfect way to liven up a relationship. Those people do not live here. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to make our home better, we just want to do it at a rate we can handle – i.e. very, very slowly. Today, for example, I suggested we put the garden bunting we received as a wedding gift up on the fence. We did it together, it took us ten minutes (after which we both had to have a sit down) and we can now bask in our domestic success until the autumn – winner!
6. Make him find loyalty points as exciting as you do
A woman with an eye for a bargain is worth more to a relationship than 20 mini-breaks, and that’s a fact. Sure it’s not something for the early dating days – nobody wants to have a chat about your most recent Advantage Card points coup on a first date, but once you’re living together, a money-saving win classes as high quality banter. And what could bring more joy to a relationship than knowing you’ve made that saving together – that your combined efforts are the reasons you’re going to the cinema for free, or purchasing baked beans at half the usual retail price? Splashing your cash only gets you so far, it’s 241 coupons that are at the heart of a truly happy marriage.
Well, if those tips don’t add a touch of spice to your relationship then I don’t know what will. And sure, you can still partake in the odd weekend away or love letter writing marathon should you wish, but it’s these bad boys that will keep you going through the mundanity of modern life.
And of course, you can always try a touch of role play should it take your fancy. My current favourite costume involves my pyjamas, dressing gown, slippers and pretending to be a woman so exhausted she just falls asleep as soon as you turn on the television. I’m not sure it’s quite what Cosmopolitan had in mind.