Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

The Secret to Having a Marriage That Never Goes Stale

After a recent life-changing trip to Italy, I called my best friend to — well, let’s just be honest, I called to brag.

The Secret to Having a Marriage that Never Goes Stale

Photo Credit: antonychammond via Compfight cc

We had traveled together during college, and I wanted to relive some of those memories with him, while sharing my latest experiences in Europe. After finishing telling him about the trip, he said the saddest thing I had heard in a long time.

“That sounds awesome,” he sighed. “I’d love to do something like that… in ten years.”

“What?!” I said. “Ten years? Dude, are you kidding me?”

He went on to say a trip like that just wasn’t realistic. Not for him. Not now. It wasn’t financially feasible and not something he and his wife had time for.

What’s more, they were expecting their second child and were spending most of their energy preparing for that transition. I asked him when was the last time they had gone a vacation, just the two of them.

“Oh, I dunno… probably a few years.”

A few years?!

I had had enough.

“Do you remember what you told me right before I got married?”

Months before I got married, my friend gave me some important advice, something he had heard from a premarital counselor, I think.

They were seven sage words that I will never forget—the secret, I’ve found, to a happy marriage:

Always have something to look forward to

That’s it. That’s the secret. It sounds so simple and yet it can be the hardest part of a lifelong commitment. Here are two reasons why it works.

First, it breaks the monotony.

Marriage begins with excitement, but as with any emotional high, it has its boring moments. Times when you wake up next to the love of your life and the morning breath gets the best of you.

You may have vowed to experience the adventure of life together, but don’t be surprised when your story has a little taste of the mundane. That’s called life. However, this commitment can easily turn into begrudged obligation if you don’t have something disrupt the ordinary ongoings of matrimony.

Second, it gives you and your spouse a common goal.

When you have something that requires both of you to plan, you remember this is a partnership—something you agreed to do together.

And when you might otherwise be distracted by your own weekly activities and forget to spend quality time together, this shared project can unite you.

It’s something to talk about over dinner, something to text each other about in the middle of the day. A common goal, something to anticipate, can bring you together in ways that the daily grind won’t.

So what should you look forward to?

Always have a common goal

It could be anything, really: a vacation, home improvement project, even an upcoming move. As long as it’s something you both enjoy doing, it qualifies and should do the trick of breaking up the monotony and bringing you two together.

That’s why I had to remind my friend of the best advice he’d given me, advice I had taken to heart since marrying my wife six years before. And it has saved my marriage a few times.

A few months afterwards, not altogether surprisingly, my friend called me. He wanted to tell me about a recent trip he and his wife took to an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic.

Man, thanks for talking me into that. I’ve never seen my wife so relaxed. It was just what we needed before starting a new job and having baby number two.

My friend thanked me, but really I needed to thank him.

We all need little things to look forward to in life — small interruptions to our normal flow. Not because we have to escape from our lives, but so we can appreciate them.

Because without the gift of looking forward, even the most wonderful relationships can grow stale.

My friend Tyler Ward, author of Marriage Rebranded, recently asked 25 leaders for their single-best marriage advice. The level of insight and wisdom he received, compiled in a free eBook called Marriage Hacks, is guaranteed to help many navigate their own marriages. I was honored to share the above in the book. Click here to download the free eBook.

What are you looking forward to? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. To get updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

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  • http://www.foodgumption.net/ Muthoni

    True! The secret of hope and anticipation applies to almost every aspect of life.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Indeed. :)

  • http://www.girlstogrow.com/ Tracey Brewer

    My dad gave me this same advice when I was growing up and it’s been so helpful! Always having something to look forward adds a little sparkle and shine to everyday life.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Agreed. Thanks for reading, Tracey. Your dad sounds like a wise guy! ;)

  • http://hedge-ops.com Michael Hedgpeth

    I have never heard of this but it is so true. Thanks for your inspiration. Over the summer my wife and I spent two weeks in Europe and we spent one week in New Mexico with our kids. Now we’re looking forward to simplifying our lives and meeting some financial goals. You’re totally right, when we are in that mode, we’re closer together and happier. The key I think is to do it with contentment.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Love that, Michael!

  • Heath Padgett

    I received your post Jeff as I was reading “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller. I assumed God was trying to give me information overload this morning when your email popped up. Thanks for writing this. Being in a partnership and striving towards a goal with your wife is one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced (coming from someone who always played sports). To know that no matter what happens, you have someone to share wins and losses with is an incredible sensation.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I need to read that book. And we need to hang. When are you in TN?!

  • Scott Musgrave

    This is a great piece – will take it into our marriage TODAY!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      So glad to hear it, Scott!

  • http://www.alifewithsubtitles.com/ Sarah Quezada

    My husband and I just returned from our first vacation without kids in at least four years. It was truly a gift, and we were convinced that having some space and breaks from the routine is crucial for a healthy marriage. Great post!

  • http://davidmolnar.com/blog David Molnar

    LOVE IT DUDE! Tammy and I need to have something to look forward to. We were just talking about that last night. Thanks for the reminder

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome. It’s our lifeline. :)

      • http://davidmolnar.com/blog David Molnar

        I thought I was your lifeline?

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          Uhhhh.

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    I haven’t shared this anywhere online before, but one of my largest areas of focus right now is my marriage. I really like this perspective. What if you feel stuck in the here and now, and don’t know what to begin dreaming about for the future?

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Ah yes. That’s tough, Erik. I’m not marriage expert, but maybe look for ways to make each other’s dreams come true. Ashley has always been my “biggest fan” and I’m trying to return the favor. It doesn’t have to be some epic trip; it can just be something that you do for the other person.

      For example, maybe your wife has always wanted to stay in a bed in breakfast or see Mt. Rushmore or just have a day to herself. Give that to her and tell her about it. It’ll be something you both can look forward to.

      For us, we love listening to music, so we’re always looking forward to an upcoming show we give concert tickets to each other for birthday gifts, usually). Like, this weekend, we’re seeing David Gray. It’s nothing huge, necessarily, but something to look forward to. Otherwise, the monotony can kill you.

  • http://dallassinglemom.com/ Dalsingmom

    Even though I am single I find this to be a very inspiring article for the soul. I forwarded this to many of my young married friends. I find the advice is important if you are a single person looking to create the person in yourself that someone will be excited to meet. I know of too many single people that stop building their businesses, stop doing their hobbies and stop doing THINGS because they are so focused on online dating and finding the right partner. If they only knew the doing THINGS (taking vacations, buying homes, building a business, moving forward with life) or the things that inspire people and give you something to talk about. Great Post!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks! Glad you liked it. I think it’s not just a marriage principle. It’s a life principle. :)

  • Janelle

    Dear Pain, when did you become a part of our “I-do’s”? Stuck in the middle of that fight.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Sorry to hear that, Janelle.

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    “We all need little things to look forward to in life—small interruptions to our normal flow. Not because we have to escape from our lives, but so we can appreciate them. ”

    BRAVO, and this holds true for anything! A break from the mundane is necessary for our sanity and satisfaction!

    Thanks a lot for another invigorating article, Jeff #HUGSS

    Much love
    Kitto

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Kitto!

  • David C. Hughes

    Good word, Jeff! When my wife and I got married we committed to keeping our relationship alive over the years by keeping the fun firmly in place. Ten years and one child later, we’re still having fun. We look forward to those little “time offs,” where we just sneak away for an overnight stay in the city after dropping our daughter off at her aunt’s, or camping out in the back yard and telling ghost stories. Our motto is Live, Laugh, Love, and we’ve been living it out since the get-go. Have a blessed day!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Keeping the fun. I love that!

  • Keith Rushing

    Thanks for the post Jeff. The marriage relationship is one that should be invested in and protected at all costs. My wife, Shaundra, and I will celebrate 36 years of marriage August 12. Your advice about having something to look forward to together is one thing we have always done. A vacation, a mission trip, or a date night all take planning and create anticipation and expectation. It helps keep the relationship vibrant !

    Well said my friend!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Congrats, Keith!

  • http://www.Marketing4Traffic.com/ Devani Anjali Alderson

    I’m not married (and don’t plan to be anytime soon) but I am in a relationship, and I think similar rules apply if you’re hoping for a longer-term partnership with a significant other. Whether it’s going on vacation, or just breaking up the ‘routine.’ Because let’s face it… No matter how exciting it is to be with someone, ya gotta break out of the mold to keep it that way once you get used to being with each other all the time.

    I’ve seen so many couples that seem so disconnected to each other it’s heart breaking. It’s like when we check-in with our selves on new years or birthdays to make sure life is on track, we have to do the same with who ever we’re in a relationship with… Learning it before getting married is helpful for sure :-)

    Great content, Jeff!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Well said, Devani. I think this is true of life, actually.

  • http://www.gapyearfamily.com/ Stephen Pasquini

    Great post Jeff. My wife and I have been married for 13 years and I never really thought about this as being the key to marital bliss but you are absolutely right. Last year my wife and I found ourselves in the doldrums. Actually it was more me than her, but I knew I needed to do something. For many people once they have kids they convert from an adventurous couple spending time together and experience the world to a couple on different paths. Often related to career, acquisition of things – house, car, retirement savings, college funds. It isn’t a horrible life and it can even be quite comfortable. But it can also kill a marriage. Sex life suffers, the brains dopamine runs dry and we convince ourselves we are unhappy. We get grumpy about bills, mortgages, work becomes stale etc. etc. etc.

    In 3 days my wife and I leave for a trip around the world with my 6 and 4 year old. We are both health care providers gone rogue inspired by several factors (including your email course on Creative Live), several trips to Haiti and a feeling that life doesn’t have to be as we have been told it has to be. The planning over the last 8 months has been so much fun, and even though it is challenging our family is becoming closer, I believe after this year we will be like a walled fortress. Having learned how to rely on each other, and overcome struggles, challenges and a lot of great adventure.

    Anyway, thanks for reminding me of this, and as always I look forward to each of your emails. You are a mentor of mine (even though you don’t it) and I want to thank you for all that you do!

    Stephen – we will be writing about our trip at gapyearfamily.com, first stop South Africa :-)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Ooh, love the idea of doing a Gap Year together. Super cool!

      Stephen, your story is super inspiring. Love what you guys are doing and I’m inspired to have been a part of that in some way. The irony is you’re inspiring me!

      I loved your sentence “it was more me than her.” I think I could say that for 99% of any marital issues we have. Guys just tend to have a tougher go at selflessness, huh? At least, that’s true for me, anyway. Thanks for the comment.

  • Gratefulheart

    I just got off the phone with a woman who cried for 20 minutes because her husband cancelled their vacation yesterday. “Things are just too busy right now.” We’re all too busy not to! Thank you for being another voice of truth for this important message. Praying we all listen well.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Wow. Amen. Thank you for sharing this.

  • http://johnpatrickweiss.com John Patrick Weiss

    Enjoyed this post, Jeff. My wife and I are on a road trip and I just shared this post with her. She totally agreed. I just wrote a post on my blog about the secret to a happy marriage, but it didn’t include your bit about having something to look forward to. Brilliant.

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

    Great advice, Jeff. My husband and I are getting much better at planning things to look forward to. This summer we finally made it over to Germany, we also hit Austria and Italy. It was fun to plan and to mark places on the map to visit. On a side note, do you know where that picture above was taken? When we were in Venice, the old 15th century apartment we stayed in was right around the corner from an area that looked very much like this. Each morning when we would leave the apartment we would walk by a produce boat that looked just like this. :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Oooh… Austria. How was that? We’re thinking of heading there.

      And did you know we made it to Italy in March? LOVED it! Especially Venice.

      But I want to hear your secret about staying in an apartment. Sounds awesome. AirBNB?

      • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

        Jeff, I loved Austria, only wish are vacation was more than 2 weeks. Only had time to check out Salzburg for a couple of days. Gorgeous! But we did drive from there to Venice. The drive was breathtaking. Okay so I had to google AirBNB. Nope, it was actually much simpler. I have to credit my husband for doing great searches through Booking.com. We found a place that books actual apartments. It was great. We had the best of both worlds. We were back in a neighborhood hanging out with the locals, but we were close enough to the touristy stuff when we ventured out to explore.

  • http://themarkcryan.com/ Mark Ryan

    We’re starting the process of building a new house, and although I will not pick up a hammer or saw, we are looking forward to the new chapter, and the “in-between” of renting while our new is built. A 2 bedroom apartment with 3 kids is manageable right??

    • Cam

      LOL! Best of luck to you. We did the exact same thing. We were supposed to be in the apartment for 6 months which turned into a year. It was a trying time for everybody. We’ve been in our new house for 13 months now. Was it worth all the tears, sweat and turmoil? Yes, definitely. But the whole “house building process” was a huge distraction from and strain on our relationship. By the time we made the much anticipated move into the new house, I wasn’t even excited about it and even resented the house all together. During the more than year long process, we had neglected to schedule things to look forward to because everything became about the house. So, my point is, since money is tight and time is short, schedule a couple quick weekend get-aways with your wife and squeeze one or two in with the kids (they’re feeling all of your stress too). Good luck!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Right. ;)

  • http://patternsofsuccess.com/ Jason Richardson

    Best piece of advice my wife and I received was from her Grandfather (who also performed the ceremony), and that was to buy a calendar as soon as possible and put our important dates/events on the calendar for the whole year.

    It’s the whole rocks and sand principle taught by Dr. Covey (http://jrich.us/1notrnv). Put the rocks in first–the things you look forward to–and the other aspects of life will inevitably fill in the rest of your time.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      That’s awesome, Jason.

  • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

    Common goals are something that has served are marriage well. For us that has been vital because we worked together in our own business and now in ministry!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      So glad to hear that, Caleb. Sometimes, working together has the adverse effect, but it definitely works for some! As for us, I think we’re content to keep planning vacations together. ;)

  • threestrands

    Hi Jeff, now married for 32 years. This is our secret. Every week, we plan our Friday date night. Every year, to celebrate our anniversary, we plan week-long trips to places we’ve never experienced before. This year, we are celebrating it in Cancun. Besides that, we spontaneously go on weekend getaway trips to relax, renew, and reconnect. It is also important that we both attend or host a marriage retreat every year. I appreciate your post, Jeff :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      That’s awesome! Love that.

  • http://marknoldy.com/ Mark Noldy

    Although I never saw it that way, you just described my marriage. Every 3-4 months, my wife and I go on weekend getaways. Our next ‘common goal’ is Thousand Islands! Great post as always.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Love that, Mark. Thanks for treating your wife as I’m sure she deserves.

  • Marcy Mason McKay

    I’m about celebrate my 24th wedding anniversary, and can attest that everything you said is true. :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Congrats!

  • Ryan Haack

    Love it, Jeff. Simple, but challenging. And so true. :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Ryan. That means a lot. I appreciate you. Congrats again on getting some stage time at WDS to share your story. It was awesome.

  • Stephanie

    Jeff, usually I love your posts, but this one drives me crazy. Marriage is not something we consume. It does not go stale, like bread. And we don’t find life in it by coasting from one high to the next. Sometimes you have to get ready for the next baby … or grieve alongside one another … or adjust to a major life change. I have found new life and depth not by planning a vacation but by taking time to connect with one another in the midst of the hardest moments of life. THAT is the key to longevity.

    Peace to you.

    • Ryan Haack

      I don’t think Jeff would disagree at all that depth comes through suffering together, as well. But, that’s not what this post is about. If it’s because the title of the post is “THE Secret…”, remember that titles are meant to grab you. :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re probably right Stephanie. I’ve only been married six years. There’s a lot I still don’t know. This is just what has kept things fun for us. We certainly grieve and grow together but we also hope and dream together. I don’t thing there’s anything wrong with that, do you?
      I only used the word stale because it’s something I have heard others say when describing their marriage. For us, this is about more than planning a vacation. It means going on regular dates together and visiting my in laws and all sorts of things. Sometimes even going to the park or cooking out this weekend. I don’t think that’s coasting from one high to the next. It’s just trying to be intentional with our time when we could constantly be reacting.
      But like I said, there’s a lot that I don’t know. And I do know that not all of life can be planned or scheduled. There’s a lot to savor in those in-between times. I just know that where I have control, I want to try to take my wife on an amazing adventure. She deserves it. But sometimes that’s as simple as a bucket of popcorn and a rental movie.
      The point is not the amazing thing. It’s the anticipation. Thanks for your comment, Stephanie.

      • Young lover

        I also have to say that planning for the arrival of a baby, as your friend was, and uniting behind the excitement of that goal sure seems like ‘having something to look forward to.’ Just like any other common goal it requires sacrifices, financial and experiential, but I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than working together for the arrival and nurturing of a new life.

        I’m still glad you shared your advice and think it’s probably important to be careful not to get swept away by everyday routines… But why not also admire the beauty in looking forward to big and small domestic adventures, rather than just travel per se?

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    Spot on advice Jeff. For the last three years my wife and I have looked forward to moving to Maui. Planning the move brought us closer than we’ve ever been. We had to be on the same page and communicate. Now that we’re here we have some other dreams. One is buying some land near my family in Kenya. We want to spend one month a year there :)

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Kimanzi, from what I can see, you are doing amazing stuff. It’s so cool to hear about. Next time you go to Kenya, let’s go together. I love Mombasa. :)

      • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

        I’ll be there in November for a few weeks sir! If you come with me we can stay with my family, they own a nice resort there.

  • http://somekernelsoftruth.com SomeKernelsofTruth

    Great points; in general, having something to look forward to is so important not only for relationships, but life overall…thanks!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Totally agree. :)

  • Pete1942

    My wife and I will be celebrating our 43rd anniversary in two days. Some
    of the advice given is sound but it’s scratching the surface. We’ve
    lived thru a whole range of challenges together, as a team or
    partnership or couple.

    I’ve been putting together notes to
    present as a memoir/guidelines on how to make a long-term happy marriage
    work. My wife and I have served on the municipal boards and committees
    of our religion for most of our married life and seen so many marriages
    end in divorce.

    The point here I agree with most strongly is to
    have a common goal. But make it one large enough to keep you focused as a
    couple. A friend told us of a couple who married and bought a large
    house and decided to pay the mortgage ASAP and spent 4 or 5 years
    earning the money necessary. One morning after they paid off the
    mortgage [aka their common goal] they say facing each other across the
    table and discovered they were strangers, knew nothing about the other
    person. Divorce followed. A common goal but hardly one large enough to
    sustain the couple.

    Something to look forward to … hmmm. How
    about looking at your partner with new eyes everyday. You’ll be
    astonished, amazed and thankful that that person is your spouse. There
    is always something new to be discovered about the person you love.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      “Looking at your partner with new eyes every day.” I love that.

  • http://stephfishr.com/ Steph

    We just had a weekend getaway without our small children to celebrate our 11th anniversary. It had been way too long. We didn’t do anything elaborate, expensive or particularly exciting, but it was just what we needed to recharge and reconnect. We’re already planning our next one…can’t wait!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Perfect, Steph. This is what I’m talking about!

  • Kate Byers

    So true! By the end of one vacation, my husband and I are already talking about the next. Where it will be…when it will be. It has gotten a little harder to do this in the last few years since we’ve had two kids, but this post is a great reminder that we can look forward to things other than just vacations!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Hah! Perfect, Kate. It’s amazing how something so simple can do wonders in bringing you together.

  • http://cherylbarker.net/ Cheryl Barker

    Great advice, Jeff!

  • Elaine

    Hey, Jeff. This “secret” has worked in my freelance career as a writer and editor. Writing and publishing a book is a long process — much longer than most people expect when they first approach me with their desire to do so. Almost every project I’ve worked on has seemed interminable somewhere along the line — I’ve had enough of this subject, I’m bored, I want to move on and start something new. But then I remember the satisfaction I take in seeing the look on a person’s face when they hold their published book in their hands for the first time … and that’s all I need to charge forward. Looking forward to my client’s excitement and satisfaction revives the energy and determination.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Great advice! I’m on year 21 of marriage, and this “secret” certainly holds true. In fact, I’m going to “remind” my husband of this by sending him this post, and I’m going to suggest we read the book together too. It’s SO easy to get sucked into the mundane, especially when we’re often very needed there. But, it’s SO important that we force ourselves out of it in order to maintain and grow in the most crucial areas of our lives. Needed this reminder today!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      hah! i don’t think you were the only one, Kari. ;)

  • http://www.dennisbrooke.com/ Dennis Brooke

    This is very true. My wife and I have a very strong marriage after 32 years in part because we have shared purposes and are always planning things together.
    One way we do this is an annual getaway on our marriage anniversary. We rotate responsibility and the goal is to surprise the “guest.” Makes it a highlight of the year. Was published as an article in Focus on the Family Magazine: https://dennisbrooke.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/no-more-boring-anniversaries/

  • http://alwaysastudentofchrist.wordpress.com/ Rebekah T

    Thanks for the advice, Jeff! My husband and I are newlyweds and always asking for advice from long time married folks. This has already proven true in our first year! We decided to marry at a crazy time in life-me working on my BA degree while working and my husband opening a small business with friends while still working an extra job on the side… In the stress of it all, our upcoming vacation and my graduation next year (plans for our life after that) have both been keeping us grounded.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Awesome. Congrats to you two, Rebekah! Best wishes to you both.

  • http://www.toodarnhappy.com/ Kim Hall

    Terrific insight and so true! Not only are we arm in arm, skipping down the yellow brick road of life enjoying the journey together, but we also get to celebrate the accomplishment of the goal as one. Speaking from my life experience, my hubby and I are at our happiest and most productive when we have set and are working towards common goals.

    I do think care has to be taken with the “Why” behind the goals, however. If we choose goals thinking that happiness will only come once we achieve them, such as buying a house or having children, we are sure to be bitterly disappointed even though we will have achieved the goal.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I agree, Kim. Great clarification. Thanks!

  • http://tomwylie.org/ Tom Wylie

    Great advice, Jeff! And thanks for sharing the book with us, too! My wife and I plan to start reading it together this weekend.

    One thing we do that helps on a weekly basis is to have a date night EVERY week. It usually isn’t fancy, expensive, or terribly exotic, but we try to do something different every week. In fact, since having our firstborn 6 months ago, nearly all of our dates have been at our own house, but it’s amazing how much fun we can have with some creativity!

    Simply having that evening to look forward to, reserved for the two of us, helps break us out of the mundane. We sometimes use this time to plan our next exciting or more-elaborate adventure or project!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      awesome, Tom! hope you like it.

      a weekly date night is awesome. we could do more of those. thanks for the inspiration and challenge!

  • David Mike

    Thanks Jeff! My wife says this kind of thing a lot. I need to listen to you and her.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    Jeff, I haven’t had a day off since May. August 29 is the start of a long weekend.

  • Eshantis

    Although the secret isn’t travel, per se, I’ve learned things about my husband over the last 14 years on vacations and road trips that I probably wouldn’t have in the same old daily routine, which is never really the same since we’ve added 3 kids to the mix. When you remove yourself from the familiar, which is really the thing that goes stale, you can get a fresh look at your spouse and see all the ways they’ve changed and grown. And then celebrate those things together. That’s something I’d add to the things you’ve shared above (and something I encourage young/new couples to do): Celebrate each other’s accomplishments, no matter how big or small. But travel and celebration are big passions of mine, so this is just my facet of your little gem :)

  • Mary Kay Huck

    I couldn’t agree more!! My husband (and high school sweetheart) of 31 years plan little things each week. It doesn’t have to be a trip (although those are great things to look forward to), it can be cooking together, or sitting by the fire pit on our back deck. And no, this isn’t easy and it’s not because we’re empty nesters now. We’ve been doing this for most of our married life. We protect Friday nights religiously and always have something planned to look forward to. BTW, my husband is a pastor of a large church so this part of our marriage is a necessity – both for us and our congregation.

  • http://storiesmadepowerful.com/ Arlen Miller

    That’s a minimalistic little power-packer. It’s a simple and encouraging word for married humans on how to retain the spark of romance. Thanks, Mr. Jeff. You’re making a difference in my world.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Arlen. That means so much to me. I appreciate it.

  • Betsy Kerr

    We did really great this year. Although we’re both, uh, thrifty, and close enough to retirement age to be worried about it, we do like to travel here and there – nothing big, by any means. We went to Huntsville Space Center for a long weekend in May, to Jekyll Island GA for a long weekend in July, and in September – with (hopefully) cooler weather, smaller crowds, and cheaper lodging – we’ll spend a week in Washington DC, and, for the first time, flying to our annual vacation. Coming up in October we’re heading to Chattanooga to take a steam engine train ride. Each of these has afforded anticipation and excitement. Like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, we keep teasing each other with “Say it like this: [with breathless, bright-eyed anticipation] ‘We’re taking the train!'”

  • Micki

    I loved this article, Jeff, and have mentioned it to many of my friends because of the truth in what you write. We have a condo that we own and never seem to get to use often enough. Every time we leave, as soon as we get in the car, I look at my calendar to plan our next weekend! Same with our vacations. My husband laughs when I am planning our next vacation on the plane ride home from the one that we are on, but I truly believe you have to have something to look forward to. We plan date nights for the same reason. It really is the key to a happy marriage.