Disclosure: Thank you to Nordstrom and Shopstyle for sponsoring today’s post. All products were selected, purchased, and worn by yours truly!
Shawn and I have been married for over 16 years — yes, when I type that I feel both old and also like this must mean I got married at the age of 12. While I may have been just a *few* years older than that when we tied the knot, the reality remains that we’ve been married for a long time in the scheme of my short 36 years of life.
I will always remember when we were engaged and we had a woman say to us how crazy it was to think that we could get married [and remain married] at such a young age, while we had no idea what we would grow up and evolve into as adults. While it hasn’t always been easy [I know we all know without going into all of our “not so easy” moments that this truth exists in most relationships] there have been a few things that I believe have helped us stay the course and still be genuinely excited to be in relationship with each other.
Before I jump in, one of the big things that have helped us stay engaged and on the same page with one another is date nights. Of course, date nights mean an excuse to get a little dressed up and if there’s one place I always turn to to find an outfit for any occasion, it’s Nordstrom. They offer a HUGE selection of high-quality brands that both Shawn and I love and feel good in and their fast, free shipping sucks us in every time! If you’re in need of an outfit for your guy, check out their new arrivals here! Now that you have the outfit, let’s jump into the juicy stuff…
1. Know each other’s love languages
This has been one of the most helpful tools in our marriage — in fact, at the beginning of my blogging days, I wrote a blog post dedicated to just this topic! Shawn and I have different love languages and before we realized that, it was really just frustrating for us to feel like we didn’t know how to love each other well. It turns out that mine are physical touch and words of affirmation and Shawn is a big quality-time guy who shows his love through acts of service. While opening the car door for me is super sweet, it’s not going to make me necessarily feel desired. But, give me an unexpected hug and I’m swooning. By being able to understand and communicate our love languages to each other, we are able to better show each other love in ways that will make more of an impact.
ps. If your partner’s love language is gifts, there are SO many great options to choose from here!
2. Be intentional about planning date nights together
Speaking of love languages and knowing Shawn’s is quality time, date nights have been so imperative to our relationship. Now, while we have been kidless for the past 16 years and have ample time together at home, there is something so different about getting out of your normal atmosphere and routine and doing something FUN together. Whether it’s something simple like hitting up a new restaurant or acting like a kid and going to an arcade, dating your spouse is never a bad idea and will help keep the romance alive and well.
3. Weave in tools to help you communicate better
Floral Balloon Sleeve Blouse [true to size, wearing in small] // Mia High Waist Coated Skinny Jeans [size down if in between, wearing in 2] // Shawn’s Corbet Quilted Half-Zip Pullover [true to size, wearing in medium] // Men’s Plaid Corduroy Button-Up Shirt [true to size]
We both had [and still have] a lot of work to do in our communication styles from what we were taught in childhood, but fortunately, we have found tools that have helped us get better at this over the years. Whether it’s a journal that offers talking prompts [this is a great one] or listening to Podcasts about sex, love, and marriage [The Living Easy podcast is one of my favorites for this], or reading a book together [The Love Dare is a good one!] there are so many resources out there that can help bring you and your partner together in a more vulnerable way.
4. Do your own inner-work
This has been one of the [if not THE most] helpful tools for me in my relationship with Shawn. I started therapy over a year ago and the path of getting to the root of unhealed wounds I’ve carried with me has been eye-opening in seeing how it impacts my marriage and other relationships in my life. There is no greater gift you can give to those in your life than the gift of self-awareness.
5. Always Remember: You’re On The Same Team.
It’s crazy how quickly we can forget this sometimes. When I first got married I remember receiving a sign that said “Choose your love, love your choice.” and it stuck with me since. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparison, judgment, expectations, and want to shine the brightest light you can find on all of the flaws and things your spouse isn’t doing right. But, when you step back and remember “we’re on the same team here” it changes things. While relationships aren’t easy, if you are fighting for each other, it makes fighting a lot easier.
What tips do you have to keep the romance alive?! I’d love to hear ’em!
Shop more date night looks here –>
Founder and creator of LIY, Erin turned her dream of a hobby blog into a full-time career which she now runs alongside the LIY team! When not in front of her computer screen [with a La Croix or wine in hand] or in front of a mirror taking mirror selfies, you can find Erin spending time on the water, cuddled up with her two pups and husband most likely watching the latest Shark Tank episode, or getting lost in an easy beach read.