Time has a way of slipping away, and it takes work for couples to grow closer together every year, rather than drifting apart or getting in a rut. Couples need to be intentional about how they spend their time together, not just in the day-to-day, or week-to-week, but also in the year-to-year. The idea is to always strive towards deeper intimacy, friendship, and love while also staying on the same page with general housekeeping items too.
8 Things Couples Should Do At least Once a Year:
1. Go on an annual get-away trip.
Go on a vacation or even just a night away with just the two of you. Couples with kids may find it challenging to get away, but it’s these couples that need it the most. If you don’t live near family or have a reliable sitter to watch your kids, then trade-off weekends with a trusted friend. Couples need time to actually look each other in the eye, talk, regroup, go on a date, and enjoy each other’s company.
2. Make yearly relational goals.
This may sound cheesy, but it’s amazing how quickly a year (or ten) will go by, and it’s always a good idea to set aside some time at the beginning of the year to make some relational goals together. Goals can be as simple as, “have date night every week,” to “spend 15 minutes every night talking about our days.” These seemingly little goals can have a big impact on your relationship with your spouse, and help the two of you connect in a deeper way.
3. Budget together.
Generally, it’s a good idea for couples to budget every month, but for many couples it’s one of those areas that gets put on the back burner. However, at least once a year couples should take the time to look at their cash flow in and out from the previous year and set yearly financial goals and priorities like paying off debt, home repairs and improvements, or buying a new or used car. Even a little bit of yearly financial planning can help couples stay on track and avoid financial pitfalls.
4. Go on a local adventure.
Take the time to do something in your area that you’ve never done before. It’s easy to miss the opportunities and adventures available within just a few miles of your house, so do some research or ask some friends and take a local adventure with your spouse.
5. Do what you love.
This may sound a bit obvious, but it’s amazing how couples can put things on the back burner for years because they can’t seem to find time to do what they love. If you both love concerts, go to a concert. If you love to hike, go hiking. If you love to play tennis, then play tennis. If you love cooking, stay home and cook. If you don’t love the same things, then make sure you both take time to do at least one thing that each of you loves.
6. Do community service.
It’s always a good idea to find ways to give back to your local community, and it’s even better when you can serve alongside your spouse. It will help the two of you to share a new perspective, and you may even find that is something the two of you want to do regularly.
7. Stay up late just talking.
Remember when the two of you first started dating, and you’d stay up talking late into the night (or morning) even though you could barely keep your eyes open the next day? It was worth it then, and it’s still worth it now. Yes, even if you have kids. Of course, you will pay for it in the morning. I’m not saying you won’t, but sometimes it’s nice to let the conversation keep going long past bedtime and just talk.
8. Wake up and watch the sunrise together.
The busyness of life can keep couples from enjoying some of the simplest pleasure of life, so take time once a year to rise early, grab some coffee, and sit and watch the sunrise with your spouse. And, listen, if you’re really just not morning people, a sunset works too.
Grab your calendar at the beginning of the year (or on your anniversary) and take the time to plan some of these things, so that you and your spouse can grow closer and fall more deeply in love year after year.