With Valentine’s Day season upon us, you might wonder how spell L.O.V.E. In our book, The First Five Years, we explain how to create a memorable romantic encounter for your spouse no matter how many years you are married (And we will adapt this for those who are single and dating). Keep this acrostic for LOVE in mind as you make plans to wow the one you love:  

Listen
Observe
Vary
Extract 

Listen

Your spouse will drop hints about the things he or she loves and you can use these hints to create more romance and sizzle in your relationship. For example, if you listen to Bill and me in a casual lunch conversation, you would be apt to find out that Bill loves things like: Football, fishing, cooking, joke telling, and the Bible. If you listen to Pam you’d discover she loves travel, biking, swimming, tennis, laughing, and helping women—and the spa!

It doesn’t take much imagination then to know that if I (Pam) give Bill a day of ocean fishing or if he gave me a day at the spa, we would be more interested in each other at the end of that day. But it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Kayaking is on both our lists, so we have a goal to have a kayak date in every state we travel to for business. Walking and biking are also on both of our lists, so an evening stroll, or a leisurely cycle around a lake near us is apt to also put us in the mood. Bill and I keep a running list of “loves” we discover about one another while listening.

For dating couples, being an active listener can show you are cherishing and valuing the one you are dating. If he or she shares a favorite food, type of entertainment, or hobby and you create a date that includes this you gain points in the romance column.

Observe

On the TV show Sherlock (and in the classic books with this character), Sherlock Holmes wows the audience by his keen detective skills of observation. You can become a detective and easily observe what will bless and ignite your spouse:

  • What raises stress in your partner—then make a plan to lower it
  • What lifts the spirit—then make a plan to repeat it
  • What calms the atmosphere—then recreate it
  • What things are collectible—then add to it
  • When he or she sighs or purrs—then repeat it
  • What makes him/her ask for more—then expand it
  • What draws him/her to you—then protect it

For dating couples, keen observation can give you clues on what might be a nice gift. Notice favorite catalogs, stores, brand names, music loves, authors, etc. If you detect a detail that he or she didn’t tell you about and create a gift, it makes a statement of value.

Vary

For married couples, when it comes to intimacy, don’t get in a rut. Vary the place, the lighting, and your invitation asking your mate to join you in some red hot monogamy. In our book, Red Hot Monogamy, we give over 200 Red Hot Romance ideas. One of the easiest ways to vary the experience is to keep the five senses in mind. Add new sounds/music, add new smells, textures, or tastes. Even dinner and a movie can become a rut if it is your weekly ritual.

For all couples, dating and married, add in some active dates, some dates with friends and family as well as solo romantic moments to add dimension to your love.