10 Ways & Reasons to Sneak Affection Into a Busy Life

categories: How To:, Romantic Ideas

10 Ways & Reasons to Sneak Affection Into a Busy Life

The other day, a friend I were having a great girls’ night out dinner at a fabulous Italian place. It’s a popular place for date night. Sure enough, most of the tables were occupied by couples. However, we were struck by the glaring absence of something particular – affection. Many of the couples walked in side-by-side, usually with both partners’ hands just hanging straight down against their sides or with the man’s hands stuck in his pockets while the lady’s were occupied with a purse and phone. The whole night, we saw only a handful out of the dozens of couples we saw holding hands. There was a lot of individual scrolling through phones, with little interaction as they waited for a table or awaited their orders.

What happened to affection? Those sweet touches and brushes against each other that flood you with soothing and mood-boosting hormones and make you feel closer to your loved one – incorporate affection into your day. We all get busy with waking up, getting the kids ready for school, working, supervising extracurricular activities, cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning the house, running errands, and putting the kids to bed. A busy life can seem like it leaves little to no time and creates too much stress for someone to just sit down and have a relaxing cuddle session.

The thing is, that’s simply not true. Affection and bonding physical touch aren’t things that need to be relegated to a scheduled date night. With these easy tips and great reasons for reintroducing affection into your lives, you’ll become more connected to your partner and feel happier all around.

1. Morning kisses

After real life sets in and the early stages of romance have faded in all their lovey-dovey glory, the morning kiss tends to slip away. We’re not talking about the requisite “bye honey, have a good day at work” kiss. We’re talking about the first thing you do when you wake up, even before your eyes have really opened or you’ve gained true consciousness. Kiss each other first thing in the morning. Heck, if you’ve been dating or married long enough, go ahead and let it turn into a morning makeout session (true love will tolerate morning breath). It connects you after several hours of being mentally apart, bringing you together before you’re even fully conscious.

2. A squeeze in the shower

Alright, folks. Your partner is in the shower. You’re doing any number of things, like brushing your teeth, putting on makeup, or rallying the kids for breakfast. Pop in the bathroom, slide back the door/pull open the curtain, and give your lover a squeeze. Location and firmness of squeeze is up to you. And, of course, if you’re truly busy people, who has time to wait their turn for the shower? Hop in there together. All jokes about getting clean and dirty aside, the occasional shared shower can be quite nice. It’s relaxing to have your partner soap you up and scrub your back. Exchange some soothing shampoo scalp massages to start your day on an intimate, tranquil note.

3. Holding hands

So simple. So easy. Yet powerful. It’s a literal connection between the two of you as you go about your day. Don’t just walk next to each other with your arms down by your sides. Hold hands as you peruse the fresh fruit at the farmer’s market, wait in line for movie tickets, or walk into your daughter’s piano recital. It keeps you two together in both body and spirit. Holding hands is a sweet, simple form of affection that’s appropriate anywhere. Especially if you’re out in a crowded area, that simple link is a powerful form of security and reassurance.

4. A flood of good hormones

Ever heard of oxytocin? It’s the feel good hormone that boosts your happiness and sense of well-being. Enjoying affection releases large amounts of oxytocin, giving you a mood boost like no other. Affection like kissing, hugging, and other sweet physical touching fills your brain with oxytocin, which has lowers stress, increases happiness, and also promotes bonding (oxytocin is a key part of bonding a mother and her baby). Cuddling also releases endorphins, the chemical that floods you after a great workout or a divine piece of chocolate, which just adds to the all around happy feeling you get after a good snuggling session.

5. Random butt grabs

Ladeela, just going to the kitchen to get dinner started, now let’s see, where did I put that cast-iron pa- ahhh! You were just bending down to get that pan out of the drawer when suddenly, you felt a firm grip on your tush! When you look behind you, you see your husband standing there with a satisfied smirk. When you find that the days of an effortless bikini body during college spring break were a few more years ago than you’d like to admit, it can be difficult to regain that “I am an attractive, desirable woman” mentality, especially if a lifestyle of running after energetic kids all day has left you bare-faced in sweatpants.

The thing is, your partner still wants you. Random butt grabs, taps, pats, smacks, and squeezes go both ways. Just because people talk about the female derriere more doesn’t mean that women don’t like a firm rear on their man! Giving your lover a squeeze on their butt is a playful, flirty way to keep the spark alive. When they’re walking out the door for work or bending over to fold the laundry, help yourself to a handful that’ll leave both of you laughing or grinning. Not to mention, an errant squeeze here and there could lead to a reinvigorated bedroom life.

6. Stroking hair at bedtime

Ladies, you know how good it feels when someone plays with your hair. It sends tingles of relaxation all throughout your scalp and spine. You can enjoy that feeling every night at bedtime. Stroking your partner’s hair before they sleep is soothing, relaxing, and very Zzzz-friendly. Touching their scalp lightly and running your fingers through their hair is a sweet gesture of reassurance and love. Of course, you might have to take turns every other night – the receiving party will probably fall asleep before they can return the favor.

7. 15-second shoulder massages

Fifteen seconds is a paltry amount of time. Fifteen seconds is very doable. Yet, fifteen seconds is a small amount of time in which you can effectively get a dose of physical bonding. Who doesn’t love shoulder massages? We’re all always so tense and knotted up after a day of blogging, picking up toys, driving to work, picking up kids, changing diapers, dragging a sleepy teenager out of bed, hassling said teenager to take out the trash, cooking, and cleaning. Show your partner that you love them by giving them some time – even if only for a fleeting moment – to relax and be pampered. Massage their shoulders and back, then finish with a kiss. And back to the real world.

8. Building a connection and trust

People today tend to fritter time away. Oh, they’re very busy and they have a million things to do. But they still waste time in small amounts, here and there, all throughout the day. Instead of killing time by playing a game of Candy Crush, going on an Instagram liking spree, or scrolling through Facebook, put the phones away and just sit together for five minutes. Let your arms and legs intertwine. Rest your head on his chest, use her chest as a pillow. Connect with each other. Feel each other’s presence. Feel safe, happy, secure, and relaxed.

9. So many health benefits

Doctors might as well prescribe cuddling as a supplement to all ailments. Cuddling has myriad health benefits! Cuddling boosts your immune system, protecting you from getting a cold or even the flu. And even if you are already sick, cuddling can make your symptoms less severe. It can also help with anxiety and fear – a study found that holding someone’s hand (especially your husband’s!) significantly reduced both the length and intensity of anxiety. Feeling stressed or anxious? Go cuddle. Frequent hugs with your partner boost your oxytocin levels while lowering your blood pressure, heart rate, and risk of heart disease.

You know that stubborn belly fat you can’t seem to banish? That’s usually caused by high cortisol levels. Luckily, affectionate physical touch like hugs and cuddling lowers your cortisol levels. Not to mention, cuddling is a natural form of pain relief. Think about it – when a part of your body hurts, you tend to rub it to soothe it. Cuddling and the oxytocin increase it causes work to decrease the pain you feel. Forget the apple a day; seems like a good cuddle session every day is what will really keep the doctor away!

10. Spontaneous kisses

Kissing is not only for scheduled nights of romance or automatic rituals when saying “goodbye” and “welcome home.” Kissing should be spontaneous! If you’re preparing dinner together, wrap your arms around her waist when she’s stirring the pasta sauce, trailing kisses down her cheeks and neck. When he comes out of the shower, delight in his fresh cleanliness and give him a passionate kiss. When you’re walking somewhere together, pause randomly and pull them in for a long kiss. Watching a movie? Turn to them and give them a soft kiss on the forehead. Let your partner feel loved, wanted, and adored all the time.

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5/29/2015

  • Janeane Davis

    There are so many cute ideas in this post! Often people confuse romantic gestures with sex. You listed several little romantic things that are sweet and nice all on their own!

    • http://datevitation.com/ datevitationblog

      That is so true about people confusing romance with sex, Janeane. Romantic gestures should be sweet and thoughtful, too!

  • Karla M. Davis

    This is probably one of my favorite posts written on your blog! So many ideas here that I can honestly say ring true. The kissing in bed as the first thing you do is a great way to start the day. I’m thankful that my husband has a basic phone (no smartphone). So he’s never distracted by a phone or tablet BUT he is a workaholic and is in front of his laptop way too much. When it comes to going out, I agree, you really see people focused on their phone (people in another city/country/place) when the person in front of them is being ignored. I’m trying to be very diligent about this with my toddler-her not seeing me on my phone but it’s happened and I always feel guilty because I never want her to think the phone is more important than her. I’ve also been guilty of playing around on my phone while in my husband’s company which is usually when we’re in the car and he’s driving focused on the road. If you think about it though, most of what we’re doing is on social media and isn’t really all that important. Like you said, scrolling FB, liking on Instagram. I really loved all these ideas-so simple and yet so easily forgotten sometimes.

    • http://datevitation.com/ datevitationblog

      I’m so glad these ideas really struck a chord with you, Karla! It’s great that you’re trying to limit the phone use in front of your toddler; so many parents these days just plop an iPad in front of their kids to keep them quiet. Definitely, these are simple things that slip our minds.

  • http://www.alphabetsalad.com Laurel Regan

    These are wonderful suggestions. Touch is so very important, yet how often do we forget about it? Thank you for the timely reminder, and practical ways to bring more touch into a relationship.

    • http://datevitation.com/ datevitationblog

      You’re welcome, Laurel! It’s very true, so many of us forget about it so often.

  • Tausha

    Cannot wait to put all these to the test. Husband and I are very busy with our different lives & having a hard time putting them together and making time for us between the needy toddler, full time school, an etsy shop, blog and our hobbies. We’ve been slipping away from each other for awhile – so this is just the jump I need. THANK YOU.

    • http://datevitation.com/ datevitationblog

      Ahh, Tausha, it’s so easy to slip away from each other with a toddler and full time school (props, by the way, for balancing all that!). Hope you and your husband get back into your old affectionate ways!

  • Carla WorkingMommyJournal

    These are perfect. I am so guilty of letting the day pass by and forgetting to show my husband some love. Some days I am just too tired or the kids have kept me so busy. We do make time for goodbye kisses but I think the holding hands and cuddling during the news hour would be perfect! I love the suggestion of taking showers together – saves water too :)

    • http://datevitation.com/ datevitationblog

      Heyyy, girl, we’re having a severe drought over here in California. By all means, save some water. 😉

  • WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion

    I love the holding hands; my husband and I usually fall asleep like that. But I draw the line at the shower: that’s MY time :)

    • http://datevitation.com/ datevitationblog

      Awww, what a sweet way to fall asleep!

  • Tausha

    Such easy things that can really help (and even save) a relationship! Going to put ALL of these into practice this week – Hubby and I have really slipped apart after our first child (she has some mental issues we are working with) and I know these will help! You guys rock! THANK YOU!

    • http://datevitation.com/ datevitationblog

      Totally, Tausha, it’s so common and easy to slip after children come into the picture. Have fun with these tips these week!

  • Katie Clark

    I love all these ideas. It’s really the small things that count in making a relationship successful.

  • http://maegal.com/ Sarah (MaeGal.com)

    These tips will come in handy when I move in with my boyfriend in a few weeks! We’re both pretty busy with work, and his schedule is currently almost the opposite of mine. We need to remember to do small things for each other! :)

  • Pingback: Show Your Love Every Day()

  • Life of K

    Oh oxytocin.. I tell all my doula clients that what got the baby in there helps get the baby out! Oxytocin is a powerful thing!

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