My marriage was dry. Acknowledging this was hard—we were a healthy couple, young, and not in crisis, just busy with all the demands of life. But I had to face reality: our relationship wasn’t as fun and romantic as it used to be. So, to be more intentional, I decided to make a list of 30 “flirtations,” one for each day of a month. I quickly found my “flirtation experiment” so transformative – and all carried out with my husband’s knowledge — that I had to call my friend Lisa to tell her all about it.
Lisa, married 28 years to my eight, was intrigued. “I’m going to try this too,” she replied. Over the next several months, we continued to observe the impact of these intentional, daily acts of love. Some were as simple as making eye contact across the room and winking, some as elaborate as planning a fancy date night instead of waiting for him to “think of it” (ever been there?). Both Lisa and I were amazed at how, in a healthy marriage, these small actions made us feel more confident as women and injected more fun, mystery, and spark into our marriages.
If you find you’re in a season where your marriage feels a bit boring – even though you love your husband! – we’d like to share six “flirtations” that you can try out too. Contrary to what many of us have been taught, a wife’s confident pursuit of her man is not unbiblical; it’s wonderful (see Song of Solomon, for instance). It’s okay to long for romance and desire to feel sexy—your marriage is the best place for expressing that! And to be clear, these flirtations aren’t meant to fix every problem in your marriage, nor are they mainly focused on sex. However, if they are anything like our experience, they will boost your confidence as a wife and lead to a closer connection with your husband.
So, are you ready? The following experiments were previously done by us (Lisa and Phylicia), but you can adapt them to whatever makes the most sense in your situation. Here are a half-dozen ideas for you to consider:
An Admiration Experiment (Phylicia)
Why are we so quick to think negative thoughts about our spouses? To keep track of where they fail us and the ways they can do better? To counteract this tendency, I decided to make a list of the GOOD things my husband did over a few days. Then I texted him a list of what I had noticed and how much I appreciated those things. In your Admiration Experiment, you might want to show admiration by complimenting his parenting, tell him you’re grateful for how he handled a challenging situation, or write a note describing how he’s helped you grow since you’ve been together. You might be surprised how he responds to your intentional affirmation!
A Laughter Experiment (Phylicia)
In the busyness of our days, laughter, joking, and celebration often fall to the back burner. I tried to reverse this trend by planning a few practical jokes on Josh—and he found them hilarious! I even went so far as to wait for him after work and showered him with water balloons! Such dramatic pranks might not be your cup of tea, but how could you cultivate a spirit of laughter in your relationship? Maybe it’s sending your husband a few Instagram reels or watching his favorite comedy together. Laughter is both healing and bonding!
A Friendship Experiment (Phylicia)
I came to marriage with a strong independent streak, and it took a while for me to see Josh as a friend, not just my husband. So realizing this, I started cultivating our friendship by taking an interest in his hobbies: such as bowling, fishing, and video games, for example. How about you? What says “friendship” to your spouse? What could connect you together on a platonic level and bring you together emotionally? Write down some ideas and try one today!
Count Me In
[From Lisa] I’ll never forget that phone call from Phylicia and how my mind started running as soon as I heard her say those three words: The Flirtation Experiment. You know that feeling when you have a deep sense that someone is really on to something? That’s how that moment was for me. Before Phylicia even finished describing her experience, I interrupted with “Count me in”!
A Kindness Experiment (Lisa)
Couldn’t we all use some more kindness? That was my thought, too, and why I decided to be intentionally kinder toward others—to the grocery store cashier, the grandmother at the coffee shop and even our local UPS drive. But then, I suddenly realized that here I was offering a kind and understanding word to these relative strangers . . . but what about to my husband? Could I not do the same for him? Even my tiniest attempts at kindness had a powerful impact on our relationship. And maybe you’ll find this too. So what are some of the ways you can show your husband an (unexpected) kindness?
A Delight Experiment (Lisa)
For me, it started with the Song of Solomon and what the Shulamite woman says about her love: “Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful” (1:16). And I began to consider how I could express delight in my husband like a lover would. While I couldn’t picture myself repeating those exact words, I wanted to find other ways of showing him my delight—perhaps with the expression on my face or the touch of my hand? And I can tell you; these small changes made a dramatic impact on our relationship. So now, what about you? Do you light up when he (or you) comes home from work? Kiss him on the lips and linger? Try communicating a lover’s delight and see what happens.
A Mystery Experiment (Lisa)
It’s only natural that two people sharing their lives together would inevitably fall into a routine—that regular morning ritual and predictable bedtime habits. But, after a while, what’s comfortable can also become boring and mundane, and we find ourselves missing the mystery of romance. As a practical person, I found this experiment more of a challenge but also far more rewarding than I would have guessed. So I now strongly recommend planning a special evening or an unexpected event—such as a mystery dinner, a surprise party, or tickets to a favorite concert—and breaking out of the mundane. Both my husband and I were surprised at how much we enjoyed this extra spark to our marriage! And I bet yours will too.
Phylicia and I hope that these experiments (and others) will encourage you to make a powerful, positive change in your own marriage. Not only do we believe you’ll find it fun, but we also hope they will transform your heart and the heart of your husband. May the power of pursuing love make this flirtation experiment only the beginning of something beautiful for you both!
Lisa and Phy are coming out with a new book, The Flirtation Experiment, in December that inspires wives to strengthen their marriage with fun, unexpected approaches that lead to the depth, richness, and closeness most desire.
Lisa Jacobson is an author, a podcaster, and the founder of Club31Women.com, an online community of Christian women authors who write on marriage, home, family, and faith–a powerful voice for biblical womanhood. She is the author of the bestselling 100 Ways to Love Your Husband. Lisa and her husband, Matt, are also cohosts of the popular FAITHFUL LIFE podcast. They live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where they have enjoyed raising their eight children. Follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Phylicia Masonheimer is a national bestselling author, speaker, and host of the Verity Podcast. Her blog -Every Woman a Theologian -teaches Christians how to know what they believe and live it boldly. Theology touches every area of life, so Phylicia addresses cultural questions through the lens of church history and sound biblical interpretation. She lives in northern Michigan with her husband and three children. Follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.