Seven playful ways to flirt with your spouse


But flirting is vital to your relationship, says Bela Gandhi, owner and founder of Smart Dating Academy in Chicago. Gandhi, who's been married for nearly 16 years and has two children, says she always followed her mother's sage advice: Your spouse was there before and they will be there after, so be careful not to ignore them while you're nurturing your career and kids.

"Flirting is important because it shows receptivity. It makes the other person feel important," she says. "Life happens. Things do get more difficult. The complexities of life, they just increase as you add more children. You have to make an effort to do it."

It might feel a little awkward at first. Or you might not know where to start. The important thing, says Kim Olver, coach, speaker and author of Secrets of Happy Couples, is simply to try.

"I think a lot of times the reason it feels awkward is because each person thinks it's the other person who should start," says Olver, a counselor in Country Club Hills. "That is so not important. If we notice something is off in our relationship, the person who notices it and is most upset by it, it's their responsibility to start. If you want a change and you're not happy, take responsibility."

You don't suddenly need to become a Sofia Vergara or George Clooney to put the flirt back in your fellowship. Just follow these simple tips from Gandhi and Olver:

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