Seven playful ways to flirt with your spouse

Remember flirting? Back in the day you were the master of the hair flip, the eye bat or the smooth one-liner. Then, time passed. Now flirting seems like an archaic ritual that you lost somewhere between learning to cook for four and mastering the art of the one-handed diaper change.

Remember flirting? Some time may have passed but you can still keep this vital part of your relationship intact with these simple tips.

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

“Flirting is important because it shows receptivity. Itmakes the other person feel important,” she says. “Life happens.Things do get more difficult. The complexities of life, they justincrease as you add more children. You have to make an effort to doit.”

It might feel a little awkward at first. Or you might notknow where to start. The important thing, says Kim Olver, coach,speaker and author of Secretsof Happy Couples, is simply to try.

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

You don’t suddenly need to become a Sofia Vergara orGeorge Clooney to put the flirt back in your fellowship. Justfollow these simple tips from Gandhi and Olver:

1 Focus on the good

Successful relationships begin and end in your mind,Gandhi says. So take some time to really consider the greatqualities your spouse possesses. Use the energy you normally wouldput toward dwelling on their faults to find the good in them again.Then, compliment them daily on something wonderful they do. Sizedoesn’t matter here-small or large, it’s the thought thatcounts.

2 Confidence is key

Pull yourself together. Yes, we know yoga pants aredelightful (and the only thing that’s clean). But the truth is, youfeel better about yourself when your hair is done, you’ve shavedand you’re wearing something that requires a fastener. And when youfeel better about yourself, you feel more confident to flirt. Andfeeling more confident also makes you more attractive.

3 A little touch

Touch your partner daily and ask nothing in return. A hug,a shoulder rub-these are the touchstones of flirting. And sneakinga hand-hold under the covers can feel pretty racy-even if you’rewatching the latest Pixar flick.

4 Get digital

Use technology to your advantage. It’s shocking, buttexting can be used for more than reminders about the kids’schedules and appointments. It’s OK to remind your spouse that thefridge is empty, but try sending a text every day that is aboutyour spouse, not about their to-do list. You can get edgy if youwant, but even a simple “I love you” can go a long way.

5 Be there

Put the phone, paper, tablet, book or whatever elseyou’re reading down. Just walk away. Be present when you actuallyhave time near your spouse. Make an effort to really listen tothem. Listening and being receptive were what made those firstdates so exciting.

6 All about them

Flirt from the mind of your partner. Instead of focusingon what is lacking for you, try thinking about what they would likemost.

7 Mood music

Set the mood. Light a candle, play your partner’s favoritemusic, make their favorite dinner. That’s it. It doesn’t need tolead elsewhere. Just one of these simple acts is a sexy, low-keyway to flirt.

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