Ask Mary Jo: Scheduling time for intimacy & types of love languages

Hi Mary Jo,

My wife and I have completely separate schedules and two small children, so it’s tough to find time for intimacy.  Is it or can it still be romantic to schedule time for intimacy in our marriage?



It’s tough finding time when you have demands at work and small children at home, but scheduling sex and intimacy does not have to be less romantic or awkward. In fact, I encourage you and your wife to jump in whole-heartedly because scheduling romance makes it clear that intimacy is a priority; that’s very powerful in making you both feel loved. Here’s how scheduling intimacy makes a big impact:

  • You put more energy and thought into what you’re going to do. You can take turns planning a great date away from children or have a backyard wine and cheese date when the kids are in bed. It’s not what you do but that you make it something enjoyable for both of you.
  • It makes you more conscientious about pampering and taking better care of your body. Scheduling intimacy is more like dating again and you focus on how you dress and smell. This extra care makes you feel and look more desirable.

Keep in mind that one challenge in scheduling intimacy is that it can feel like an obligation. Therefore, if your scheduled romance time leaves you both feeling tired, do something else. You don’t have to share physical intimacy, but make sure you spend time doing something together.

Hi Mary Jo,

I’m always giving love in the way I want to receive love, and my husband does the same. So how do you give love to someone else and get used to giving love in a different way then you know how you like to receive it?


Dear Allie,

One word sums up what you need to practice every day when you speak different love languages; that word is compromise. Compromises are about giving up something because you want your relationship to work more than you want your way. If you know each other’s love language, practicing one or two of these behaviors each day using your partner’s love language helps them feel loved and connected to you.

  • Acts of service: do little things, like getting their car washed, packing their lunch or unloading the dishwasher.
  • Words of affirmation: Verbalize your appreciation, send thoughtful text messages, or pack a note in their work bag
  • Gifts: bring them small, tangible gifts, such as a coffee on the way to work, a book you thought they’d like, or a gift from a business trip
  • Physical touch: hold their hand, rub their back when you’re sitting next to them, and hug and kiss often
  • Quality time: put your phone down when they talk, give them eye contact and your undivided attention when they need you.

Great marriages aren’t gifted or natural. They are a created by two people who want to love each other and are committed to expressing their love in some small way every day of their life.