31 Bits’ Alli Talley divulges her secrets for hitting refresh on your marriage in 2016, including super-cute date night ideas, modern ways to surprise a loved one and tips for making exploration a two-person priority this year.
Hi everyone—I’m Alli! I’m a 28-year-old marketing director at 31 Bits, and a self-proclaimed social media junkie. In April 2014, I married the man of my dreams, a studly high school math teacher named Bobby Talley. Yep, I know what you’re thinking—I became Alli Talley. Besides gaining the perfect last name and a BFFL (best friend for life), I’ve learned that marriage truly is the ultimate adventure. Now that we’re coming up on our two-year anniversary, we have to work to keep things exciting and new. See below for what I have up my sleeves so far for 2016.
I have never been one for surprises. I’m the girl that Googles Bachelor spoilers a week in. I Yelp restaurant menus on the way to dinner. I know how Harry Potter ends, even though I’m only halfway through book number four. Ironically enough, I married a man that loves surprises. Bobby loves to surprise me with little notes around the house, breakfast in bed and spontaneous day trips. The people that told us “marriage will soften you” are definitely right. I’ve come to appreciate—and even anticipate—Bobby’s little surprises. Heck, I’m even surprising him now!
Here are just a few of my surprise ideas for 2016 (Bobby stop reading):
- Dedicate a song to him on the radio.
- Research the stock market, and then casually impress him with my knowledge.
- Leave work early to cook a fancy steak dinner.
- Buy tickets to a UCLA football game.
- Plan a weekend trip to Catalina Island.
I know what you’re thinking. “Say no?! What does that even mean?!” Let me explain. From the moment Bobby and I got married, we had friends wanting to hang out, go on double dates, plan trips—and all of it sounded so fun! We would fill our nights with activities and social outings, and we struggled to leave room for each other. This year, we’re prioritizing our relationship by saying “no” to more things, so we can say “yes” to more quality time together—and most importantly, more date nights!
Bobby and I love to travel. Our dinner table conversations usually consist of where we’re going next (and when I can get a puppy, but that’s a whole other story). While we go on our fair share of grand adventures to exotic locations, we’ve developed a strong appreciation for weekend trips and staycations! They’re less stressful, easy to plan and extremely doable with our busy schedules. Not to mention that weekend trips are just a tad more affordable than Bora Bora.
I suggest finding a place that is semi-close to home and easy to get to, but feels like a getaway. We live in Orange County, CA, and love venturing off to Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, San Diego, etc! While each of these cities is only a couple of hours away, when we arrive, we feel like we’re on vacation. And while it isn’t mandatory, I suggest turning off your phone for the weekend. You won’t regret it.
Embrace the little things.
I’m finding that the longer we’re married, the easier it is for our marriage to get monotonous. So this year I’m vowing to be more creative and spontaneous when it comes to our day-to-day routines! Here’s just a few ideas I’ve brainstormed:
- Pack up our dinner, hop on our bikes and ride to the lookout for a picnic.
- Plan a trip to Target, pick out a new board game and a bottle of wine and boom—game night!
- Invest in a hammock for our backyard. One that will fit two people.
- Build a fort in our living room. Who says that activity is just for kids?!
- Pour some wine in a plastic cup and kick back on the porch.
- Buy a sushi starter kit, and get rolling.
Cheers to new experiences, spontaneous adventures and plenty of surprises in 2016! I’d love to hear how you keep your marriage fresh, so leave a comment below.