Admit it, married life can be HARD. Two lives coming together in one household? Yeah, there’s gonna be some rough patches.
Don’t get me wrong it has it’s magical moments, but it also entails a lot of work to keep the marriage healthy and happy.
I think we grow up believing that we find the prince, we marry him, and then we live happily ever after. But the truth of the matter is, that is just where the story begins. That’s where the real work starts.
Not that you weren’t faced with hardships during your courtship, but marriage is a whole other ball game.
You are now navigating the waters of living together, schooling, careers, and eventually babies, potentially medical issues, finances, and so much more. It can seem like the weight of responsibility is suffocating. If one more responsibility is placed on your shoulders you may just drown from it all.
And unfortunately when the pressures get to be to much, we seem to start neglecting things that really are a necessity to keeping our family dynamic working.
One of those things happens to be dating your spouse. Think back to your dating days. How often did you go out on dates with your now spouse? I’m guessing every single chance you got. I know we did. We were two young kids madly in love, sneaking around, spending as much time together as we possibly could.
Yet, here we are almost 8 years into our marriage and I don’t know if we’ve even matched the amount of dates we went on pre-married life.
You are probably thinking, well yeah, that’s natural. That’s how it works. Life happens when you get married and some things have to take the backseat.
Which I agree with, but I don’t believe that dates should be negotiable and here are my reasons why.
Dating shows that you value your relationship. By saying, Friday night after the kids go to bed we are going to put our phones down and eat a nice dinner together…that shows that you want to make the time to be together. That you value your spouse and the relationship you have with them. It shows that even in the chaos of life, they are still a priority to you.
It’s a chance for communication. I’m not talking finances, kids, or responsibility’s here. Nothing ruins the mood more than talking about what bills you have coming up for the week. I am talking about deep intimate conversations. Conversations that you wish you had time for but never seem to happen. The opportunity to share your hopes, dreams, goals, and wishes together.
Dating keeps the spark alive. Nothing get’s my heart thumping more than getting ready for a date with my spouse (even if we are staying in). It’s a chance for me to look my best, and for me to see him at his. Because we are able to connect mentally, emotionally, intellectually, it also helps keep the spark physically. Holding hands across the table, snuggling up on the couch, and more…I don’t need to go into detail you know what I’m talking about.
It also keeps your relationship fresh & fun. By spending time together weekly you are creating new memories to last for years to come. You will be able to look back on the fun times that you had. So while going out to dinner may be fun, be sure to mix it up from time to time. Dating isn’t supposed to be the same thing every time, it’s meant for adventures and trying new things.
And lastly it helps you to build a strong relationship that will last. Do you know the number one reason why people split up? You probably guessed infidelity but you would be mistaken. The number one reason is because of communication, or lack there of. You want to build a relationship that will stand the test of time, you envision yourself rocking on the front porch as a cute wrinkly old couple? Then you have got to make time for one another, and keep communication open.
Dating your spouse is vital to a happy, and healthy marriage. And like I said before it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Take turns planning at home dates. One of my favorite dates is when Struan and I had an in home Chopped date. We bought a bunch of ingredients and tried to cook up delicious meals. We laughed and had fun for a very low price.
So get out your calendar, sit down with your spouse and plan out your next few weeks of dates. Commit to one date a week if you can, and one outside the home if you can swing it.
Make time for one another, your marriage depends on it.
Need a few date ideas? Check out these resources: