Have you ever felt like a roommate with your spouse? It’s not that you don’t love them, or that you want to be merely co-workers in the labors of life, but day after day after week after week goes by and there hasn’t been one time that you have sat across from each other and had a really good talk. Romance is something that’s joked about or has even become an un-touchable topic.
It’s easy to think back to when we dated our spouse and swoon. “It was so good then.” My husband and I sat down at the beginning of our marriage and had a long talk about how to not loose what we had in dating. Oh, of course the butterflies come and go, but if we don’t work for them, the reality is that they will never be there. Andrew and I realized there are a couple of key elements of dating that are so easy to loose within marriage-elements that foster affection, infatuation and closeness. These elements have been marriage, romance and friendship savers for us even amidst the craziness of life.
Make dating a top and regular priority.
When we got to know our spouse as “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, we did everything we could possibly do to spend time with them. We re-arranged our schedules, scheduled dates in advance, and even canceled things that were getting in the way of seeing them.
Andrew and I have found that if we don’t schedule our dates, they are unlikely to happen. It has to be a priority decision of both time and sometimes even money (even if it’s hardly any money). Based on your life, try to schedule 2-4 times per month that you can get out and date your hunny! Even if it’s scheduling a babysitter so you can simply go on a walk.
<Our Take: We try to do one date night a week. Every other week, we do an at home date that is free (after the kids go to bed-no phones allowed-this is still very intentional time), and the other week, we hire a sitter and hit the town!>
Be intentional on your date
Try your darndest to not fall back on movies as a regular date night activity. Even though going to a movie can be a fun experience, try to make it just that-an occasional experience.
Andrew and I have found that when we plan out our dates (we take turns doing this), we leave the date feeling much more connected. Try to plan an event and a meal. This allows us to create memories with our spouse, and then to sit down and talk in an environment where you can give your spouse your undivided attention. There have been several times where Andrew and I jokingly sit down for dinner on a date night and re-introduce ourselves to each other .
<Our Take: One of our favorite things to do is to print out lists of goofy (or serious) questions we find online to ask each other. Some of them we may have asked years ago, but the answers often have changed. Bust these out in the car, or even in a restaurant if you’re having a hard time getting past the usual conversations about work and the kids.>
Make date night an official “love” night in your home
(this was not an element for us pre-marriage, but adding it post marriage…..yes please!)
Schedule it or it often doesn’t happen. We all know what I mean. I’ll leave it at that.
Andrew and I have so many ways in which we need to still grow in our marriage, but we hope that these few things we have seen help our marriage stay vibrant will in turn help you keep your flame burning.
So let’s all plan a date within the next couple of weeks! While on that date, discuss how often we can making dating happen, and MAKE IT WORK. Other stuff can wait. This can’t. This is a decision I promise you you will not regret.
A few resources for you:
The Hanna’s Cardinal Dating rules:
- No talking about the kids or work unless it is to discuss how the other emotionally is handling what is going on in either of these areas
- NOOOOOOOO PHONESSSSS!!!!!!!!! (the only exception we make is an occasional picture) Silence those suckers!
- Let nothing mess with a date night once it’s on the calendar
- Date night is a “safe space.” If one of us needs to share something that is bothering us with the other, this is when we do it-always kindly and without any edge to it.
Some of our favorite question lists:
<<many of these are for MARRIED couples>>
There’s other good ones, but I’ll let you do the looking 🙂