Cutting Through the Busyness
Dating your spouse is pivotal for a successful, happy marriage. However, for most of us, it’s tough to follow through on even the best laid plans. Picture this: It’s Friday night and you’ve just wrapped up a work week ripped straight out of Dante’s Inferno. The only thing you want to do is get home, order pizza and put the kids to bed early so you can marinate in silence and a blanket. The last thing you want to do is acknowledge the “Date Night with the Hubs” notification plugged into the Google calendar from weeks ago when you had measurable energy and a touch of ambition.
Sound familiar? Solidarity, dear reader.
That could be a snapshot from my memoir.
But that calendar notification is a signal to a priority far more important than the extent of another long, exhausting work week. Dating your spouse is a chance to remember, reconnect, and recommit. Dating your spouse actually improves the quality of your life! So hop up, freshen up and get ready for your day to look up.
WHY DATE YOUR SPOUSE?
We Date to Remember
My husband, Matt, and I married young. At 22 and 21, respectively, we knew we wanted to build a life together; raising children, tending to a suburban lifestyle and pursuing our careers. And we did. We built exactly what we dreamed of. Three children, three houses and stable careers later, we found we resembled roommates and business partners more than the young, passionate couple that set these dreams in motion. Through the help of the marriage seminar, Love Recon, it became apparent we needed to prioritize our relationship again. We needed to start dating. After all, when our children are grown and we approach retirement, all that will remain is what was there in the beginning…us.
Turns out, prioritizing our relationship by consistently dating one another wasn’t just a <ahref=”https://loverecon.org/marriage-help-seminar/”>marriage help, it was critical. According to research by the Institute of Family Studies, spouses who date regularly are happier, have lower rates of divorce, better communication, and so much more.
By carving out time for just the two of you, you can remember what it was like when it was just the two of you. What brought you together in the first place? Remember the butterflies and the first physical attractions. Remember the private conversations and the first dates. Hold the gaze of the one with whom you built those big dreams.
We Date to Reconnect
How can we even make this happen? How do we find time or money to reconnect with each other through regular nights? Logistically, I know this is tough – especially with kiddos or when money is tight. Nearly everything is more challenging when you’re a parent on a budget. But just as with anything that matters to you, you will find a way or you will find an excuse.
Enlist the help of family members or a trusted sitter for the kids. Create a “Sit Share” with other friends who have littles and alternate keeping each other’s kids so you can both enjoy date night. If finances are really tight, put the kids to bed early and commit to doing something at home. There have been many seasons where our dates were a bottle of wine on the front porch and an hour of conversation. Or our favorite snacks retrieved from their hiding spot in the vegetable drawer and enjoyed in the silence and solace of our bedroom.
We Have a Dating Plan
Ultimately, we decided on a 2/2/2 model. Every two weeks, we do a date night. It’s a standing appointment in our calendar – just like the day our mortgage payment is due. Every two months, we do a night away (or home alone) together. Every two years is a vacation together – even if just for the weekend. Scheduling our dates in these increments help us to consistently unplug from the rest of our roles, remembering how important our union is. Attending a marriage retreat or marriage seminar can help you figure out a model that will work for you.
Reconnecting means looking for ways to be intimate (not just physical intimacy – learn more about Building Experiential Intimacy) Find ways for you and your mate to get alone and be together without the weight of conversations that could provoke disagreements. Dates are not the time to talk money, parenting, or hot conflict topics. This may seem awkward in the beginning – especially if you were like us and felt more like business partners. Ask your partner what brings them joy, what they’d wish for, what they dream of. Find out what they would do if they had a limitless bank account and a month free on the calendar. Remember the person you married, but reconnect with the person they are maturing into.
We Date to Recommit
How You Move Forward Matters
Life changes, sometimes in expected ways and sometimes not. But nothing ever stays the same just because we wish it so. Even your job likely requires a recommitment by the signing of an annual or periodic contract. In the same way, our relationships (especially the marriage relationship), deserve a renewed commitment of our focus, attention, efforts, and time. Scheduling date nights makes this critical success factor not just possible, but easy.
As you begin to build the habit of making your marriage matter, you create a recommitment to your love. Every time you choose your spouse over some other event/obligation/desire, you deepen that commitment. Show grace to one another as you find what works for the two of you. Be patient as you take turns planning what you will do on your date nights. Prepare to be vulnerable during your time together. Let date night create a safe and secure space to recommit to each other and the life you are building together. You recommit to being present with one another, to listening to one another, and to pursuing one another. Your communication will grow and your connection will deepen. Date nights are the ultimate marriage help and serve as an anchor through life’s moody seas to keep you remembering, reconnecting, and recommitting.
Connect With Us
If you want to discuss how Love Recon can help you and your relationship, please call 866-218-1716 or visit our website, LoveRecon.Org, for testimonials and information.