marriage, Women

how to date your spouse

Let’s have a quick chat about the married date night rut. I think you know what I’m talking about. You spend all the money on babysitters and FINALLY get time away from the chaos of daily life. Time alone. Together. No kids. All this anticipation of it being THE THING that makes all the other hard, chaotic things better. You build it up. You tell your friends, “I’m finally going on a date with my husband! It’s been months since our last date!” You shave your legs. Once at the restaurant, you tag yourself and your hubs at said restaurant with the caption: “Date Night with Hubby! No kids! Woohooooo!” Then, you put your phone down and look at him, unsure of what to talk about outside of the kids, the schedule, the work.  Yes, I’m talking about that rut.

At some point in our marriages we come to the startling realization that we pretty much forgot how to date our spouses. There are a few important things that dating brings to a relationship that we tend to lose after the wedding bells. I think the first one is trying to look nice for the person we’re dating. Now that I’m home full time, showers have become optional. I actually showered and put on make up the other day, the only reason being that Josh would remember he didn’t marry a hobo. The second is making an intentional effort to know the person. I think we mistakenly assume that we already know everything there is to know about our spouses that we stop asking good questions.

It’s amazingly easy to forget how to connect with those we love the most.

To make an effort with our appearance.

To stop the chaos and busy long enough to look them in the eyes.

To ask deeper questions and listen to the answers.

To give and receive love.

To continue growing and learning together.

I cannot tell you enough how important it is to do these things. A research group in California asked people filing for divorce why they were getting divorced as they left the courthouse. It wasn’t affairs or obnoxious in-laws, either. The most common response was not feeling loved their partner.

Here are a few tips to get out of the date night rut:

  1. Find or make space in your weekly/daily lives to be alone.
  2. Be lovers in and out of the bedroom. Foreplay starts in the morning. Kiss, touch, hug, snuggle. Have sex regularly*.
  3. Date regularly*. Make it happen, no excuses. I can’t tell you how much going on a date twice a month has helped us stay connected and passionate.
  4. Put down your phone. Look into each other’s eyes. Seek to really understand the person sitting across from you.
  5. Ask open-ended questions. Here are some ideas:

Talk about your childhood, hopes for the future, traditions you want to start, what you are looking forward to, the things you love about each other, your first kiss, your first impressions of each other, your most embarrassing moment, your favorite memory together, your favorite vacation, gift, etc.  How you knew you wanted to marry him/her. How do you feel loved by me? How can I make you feel more loved? If you can’t think of this stuff on the fly, buy this and bring a small stack with you.

” There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.”

-Mr. Roger’s favorite quote

* “Regularly” is defined by you and your spouse. Discuss what you each would like and compromise if necessary, but talk about it and be intentional about what you decide.

Happy Dating, dear ones!

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