The Key to a Thriving Marriage
Do you remember what it was like first dating your spouse?
Getting to know each other?
That nervous and exciting energy?
That dating period is full of an array of emotions, both exciting and nerve-wracking. How wonderful would it be to continue having these emotions? Dating your spouse should be an ongoing part of marriage!
Tips to help overcome the excuses that may prevent you from dating your spouse
Never stop dating your spouse. Life gets complicated and messy. Work demands, the military lifestyle, children, and exhaustion can all take a toll on a marriage. Unfortunately, as normal as these challenges may be, they can also hurt prioritizing our marriage.
I’m learning more and more that marriage takes diligent work; it is so much more than love. As a pregnant mom of a toddler, I crave this quality time, but often I am just so exhausted at the end of the day.
As life gets more complicated, there are more challenges. But isn’t that one of the beautiful things about marriage- staying strong and growing through these hardships? There will always be challenges and excuses- it takes diligent work to make the time to date your spouse.
Start by sitting down with your spouse. Get on the same page as far as expectations. Decide to never to stop dating your spouse again. Opening this line of communication is the first start!
Commit. Could you put it on the calendar?
Now that you have discussed rekindling your dating life- pick out some dates! Now is a great time to look at the calendar for the next month or two. See what dates make the most sense. Don’t ignore the potential of in-house dates! Where there is a will, there is a way!
Have an in-house date
Don’t ignore the potential for in-house dates! Logistically, it can be very challenging to make a date night. Trust me; I get it! We live in Germany with one other American family. They are amazing, and we are beyond blessed. But, as far as resources, it can be so challenging! The challenges will grow more so when we have our second baby.
- Play a boad game
- Have an electronically free romantic dinner
Look into a hobby that both you and your spouse will enjoy! Triathlons were one of my husband’s and my shared hobbies when we first started dating. Not only were some of the training aspects “dates,” but it also gave us a shared hobby and something we could bond over initially. Honestly, I miss this so much!
Sharing a hobby allows you the opportunity to grow together and to share in a goal. Seeing the growth in each other can blossom into more intimacy.
Find a sitter
The frequent moving of the military lifestyle can make it difficult, that is one of the challenges of moving away from family and friends. Re-establishing that support village at every new PCS can take time. Work hard to establish that community. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and offer the same services. They may need a date night just as much as you!
- Check out my post on How to make friends after a move
Take advantage of technology during long distance
As a military spouse, it can be even more challenging. For the first several years of my husband and my relationship, he was gone far more than when he was at home. Military homecomings are also an opportunity for that nervous energy to present itself!
The benefits of dating your spouse
As families grow and lives get busier, it is so easy to lose sight of quality time. Quality time is essential, especially if it is your love language. It is a designated time for you and your spouse with no interruptions. It is a time to reconnect.
Reconnecting and rediscovering each other
How long has it been since you and your spouse went on a date? Dates should be fun, romantic, and a time of connection.
When was the last time you and your spouse laughed together?
Dating your spouse while married should be an integral part of marriage, allowing reconnection and rediscovering each other- especially if you have been in a long-term marriage. Dating your spouse will actually deepen the bond.
Communication and active listening
When was the last time you checked in with your spouse- and I mean, seriously checked in? It is so easy to get overwhelmed by our stresses and anxiety that we can quickly lose sight of what’s happening with our spouse.
Going on a date opens the window for communication. It can be easy to start harboring resentment or negative feelings because of the lack of communication. Date nights are the perfect opportunity to open the window for that much-needed communication.
Strengthen the friendship
I believe a strong foundation of friendship can grow into a beautiful and successful marriage. Equally, it is essential to continue that friendship. That also means continuing to get to know each other. Remember, you were friends first! Discover something new together! My husband and I took the leap and visited a nude sauna for an Aufguss treatement while living in Germany. To my surprise, we loved sharing this experience together!
Keep that flame alive. Physical intimacy reinforces love, connection and allows the marriage to rediscover the romance
It can be so easy to fall into a rut.
And the list can go on….
But your spouse should be your safe space. Dating can rekindle physical intimacy, especially if there is a bit of a rut, even if there is a lack of emotional intimacy. For many, especially women, that emotional intimacy is a crucial factor in having the desire for physical intimacy.
Before we PCS’d to Germany, my husband and I went to Mexico without our son. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort and didn’t venture out of the resort. It was a week of significant growth. We dedicated the week to keeping that spark alive and consistently engaging in active communication. We felt extremely close. Honestly, I need another trip like this! I realize this is far more than a date night- but it was a week of dating.
We grew, and we got to know each other on a more intimate and more profound level. The spark was rekindled!
It is easy to become comfortable with where we are in a marriage, especially once kids are involved. Dating your spouse keeps the spark alive, and just how wonderful do you feel when the spark is relit?
Prioritize your marriage
My husband and I decided we wanted our marriage to be the priority, even after having kids. It is much easier said than done, but it’s still our goal.
As you keep dating your spouse, you will continuously prioritize your marriage.
Positive impact on your children
How incredible would it be for your children to grow up seeing their parents still in love? Actually seeing the love? Dating in front of your children gives them a positive example of a love-filled marriage and can positively impact their future relationships.
Not only is dating your spouse an investment in your marriage, but it can also be an investment in your children’s marriages. They will grow up understanding the value of commitment and a prioritized marriage.
Dating your spouse should be a form of self-care. Having a healthy marriage is so essential for each member of the family. It can affect the quality of life significantly.
Some ideas for dating your spouse
- Coffee date
- A night out with drinks
- A live show
- Paint and wine event
- Board games
- A cooking class
- Crafting a project together
- Sharing a hobby
- Going for a walk
- Visiting an amusement park
- Having fun at an arcade
- Wine tasting
- Spa day
- Escape room
How often should you have a date night?
There is no right amount. Life has different seasons, in which there may be more opportunities than the next. I encourage you to just be conscious of date nights, and to check in with your spouse. Bring it up in conversation. Be understanding, that you may be in a season where date nights may be less frequent, and that is okay.
What if we can’t afford an extravagant date?
That’s okay! Dates do not need to be extravant. Simply cooking with each other at home, or simply playing a board game. What is important is the quality of time spent together.
How do we find the time with busy schedules and kids?
This phase has been particularly challenging! Tell your spouse it’s time for a date night. Prioritizing this can be work, but it’s well worth it. look at the calendar, and reach out for help with the kids. Schedule that babysitter. If you’re unable to go out, plan for a date-in after you put the kids to bed.
What if we have been married for so long that we already know each other?
I like to believe that we continue to grow in one way or another, personalities, desires, dreams, and goals. This growth is actually pretty amazing, and can allow the marriage to grow!
Stained relationship- will it make a difference
Yes!! Dating your spouse is exactly what a strained marriage needs. First and foremost, it allows the opportunity for communication, which can be the start of rekindling a strained marriage.
What if you share different interests?
Love is also acceptance of the other person, including their interest. I encourage you to branch out and show a little interest in your spouses hobby. They will appreciate this! This is also another opportunity for you and your spouse to discover shared interests. Branch out! One of my husband’s and my favorite dates are to do escape rooms. Try something new you both may fall in love with that activity.
Have fun and create new memories while dating your spouse
Dating your spouse has so many benefits! And how special is it that you get to continuously date the person you’re in love with? Dating can allow you to grow even more in love! Create those special memories!
I would love to hear some ideas from you! Do you and your spouse date? Do yall have any special dates that you would suggest others try?