“Date your spouse.” We’ve all heard it, right? But what exactly does that look like? I have two kids so how am I supposed to date him?
Yesterday, Trey and I came home from church and cuddled on the couch while we watched some football. He fell asleep, of course, and I couldn’t help but to just look at him, studying everything about his face. Where had 4 years gone? I can’t remember the last time I just gazed at my dear husband. His looks have changed over the years, just slightly, and I didn’t even notice until that moment. How did I let that slip away?
Parenting is so full of joy, but also so very rough and exhausting at times. We get busy and caught up in a moment (or a day, or a week, or 4 years!) and we forget that there is an entire world around us! We are all guilty of that, right? Here are some reasons that we need to be intentional about dating our man.
1. You’ve got to keep the love ALIVE
Loving someone isn’t just a one-time thing; “I do… me too” and check it off the list. It is a daily decision. It is intentional and it is not always easy! When you were engaged to your prince charming, what did that look like? What did quality time actually mean? I know for us, we never slept. We would talk for HOURS every single night (we had a bit of a distance barrier) and when 3AM hit, we knew our 6AM alarm clock was coming quick so we forced ourselves to get off the phone (which was normally another 30 minute process). In order to keep love alive, we have to hang out. Not just sit on the couch and play candy crush, although that is fun and a relaxing way to spend the evening, but actually hang out and talk to one another.
2. It makes everyone HAPPY
Who wants to feel alone in their marriage? Not me! There have been many marriage studies done that support this claim 100%. Couples that spend time alone each week are three times more likely to consider their marriage a “great” one. It only makes sense. If you feel disconnected from your spouse, it’s easy to just become his roommate. There is no fulfillment in that. God created us to be relational and if we are not practicing that with our spouse, we are going to get in a big fat marriage-rut.
3. He DESERVES it
It’s time to realize our marriage vows are a covenant—a solemn oath made by a husband and wife to each other and to God. You stood in front of your man and promised him a lifetime with you. I did the same! By dating your man, you are telling him that he is your priority. That you need him and look forward to that quality time together.
Now on to the fun part– what dating looks like:
As a military family, going out on dates isn’t always the easiest, most convenient thing to do. It takes some serious forward-planning, not to mention the fact that I have babysitter-phobia. If my parents were down the street, SURE, let’s go! But it’s just not that easy.
I would say, at least once a month, get away. Go somewhere. Go out to eat or to a movie! Or go play put-put or go bowling like we do. We have more laughs doing the craziest stuff than we do going to a fancy steakhouse. What did you do for fun when you were dating or newly engaged? GO DO THOSE THINGS! Find a sitter, a trustworthy and reliable one, and ask her to be your go-to girl! It’s pricey but it’s cheaper than filing for the “Big D”!
Once a month just isn’t enough for my husband and I though, and probably not for you either. Life is too crazy to just get a few hours together over a 30-day period. That’s why you should pick 1-2 nights a week to hang out. It can be early in the morning or later in the evening when the kids are sleeping. My husband and I just started setting our alarms for 5:30AM on the weekends so we can have that time together– to just drink coffee and talk and fall in love all over again. This was only our second weekend doing it, and during the day I am missing him that much more!!! That’s how it’s supposed to be! We should be missing our husbands throughout the day– not just because they are on kid-duty when they get home, but because we actually miss the company that they bring.
Bottom-line, love that man of yours. He’s not perfect, but neither are we. Let’s be intentional about those date nights and take our relationship to the next level!