When we date, we present our best self, show an interest in the person we are dating, make time for them, spend time thinking about them, communicating with them, and usually can’t wait to see them at the end of our day. Dating allows us to dream about the future, share our ups and downs and feel like we are not alone in life’s journey.
Then we get engaged, get married, take on a mortgage, work hard to build careers, raise children and become consumed with busyness that leaves little time for our marriage to be a priority. In addition, some couples are blending families, have community and church commitments…the list of obligations that take our time and attention can go on and on.
keeps the Marriage a Priority. Dating says I love you, you are important to me. Purposely planning a weekly date forces you to think about your partner, look forward to having a fun or romantic time together, and helps the marriage stay a priority. I recommend making a decision that if we don’t have time for a date for just the two of us, then we don’t have time for friends and family. Sometimes we spend all of our free time with people we love to be with, but it robs us of the opportunity for that special time we need to connect on a regular basis. Keep enjoying time with friends and family, but try to make time for a date before you make plans with other people.
provides an opportunity to learn new things about each other. One of the best things about dating someone new is that you get to learn about them. Dating allows you to continue to learn new things about each other. For example, spend time on your date only talking about the two of you. Try new activities and ask each other open-ended questions like, “What is your greatest fear?” “What is your best childhood memory?” Also, take time to share your likes and dislike and have fun getting to know each other as you each grow as individuals over your life time.
sets an example for your children. I believe the best gift you give your children is the example of a healthy marriage (not a perfect one, a healthy one). Your kids will see you make the marriage a priority, spend time together without them, and learn how to treat a partner by your example. Too often, the children can become the priority over the marriage. Remember, one of the most important parental goals you have is to raise your children as a team to become independent of you one day so if the marriage isn’t the priority during the years you are raising children, it can be very difficult to reconnect during the empty-nester years.
strengthens sexual intimacy. Most couples I see who are not dating tend to have poor relational intimacy and often times end up in sexless marriages. When you are out on a date, you may be dressed up, laughing, creating romance, and usually feel more connected. Staying home in comfy clothes snuggle on the couch, watching a movie while the kids spend the night with grandparents can also provide an opportunity to connect sexually. Dating provides the opportunity to talk about sex and to experience sexual arousal and stronger relational connection.
makes all other areas of life easier. The stressors of life seem so much easier when we are connected as a couple. Dating keeps us connected and reminds us that we are a priority to each other, that we are a team, we are on the journey of life together, and that someone is always there for us through the good and bad times life brings. Jobs, friends, and finances can change, but your marriage bond is the one constant in life that can help you live life to the fullest as you enjoy the blessings and survive the challenges of the human experience. If you have stopped dating, please make that reservation this week to start making the marriage relationship the priority again and enjoy the journey of being life-mates! Have fun!