Marriage and dating don’t always seem to go hand in hand because of how hectic and complicated life can get. We would all love to be dating our spouse consistently throughout marriage. Yes, it is easy at the beginning, but as the years pass by (or for some, months) work, children, and just all that life brings take precedence over you and your spouse spending some quality alone time. Sometimes when we think of going out on a date, we picture getting all dolled up and going out to a fancy restaurant, but going out on a date doesn’t have to entail all that. A date can just simply be going on a long stroll throughout your neighborhood or a park. It can entail just going by a fast food restaurant and having a meal. It could just be a nice dinner at home. As a married couple, we need time to catch up with each other and hear what is going on in each other’s life. We need to be silly together, laugh together, cry together, share disappointments together, share victories together, share with each other what you enjoy about the other, and prayerfully what irks us about each other.
Dean and I have been married for over 17 years, and as life got hectic with work and church schedules, and then as the kids started being born, dating took a place on the back burner. We started to realize that we weren’t getting to know more about each other and waiting until life slowed down and the kids were out of the house just did not seem like a fruitful option for our family. I love doing Bible studies with groups and listening to messages about God, but I learn so much more about God and feel so close to Him when I am spending one on one time talking to Him and reading His Word.
It wasn’t until a few years into our marriage that Dean and I decided we both needed quality alone time with each other. We started by going out to lunch on Tuesdays and what a refreshing time that was for us! We loved each other, but life had taken over and our alone time was basically saying goodnight because before we could get into a good talking time, one or both of us would have moved on to nappy land — Yeah, nappy land because it was just a few hours before it was time to get up. We were just going from one thing to the other, and then our precious gifts from God would zap so much of the communication time when we were together. Don’t get me wrong, we loved every moment of those zapped times. Those lunch dates were so refreshing because we would talk, without being interrupted (well, except for the waiters) by phone calls or a little one. It was only an hour, but how we looked forward to that hour each week.
We later moved from Tuesday lunches to Thursday nights after about two years and named it Date Night, because when we started to home-school, and the kids joined us on Tuesdays, lunch just wasn’t cutting it. With young kids, we spent most of our date nights at home. We would put the kids down to bed and told them that even though we were home, it was Daddy and Mommy’s time to talk and get to know each other more. Dean would ask them if they wanted a mommy and daddy that loved each other and they would say, “Yes.” However, although they really didn’t get it at first, now that they are teenagers, they still get excited to know that Mommy and Daddy are going to just hang out. They have realized that just like how they get to know their friends better when they hang out and talk, the more time we spend together, the better we get to know each other. We don’t always go out, some nights we just watch a movie and laugh our heads off or cry. Every now and again, we go out for dinner or a stroll.
I am no expert, but just carving out some time to spend with Dean has been so rewarding for our marriage and for our family. So when will your next date with your spouse be? Let us know.