Are you and your spouse making time to “date” each other?
Whether you’ve been married a few months or a few decades — dating your mate is vital to keeping your marriage relationship fresh and vibrant!
Dating your husband or wife will be very different from dating a potential husband or wife. Yet it is just as important. When you were single, dating was a time to get away alone, to talk, laugh, and have fun together. You took time to learn more about each other, about your past and your dreams for the future. You gradually felt at ease with each other. But, you see, even though you’re married, the two of you still need the same thing. You need to get away alone and continue to talk, laugh, and have fun together. You need to learn more about each other, your past and your dreams for the future. You need to feel at ease with each other as you face new challenges together. That’s why dating shouldn’t stop with marriage.
Too often, married couples get settled, caught up in the routine of jobs, church, parenting, and other commitments. Many couples are so busy that they don’t take time to nurture the foundation of their family — their marriage and their relationship with each other. As we know all too well, when that marriage foundation begins to crumble, everything else comes down with it.
Your marriage is your most important relationship after your relationship with God. Your marriage needs nurturing. Like a plant needs water or a car needs an oil change, your marriage needs consistent attention. It needs care and nurture every day; it needs a special “tune-up” once in a while. You need to reconnect with your spouse. You need to work at your marriage.
Keeping a marriage together and the romance alive takes time. It means making one’s marriage and spouse a priority and setting aside time for only him or her. In other words, it means planning dates on a regular basis.
If you and your spouse are not currently dating, we want to encourage you get into that habit. The two of you really do need time to reconnect and continue to stoke the fires of the romance that brought you together in the first place. Your marriage needs to be strong to withstand the onslaughts of daily life. When you know that you both are on the same team working toward the same goals and cheering each other on, then even the toughest competition won’t be too much to handle.
If you already are in the habit of going on dates, we say, “Good for you!” Now maybe you could spice it up a bit! Perhaps only one of you initiates the dates and handles the details. Try switching it up! Or maybe you have your “standard” date. Maybe trying trying something new!
You might be asking, “Why can’t we just go to dinner and a movie?” Well, you can, and that’s a good place to start. But if you’re going to go out to dinner and a movie and spend the money on the date and a baby-sitter anyway, then make the date count! It’s what we call having a “date with a purpose.” Intentionally give your time together a purpose beyond just sharing an event. Focus on your mate’s love needs. Put him or her in the spotlight and nurture your marriage relationship.
Just think about how much your husband or wife (and you!) can benefit as you work at investing in your relationship. We encourage you to try making a date for a date with your spouse. Think of it as a way of loving your spouse more concretely. Affirm him or her as you begin, and start small, allowing the impact of the dates to stoke the home fires. Stay at it. Stay positive. We know it will be worth it!
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Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg are co-founders of the international ministry America's Family Coaches, respected marriage conference speakers, executive life and marriage coaches, award-winning authors and radio hosts. Together, they have written over a dozen prominent marriage and family resources and DVD series with almost 1 million total copies in print world-wide; including The 6 Secrets to a Lasting Love (Gold Medallion winner under the title Divorce Proof Your Marriage) and The 5 Love Needs of Men and Women, a Gold Medallion finalist. Selected books are available in more than twelve different languages. Gary and Barb met at Drake University where Barb earned her B.F.A. and Gary earned his doctorate in counseling (Ed. D.). Following graduation, Gary conducted over 25,000 hours of marriage and family counseling. Today, they are both John C Maxwell certified international speakers, trainers and coaches, Board Certified Master Life and Marriage Coaches through Light University, members of the International Christian Coaching Association and coach executive couples through The Rosberg Group. Married since 1975, Gary and Barb have two adult daughters and 12 grandchildren.