Remember those butterflies on the first date? That first brush against your hand? First kiss? First everything? Yeah, those are pretty sweet. When you’re dating someone, you’re learning about each other and figuring out what makes them tick. The “newness” of a relationship is typically filled with excitement, infatuation, and a ton of passion. And, if you’re lucky, you both fall madly in love.
My husband, Marc-André, and I dated for just over 5 years before we got married. Our lives have changed a lot from our first date to now. We dated through the last years of college, entered the “real world” as a team, and continued with so many firsts throughout those 5 years. By the time we got married, we were a little more settled down. We had our first home together, careers, and the average daily routine of being a functioning adult.
Some people might think that a couple without children yet gets to date every single day, but we don’t. Just like everyone else, life happens. Days go by quickly, weeks are blurred, and suddenly it’s time to pay the mortgage again. We get wrapped up in the little bubble of just trying to make it through sunrise to bedtime, every day.
As a couple, Marc and I love our alone time together, but that doesn’t mean we’re always dating. And it doesn’t take a relationship expert to confirm that watching the same tv show while sitting on opposite ends of the couch and scrolling through our phones doesn’t count as a date, ya know? 😳
What Happens When You Date Your Spouse?
There is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to relationships, but as humans, most of us have strong desires to experience love and happiness with another person. Dating your spouse, and I mean really going on dates like you would have at the beginning of the relationship, can have an incredibly positive effect.
Side Note: When I say “spouse” this can still relate to any long-term boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, or whatever relationship you’re in with someone.
Do you remember how much you talked with your spouse when you were first getting to know each other? The full-blown text conversations throughout the day to the hours spent on the phone, just talking? When you continue to date your spouse, better communication is inevitable because you’re on the same page. The guesswork is taken out of the equation and you’re able to dig deeper.
I graduated from college with a degree in Communications and some of my favorite classes revolved around nonverbal and conflict communication. To this day, the number one advice I give to any friend in a relationship is to communicate. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but it’s something that you have to consciously work on every day, in all aspects of life. Your marriage is no exception.
What kind of dates naturally improve communication? The old-fashioned dates. Go out to dinner, leave your phones in the car, and dive into a couple of hours of just the two of you. Ask each other questions, reflect on fun memories, and talk about your dreams for the future. Make a fun meal at home, together. Turn up the music, sit on the counter, and talk about life.
The moment I married Marc-André I felt more connected to him than ever. The wedding and honeymoon had us wrapped up in a world where only we mattered. But that doesn’t last forever because again, life happens. Dating your spouse can pull you out of a dull season or feeling of distance. Connecting with your spouse can be mental, physical, spiritual, and so much more. When you continue to date and leave time for the two of you, your relationship, and your needs, the connection should come easily. Just like chasing your dreams, you and your spouse want to continue to feel that fire that drew you to each other in the first place.
What kind of dates naturally influence a deeper connection? Intimate dates. Whether it’s taking turns giving massages, snuggling up at the drive-in movie theater, learning to salsa together, or simply discussing your desires over a glass of wine, you might just find yourself falling in love all over again.
Keeps it Fun
I’ll be the first to admit that there are parts of marriage that aren’t glamorous, but I make an effort to keep things playful. With the chaos of everyday life, dating helps our relationship feel fun. Think of all the exciting dates you may have experienced at the beginning of the relationship and remember to feel light again. Relationships can carry a lot of weight when you ignore the needs to still have fun.
What kind of dates influence fun? Spontaneous and playful dates. What things make you genuinely happy?! Maybe it’s a fun-filled day at the beach, visiting a carnival, playing mini-golf, or attending a music festival. Be spontaneous and go out of the comfort zone together with something like a weekend road trip.
Strong Sense of Security
Something happens when you’re on the same page as your partner. You drop the mind-reading challenge (let me know if you ever figure out how to do that) and spend more time being together rather than trying to figure each other out. For me, I feel that much more secure in my marriage. I’m comfortable being me, asking questions, and acknowledging when something is off. I can be myself 100% of the time which allows our relationship to take priority. Marc and I make a strong effort to lift each other up, compliment one another, and surprise ourselves with special moments.
What Marc-André Says
I pulled Marc into the office and asked him about our dating life.
Me: Why do you think dating is important in our marriage?
MA: “It allows me to keep learning about you and everything that makes you, you. I pick up on subtle things that light up your eyes and keep that in my mind for later.”
Me: What is your favorite kind of date?
MA: “I love the dates we have at home together. Cooking together. We’re on the go so much that sometimes making plans to have no plans feels romantic to me.”
Me: What is one date we could go on that you think would bring us closer together?
MA: “Anything that we both experience for the first time together. Traveling is a good one, but I know that’s not just a single date. I love our on-going dates, like going for a walk with each other every day to talk and catch up.”
Me: Awww, I love you. Happy Valentine’s Day. ❤
What is your favorite kind of date to go on?!