Whether you’ve been married for three months, three years or thirty years, chances are your relationship with your then boyfriend or girlfriend and now spouse, has changed. When you first start dating someone, everything is new. The tingle that takes over your whole body when they first brush your hand, that first kiss, meeting each other’s friends and family and many other firsts that we won’t mention, if you get the hint. 😉 😉
Good or bad, once you get married, life changes. Reality sets in and you start focusing on the less exciting things like merging assets, who’s going to pay the bills, your 401K and retirement plans, etc. Super exciting, huh? You may discover some less than likeable habits they were able to hide while you were dating. Don’t worry, this is ALL NORMAL.
As you get settled into your day to day life, the days, weeks and months start flying by, before you even know it. Even before you have kids, there’s this misperception that there’s all this free time to continue life as it was before marriage. For whatever reason, that’s not how it happens, at least not without some planning.
Often times, people get married and stop putting the effort into the relationship that they were when they were dating. Many mistakenly believe the connection developed during the dating portion of life just naturally sustains itself. If you talk to any psychologist or marriage counselor, they will tell you that’s absolutely not true. They will tell you that all good things in life require work.
In order to keep your love alive and those sparks flying, it’s crucial to make the effort to continue to date your spouse, even if your dates look differently than they did before. You may not have five hours to spend together anymore on a Sunday night (hello, bedtime!). Once you have kids, alone time together can be even harder, forcing you to be more creative with your dates.
But, this is where the fun part is! We’re talking about new adventures, the discovery of new hobbies, finding ways to de-stress when life has thrown you a curve ball or two, planning family vacations, deep conversations about your future and funny conversations about what your children (or crazy aging parents) said that day.
All these things will increase the connection and spark between you and that’s what allows couples to happily grow older together.
Now, how to put this plan into reality …
It may sound boring but most couples find it easier to schedule regular dates. You don’t have to schedule the activity but at least make a commitment to do something together on a regular basis – the time increment is up to you. Some say weekly whereas monthly is more realistic for others. Regardless of how often, it’s the commitment to spend time together on a regular basis that counts.
The one requirement … vary up what you do! Even change up the time or day of the week if you can. Want to be REALLY crazy? Don’t plan the date ahead of time … just the day and then be completely spontaneous.
Drawing a blank on what to do? Here are some suggestions:
- Book a massage for each of you at Ziva Nail Lounge.
- Let your husband help pick out a new outfit and then wear it to try a new restaurant. Both Red Horse Boutique and Carys Lane have great date night options. Drakes Yoke Wood and Wine and Parker County Brewing Co. are both great options.
- Try out a yoga class at the Tree of Life Wellness Center.
- Go for a morning walk and then have breakfast together somewhere. Might we suggest the Sunny Street Cafe or Cafe 23:5?
- Don’t have much time? Grab some frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt or get pedicures together and cherish every minute you do have together.
No matter how far along you are in your marriage, it’s never too late to start dating your spouse and find the connection that you may have somehow lost. Or better yet, if you’re newly married, start now!