I think often in marriages, women still want to court their husbands by going on dates and do fun things like they did before the marriage, but men don't think it's necessary-they already did that, and now that you are married, it's not required. Or perhaps the issue is that you both want to go out, but don't have the extra money or time to do so. The truth is, dates are not meant just to do fun things or meant to put a strain on the budget. Dating is a specific time where you let the troubles of the world go, put everything else on hold, and focus on your love with your spouse. It's nurturing your marriage, just as if you were going to feed your children breakfast in the morning, your marriage needs to be fed too!
This is especially important if you have children, if you are both going to school, both working, have a home to keep up, schedule way too much in a week, all of the above, or basically live in this day and age. Because we live in a time period where we think it's normal to take on way more in life (and do it faster and better) than ever in the history of mankind, we usually exhaust ourselves and barely leave time to recuperate. That leads to zoning out in front of the TV or computer at night, and being too tired to actually interact with our dear loved one for maybe weeks on end! Maybe this is just me and my life, but I have a suspicion that this could be a universal problem!?!?
That is why planning a time where you re-connect with your spouse is so important; so that LIFE doesn't over take you. What happens when you don't nourish a flower with sun, water, and soil? The flower dies. When we let life get in the way of nourishing our marriages, they too will wither into nothing. However, if you regularly care and give attention to your marriage, at any state that it is in, it will grow bigger and more beautiful than ever!!!
Dates are one way to provide opportunities to spend time with your loved one, to continue to get to know (understand) them, and allows you to enjoy life together. Being reminded of why you fell in love in the first place over and over again, through dates, sounds delightful to me! Who wouldn't want that?
Now, dates are not just defined as going out and spending money together. As you will see in this blog, many dates I will post about are simply staying home, spending little to no money, but most importantly, focusing on each other. What a date meant to us as newlyweds, was getting a Jamba Juice and $5.00 pizza to share at the end of the week, and we looked forward to it! We didn't always have money for that either, and so we have played many card games throughout the years (which we still like to do). Now, I am thoroughly enjoying discovering new creative dates, that provide new experiences and conversations! Love tip #2 comes from Douglas Brinley featured in the Ensign magazine, January 2012 issue and I have been loving this lately!
Love Tip #2: "Date Frequently. You and your spouse need time together to renew your relationship. New perspectives come with time away from the mundane. That means dating is essential. If you have children but few resources, look for creative ways to go on dates. ...Above all, recognize that a babysitter is cheaper than a divorce."
(Ensign, January 2012, What Happily Married Couples Do, pg. 13)
What have you learned about dating in your marriage?