In order to stay a vibrant couple, you need to nurture your intimate connections on multiple levels. And this includes dating.
“I got married so I could stop dating…the last thing you want to do is date your wife, who's suppose to love you.” – Harry Burns in When Harry Met Sally
The pressure of dating is something that people in happy relationships are glad they don’t have to do. You worry about how you look, how to make a good impression, and then you worry about they way he looks and the fact that he’s not making a good impression. It’s an anxiety-producing experience, to say the least. It would be a lot easier to date someone you already know, someone you already like. Your husband, for example…
Harry Burns may not like the idea of dating his wife, but for the rest of us it just might be what the relationship doctor ordered. Once you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, the sexual excitement starts to slow down, and the romance gets pulled down with it. Couples get so familiar with one other’s presence that they begin to take each other for granted. The company that was once so cherished becomes old hat, and it’s difficult to get that spark back. Soon this lack of effort erodes intimacy, which is an essential component of a happy marriage.
One way to combat the erosion of intimacy is to establish a date night where just the two of you head out on the town to do something fun together. Family outings are important too, but there should be evenings where you leave the kids at home and go out by yourselves. After all, it’s also good for the kids to see that you have a healthy romantic relationship. They’ll store that information away and use it to build their own healthy relationships when they become adults.
Sometimes just making the time for ‘alone time’ is difficult to initiate. Once you’ve established a routine (or rut) where you spend Friday night with the kids and Saturday night with friends, it takes effort to suddenly say, “No, tonight we’re going to the movies alone.” Yet that’s exactly what needs to be said. Once you get over that hurdle, the next challenge is reconnecting. So pick something fun to do that will give you both a boost of excitement.
What To Do?
Sometimes a movie isn’t the best way to connect, since you sit in a dark room being quiet most of the time, but it is a great conversation piece once the movie’s over. If you opt for a film, make sure you don’t go straight home afterwards. Grab a bite to eat or some ice cream or coffee and talk about what you liked or didn’t like about the film.
There are lots more interactive things you can do as well – go browse in a bookstore, or go dancing, or bowling! Physical activities are great to get the blood pumping and laughter flowing. The point isn’t to be a perfect dancer or get three strikes in a row at the bowling alley – the point is to see your spouse in a new light that makes you feel important in each other’s lives again. Ask her what novel she’s reading these days. Ask him if he’s talked to an old friend lately. Engage in conversation subjects based in recreation and social life, not work or home chores.
Reconnect & Relax
Going on a date with your partner is a fantastic way to reconnect and relax together. There are so many dull and stressful things that couples must navigate in the everyday world - Where will junior go to public school? What should we make for dinner? Did you mail the taxes? – that sometimes it feels like you’ll never be able to get back the romance you initially thrived on.
In order to stay a vibrant couple, you need to nurture your intimate connections on multiple levels. And this includes dating. Ask your spouse out tonight!