Remember that feeling of excitement when you and your significant other first started dating? Painstakingly getting ready, creating the perfect outfit, planning the dinner and activities. And just like most couples, a few years in and this ritual stops. But why? When did we stop pursuing each other? Why do we feel that the lack of effort is is not just explainable, it’s expected once the honeymoon is over?
Date night has become a priority in our home again and I’m so glad it is. We both look forward to one night a month of planning a great date together (you have to make time and make it a priority or it will never happen). Whether it’s dinner at a new restaurant, seeing a movie or going to an event together, we make it a point to continue making memories through the chaos of marriage, jobs and a child. And you should too!
We have far too many friends that may wake up one day, 15 years from now, and they won’t know that person lying on the other side of the bed. So many parents wrap their lives around their kids; which is easy to do with a full activities list that begin at too young an age these days. We get so busy just getting our kids through to the next stage in life that we never stop to actively work on our marriage. Saying “I do” shouldn’t be the end of dating your spouse, this is just the beginning! This is where the real work starts.
So go ahead and get it on the calendar! Whether you can do a weekly, monthly, or quarterly date, do something or go somewhere neither of you have been to to create great new memories or go back to a place you haven’t been In a while that you both enjoy (that doesn’t have chicken fingers on the menu). We also take these moments to check in with each other. I like to talk about the big things going on that might not make it into dinner-table talk. We ask how we can serve each other better or things we can work on as a couple. It’s also a good time to talk about or start setting goals together. It’s time we stop ignoring our marriages and thinking that this is as good as it gets. Make the choice to make it great. We are rooting for you!
One day, in the very distant future, our daughter will be out of the house and living her own life. We only get her for 18 years and 4 of those years have already flown by. My husband and I have made it a priority to keep our marriage strong by growing together to model a great relationship for her. And 14 years from now when I wake up and she’s out of the house, I pray we will have an even stronger marriage than we do now not by luck, but by intentional and consistent work.