Who says dating must end when you get married? I mean is there somewhere in the marriage vows that reads, “From this day forth, I shall no longer date you until death do us part?”, because that seems to be the case with a lot of married folks.
We tend to make so much effort during our dating period that it seems we gave it all we had and no longer have anything to give now that we are married. For example, whilst you were dating, you probably never had to ask your spouse when next you are going for a dinner date because the excitement of always wanting to be with each other and to please one another was there.
This is even more common with men; they plan all the dinner dates and want to impress such that they are willing to blow the budget! The money they spend in one night was probably a great chunk of their overall expenses, but they do it anyways because it’s about proving that they can take care of their girlfriend..
This is even more common with men; they plan all the dinner dates and want to impress such that they are willing to blow the budget! The money they spend in one night was probably a great chunk of their overall expenses, but they do it anyways because it’s about proving that they can take care of their girlfriend, that they have a great taste and want to make her feel special, but this seem to stop suddenly once married and most women are left wondering if it’s the same man they dated.
We forget that dating was one of the main reasons we were able to see life with our partner and a crucial part that made us say, “I do”, in the first place.
Now, does that mean men are solely responsible for dating in marriage? Of course not, but it is true that this is one of the true desires of women that only their husbands can fulfil, whereas for men, it seems it’s something they can sometimes do without.
Dating in marriage will require the joint effort of both parties because let’s be honest, life itself is busy. Your commitment whilst dating was just towards each other but if/when you have kids, this just expands your commitments and not to mention the daily hustle of life faced either through work commute, demands at work, extended family, etc. All these things take your attention away from each other and over time, one or both parties start to feel neglected and unappreciated.
I remember these were some of the challenges we faced. With two kids and no help, it was near impossible to go out alone and connect away from the kids. We didn’t want to burden our friends so asking for help was an uncomfortable task and getting a total stranger as a babysitter was a huge worry for us as we wanted someone we trust and that our kids are comfortable with. Over the years, things have improved as we pay someone we trust to help occasionally as well as leave them with another family that has been of great help. It sometimes helps to breathe and just be husband and wife, not just mum and dad all the time.
Dating in marriage is not only fun but it really strengthens the bond between the husband and wife. If you and your spouse are rusty in dating one another, below are steps you can take in reintroducing dating back into your marriage.
1) Be Intentional – you both must be intentional about it. There will never be a right time because life will always demand something from you. Agree between yourselves how often you want to set time aside just for the two of you. Is it once a week? Fortnightly or monthly? Whatever the frequency, make sure it is realistic, based on your lifestyle and endeavour to stick to it. By doing this, you can plan it effectively. If there’s a need to budget for it, do so either weekly or monthly. It always helps if you create a pot just for that purpose, so you are not using it for anything else.
2) Put Time In The Diary – Plan these things well ahead by putting a date in the calendar and that way you are both mentally aware and don’t double book. Ensure the day of the week works well for both of you and of course if you have kids, ensure it also works for your babysitter/person looking after the kids. It helps if you have three dates in the diary – so for example, if monthly, then block out dates for the next three months.
3) Take Turns Planning & Surprising Each Other – there’s no written rule that says only the husband must plan dates. Take turns planning dates to show efforts are being made from both sides. Surprise your spouse by not revealing the plans when it is your turn, the unknown is sometimes better and let them feel truly dated.
4) Dress Up – one of the exciting things about dating is dressing to impress. If you did it whilst dating, even more so whilst married. Spice up your marriage by looking good on your date nights. This goes for both men and women.
5) Game Night – dating doesn’t always have to mean going out. You can both sit and play games together. I and Damola always enjoy quizzes because they are funny, you can ask your spouse anything and they are inexpensive! Just a great way to spend time together.
6) Adventures – explore the world together. Now, not everyone will be able to do this due to one reason or the other but there are adventures all around us, things we are yet to discover and what better way to reconnect than when you are both experiencing things together for the first time – it will give you so much to reminisce about.
7) Just Talk – talking is so underrated these days because we are constantly communicating through technology. Take time out and talk to each other. Revisit those dreams you both had when you were younger, plan for the future, understand what you are both feeling and just open up to one another – that’s where true connection comes from.
Don’t wait for big moments to happen before you do things. Nurture your marriage by nurturing one another and together, you are stronger.