Stephen and I have been married a little over 15 months. I have no clue where the time went but they have been the best 15 months of my life. We have had ups and downs, challenges and triumphs and learned a whole heck of a lot.
I have found over this past year that dating my husband is critical for our marriage. I think it will become even more so once our family expands with children. A families foundation is a strong relationship with God and a strong relationship between a man and his wife. When a husband and wife stop dating, the marriage foundation can begin to decay and snowball fast. The Lord created marriage and seems to think its pretty important - so needless to say its probably a good idea to keep checking in for maintenance and dating your spouse.
There are many ways to date your husband and keep it from getting routine or stale.
First, life gets insanely busy. Between work, cooking, running errands here and there and life's normal routine, I can be swallowed by my mile long to-do list. Having a date night where we focus on just us and de-stress from life. It does take time, effort and planning, but its a great way to reconnect with my spouse and it lets us each know we are the others top priority.
My husband still calls me up (usually when he is at work) and asks me out on a date. He lets me know the plan for our date - from letting me know the location, time and night of our date.
On date nights, its important to get ready without him around me. He doesn't see me at all while I am getting cleaned up and dressed. I let him know when I am completely ready so he sees the finished and polished me, not the normal hair in ponytail, glasses on, no makeup me. Lets be honest, my husband now sees me in running shorts most days because of my job and that can be a little unappealing. Its important to me to look good for my husband and he always appreciates and takes notice of my more presentable self.
Our typical date nights way back when were dinners out and an activity afterward. We recreate the same types of dates we had when we were dating. Its a great time for us to reconnect together and spend time talking and laughing over things. We also have a date night list on our frig of places to go out together. It doesn't always have to be a super creative date, but we do make time to go do something that is just the two of us and the list sometimes helps us have a jumping off place.
Its also vitally important for us to put away the small distractions. No cell phones being checked, no social media occurring, no TV blaring in the background - just good old fashioned chatting.
When we spend time quality time together, we learn more about each other. Who we were on our wedding day isn't necessarily the same us we are today. We change and evolve constantly - so a weekly date night is the perfect time to chat about whats going on in his life and him to hear mine.
Since Stephen and I are still relatively newly weds, our romance hasn't wavered. But, I can imagine after 15 years of marriage, things could get a little stale. It doesn't always have to be grand gestures of a trip to the Maui or an expensive diamond necklace, but writing notes on the bathroom mirror and a back rub is priceless.
We don't ever want to stop dating because we went on a couple of dates and we are doing fine. Or because too much is going on, we are stretched too thin with money or whatnot. Dates don't have to be fancy, expensive or elaborate - they just need to be. Married couples need this special time together and it should never stop dating each other.