Now, obviously, some things would change. Aaron wouldn't necessarily be coming to pick me up from my apartment or dropping me off at home in the evenings. But there would still be flowers, surprises, and intentional time spent together with just the two of us. Honestly, dating each other when you're married is the best: there aren't the awkward what ifs or trying to impress someone- you're already committed till death do you part. And after a little more than two years of marriage, dating forever is still our intention. Here are some reasons why my husband and I are still dating:
We're still changing.
We want to continue to get to know each other as we age and grow together. We don't want to wake up one morning, look at each other, and wonder who that person beside us is.
We are choosing to love each other on a daily basis.
If you're married, you know there are days that you still love each other, but are incredibly frustrated with one another. Men and women are just different. The butterflies and warm fuzzies aren't always there when the laundry is piled on the bedroom floor or when your communication is off. But, regardless of all of that, you can choose to love each other. And it is a choice, every single day.
We're committed to keeping our love alive.
We recognize that the best kinds of love are those that come with true commitment, no matter what. If we are truly striving to love and live like Christ, then we will show grace to each other daily, and choose to always make the decision that is best for our relationship, and for our love. A fire can't die if it is continually fed.
We recognize that we need time alone without distractions.
Oh boy, is life crazy. There are so many good things to devote our time to, including our jobs, our church, and our ministry. But Aaron and I both recognize that there are times in which we really need some alone time together. And thus- date nights! If we go too long without some alone time, we both feel it. So we try to regularly "schedule" time together.
We consider our marriage to be one worth fighting for and investing in.
Although there are definitely some reasons for failed marriages that are beyond a spouse's control, we believe that a marriage we are both invested in and fighting for is more likely to last. We recognize that there will be trials and even attacks on our marriage in a variety of areas, but we know that at the end of the day, we are both committed to God and to each other, and we will do whatever it takes to keep it together.
We genuinely love spending time together.
When you're married to your best friend, who wouldn't want to spend time together? It's a no brainer. It's just that much sweeter when you're also in love. I can't imagine life without my sweet hubby, and we have the absolute best time on our date nights, even if they aren't fancy, expensive, or even planned.
We want our marriage to be strong for our kids.
We both agree that our marriage needs to come before our kids (Eli for now), or else it won't be strong enough for them to see Christ through us. We know that there will be a time that our kids will be grown and on their own, and we still want to recognize and know each other. We will love them deeply, but we don't plan to let them become our first and only priority.
We need time away from the stresses of the world.
Sometimes we all just need a chance to take a timeout, a breather of sorts. We need to forget about stress or conflict or money or responsibility and just have a good time. So date nights are the perfect solution for this- an escape with our best friend that is fun and also strengthens our marriage.
Now, you may be thinking: those all sound like great reasons to date my spouse. But how do I make it happen? You're in luck. Here are some of our favorite ways to keep dating each other:
- Try something new together.
- Make dating a priority (schedule it if need be).
- Be spontaneous.
- Don't be too cool to be kids together.
- Go on at least one trip a year without any family, friends, or kids (even if it's just to a hotel in your hometown).
- Dance together (in the rain, on the street, at the gym, at a wedding, wherever).
- Go on adventures, both big and small.
- Write each other notes and hide them in a lunchbox, purse, or around your house.
- Take turns doing something that your spouse really enjoys (even if you don't). See The Garage: An Unexpected Lesson.
- Surprise your spouse with tickets to an event, or a surprise planned date night.
- Always kiss each other goodbye and goodnight.
- Hold hands in public.
- Brag on your spouse around your friends and family.
- Give your spouse a completely unexpected gift, just because. (Bonus points if it's something you make).
- TURN OFF YOUR PHONES and just be together.
- Have a candlelight dinner at home.
These are some of our favorite suggestions. Find what works best for you! Your marriage is something worth fighting for. Always assume you have each other's best interests at heart, and show each other grace again and again, over and over. Dating your spouse is one of the very best ways to ensure that you grow together, and not apart. Do you have ideas for some great date nights? Let me know in the comments below, or on the contact page. I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have, so let me know! Happy dating, friends.