I’m thankful for my wife’s enthusiasm for decorating the house and giving it a great Christmas look.
I’m thankful for living in the best country in the world! For a Thanksgiving full of good food, fun games with the kids and lazy boob tube watching.
I'm thankful for kids old enough to be left at home just long enough for Shannon and I to go on a date.
I’m thankful for computers and other technology that makes my life so much easier…even when it doesn’t.
I’m thankful for people living in their passion! Inspiring me, teaching me and moving me forward in mine! Thanks Kirk Duncan, Dr. Paul, Shantel McBride, Marilyn Sorensen, Angelia Johnson, Ann Web, LuAnn Staheli, The Brown’s, and others who have increased my life value over the past 30 days! I look forward to the journey ahead!
Dating and spending time with your spouse are perhaps the most important things you can do to strengthen your relationship. When I say spend time with each other, I don’t mean spending it in front of the television not talking. Take walks together, take dance lessons together, ride bikes together, sit and talk together, etc. Be creative.
Also, keep up the same good behavior you used when you first began the dating process with your spouse. Husbands, open the car door for her. Wives get made up for him. The point of dating is to remind each other on a consistent basis why you chose each other, as well as to grow together.
Dating will take you out of your normal routine. It allows the two of you to recharge your batteries that are creating the love you have with each other.
Create a picture in your mind of a large battery sitting in the middle of your chest right below your sternum. This battery is charged by a connection to both your mind and your heart. It’s function is to help run the lungs for breathing, the right side of your brain for creativity and the left for devotion. It runs your stomach for digestion and your reproductive organs for sexual desire. The great thing about this battery is it is a rechargeable battery. Not only is it rechargeable, it also gets stronger and helps all those organs work better the more you charge it. All you have to do is give it the right juice. The important thing you have to understand about this battery is it’s not a nuclear battery. It can NOT go for ever without a charge. The longer it goes without a charge; it will actually start to work the opposite way and loose its ability to hold a charge. Given a long enough period without a charge, the battery will eventually stop and therefore will no longer be able to send the proper charge to the vital organs. You’re feeling of love, devotion, creation, and sexual desire will severely decrease and has the chance of stopping all together. Your breathing and digestive system will stop running properly as well. Will you die without this battery? Possibly not. Will your love for each other die? Most likely, yes!
So how do you get that battery charged?
In her book, Mating in Captivity, couples and family therapist Esther Perel talks about situation when she encouraged a client to imagine her spouse as if she had just met him, to put him into that “mysterious” category again. Can dating and romance be difficult in the midst of all that life is throwing your way? You bet. But the more you continue to date your spouse, the more you will learn and grow together.
Remember when you first started seriously dating each other? When things started to “turn on” for the both of you? Your breath became shorter or faster when you were around them. Your devotion to the time you’re willing to spend with only them became stronger. Things seemed to have more color or life in them and you felt more creative. You were definitely more sexually attracted to them. Even your health seamed better. That’s because your battery was being fully charged on a regular and consistent basis.
There are different types of dates you can do as well. Mix it up a little with couples dates and group dates. Make sure, though, that the one-on-one dates outnumber the others. The time you spend alone with each other gives you the opportunity to continue getting to know each other, to find out what’s going on in each other’s head for that week. It gives you both a chance to get back to the basics.
Dating vs. a Night Out
Make sure you treat each date as such rather than as a mere night out.
What’s the difference, you ask? A night out is just a way to get out of the house or any other everyday situation. It focuses on yourself and the desire to escape for a moment, take a breather from your daily life. The focus is typically inward on these occasions. Everyone needs a night out from time to time—especially mothers of small children—and it can be an integral part of maintaining sanity.
A date, on the other hand, focuses on the other person. It’s about getting to know them, to find out what makes them tick, their likes and dislikes, future goals, and accomplishments. A date is also a way to impress the other person and show yourself in the best light possible.
The mistake for married couples is to believe a night out and a date are one and the same. THEY ARE NOT! It doesn’t matter if you have been married for two days or 50 years. Do not mistake the one for the other. Keep dating each other as often as possible. Be open to the possibility that both of you need to date each other as I described above, where you continually learn about each other’s needs, accomplishments, daily activities, and future goals.
Decide, together, how often each month you are willing to set aside time for nights out, both together and apart. Husbands, encourage your wife to get out more, to have her own night out. That doesn’t mean it can’t be with their husband, but it doesn’t have to be with him either. Wives, do him the same favor.
Once that is settled, decide how much time you are going to set aside for dating—yes, this one must be done with your spouse. Is it a set time every week or does it change on a weekly basis? What are you going to do, where are you going to go, and what will you focus on? Make it a plan. Can you just wing the details sometimes? Yes. But the most important thing is to make sure you treat it as a date and that you focus on continuing to get to know each other. Thus recharging that battery.