Remember the time before you tied the knot? You and your spouse used to date a lot. In those early years, the two of you somehow always found the time to be together doing something exciting.
Then came the kids, and both your careers soared. Parenthood, work and securing the future took up all your hours, leaving you too exhausted to date.
If you think dating shouldn’t be a priority for married couples and parents, why are you even reading this? Perhaps, for a while now, you’ve been feeling that something is “off” on the marriage front.
No fights, and yet, no romance either. There’s a phrase for it – stuck in a rut.
Consider this: Play and fun are the opposite of routine and mundane, the two biggest reasons you’re in that rut. Maybe you should go dating again. Here’s why:
Dating means recognizing that time spent alone with your spouse is as important as showing up at work or at your son’s soccer game. It gives you both the opportunity to talk, really talk, connect emotionally, and be what you should be – each other’s best friend.
Being away from it (and them), allows you to relax in the other’s company. You can feel free to flirt. And remind each other why you signed that lifetime contract in the first place.
Your children will be happy and feel secure knowing and seeing their parents continue to be romantically involved.
Sparking the romance in your relationship will ignite the passion lying dormant within both of you. It is no secret that intimacy strengthens the bond between two people.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then you might just have found the way out of the rut. It won’t be easy. You will need to plan and resolve to carry it out.
Why? Because dating is not a luxury to indulge in when you get your bonus or avail of your vacation leave. It is as much a necessity to your marriage as food and drink are to your life.
Now, make it happen. Clear the four major obstacles getting in the way of your dating life. Here’s some ideas:
- Date at home. Make it a breakfast instead of a dinner date. Skip cooking and have pancakes delivered. Eat together, ahead of the kids.
- Ask a friend for help with childcare. Return the favor on their date night.
- Why not a lunch date on a not-so-busy workday? You’re going to eat anyway.
- Take a personal day when the kids are at school. Go to the movies or check out that local winery or brewery you’ve been wanting to visit.
- Sneak in an after-work drink before heading home. Tip the nanny to stay half an hour longer.
- Hit two birds with one stone. Need to replace the wallpaper? Paint the walls together instead. Remember to splash some on your spouse.
- Talk a leisurely walk.
- Accept the $20 Dollar Date challenge. Gather all the loose change you can find in the house and in the car. Go for it.
- Date at home. Nuke that bag of popcorn, snuggle up on the couch, and watch a movie.
- Or play some nice, slow music. Then dance the night away.
- Get a couple’s massage at the local spa.
- Date at home. Order pizza and play a card game.
- Or sit in front of the fireplace with your favorite beverage and have a light conversation.
- Brainstorm. What did you do together before the kids? Revisit those when your energy allows.
- Rummage through old photos. Reminisce. Laugh at each other’s gaffes.
- Pick up a hobby together. Perhaps biking, hiking etc. Think what activities brought you together before kids.
- Find something to do that you’ve never done before. Perhaps hit up one of those wine and paint studios. They’re trending, and for good reason.
- Reunite with friends you’ve known before the kids. Make it a group or double date.
- Sign up for a yoga class – or any class – together. Perhaps a cooking, wine tasting or cheese making class.
- Catch that concert you’ve been putting off for years. Dress the part.
Start and in a few months, you will get a glimpse of the loving couple you once were, before life happened and reality hit you. You will be able to reclaim the friendship, trust and closeness that made you seal the deal.
These are the foundations upon which your marriage is built, the very ones that will keep it resilient through tough times ahead. The bigger picture involves making time for, having fun with, talking and listening to that very special person who means the world to you.