My husband and I often talk about the importance of dating
Especially with the couples we work with. It is essential to a relationship. Recently, my husband and I went on a fancy date that included dinner and dancing. It was nostalgic for me because we joined the same dance club my parents were a part of. When I was little, one of my most favorite things was watching my mom get ready.
These memories are vivid. I would lay on their floral bedspread and trace the stems of the flowers while she painted her nails and picked out her jewelry. I couldn’t wait to see her dress which was usually full of gold or sparkly sequins and giant shoulder pads. She took her time and the whole process was so smooth and effortless. Meanwhile, I was thinking “hurry up already!” But she didn’t, she honored every step. I definitely didn’t get this passed on to me as I am known to buy a dress two hours before the event and it usually looks like a tornado blew through not only the bedroom but the entire house.
My dad got ready more like I do. We usually wait until the very last minute. He had this dresser with two upper cabinets where he kept all his “man stuff”. As a kid, I always knew when he was about to come downstairs because he would slam those cabinets after he grabbed his wallet, loose change, comb, and hanker chiefs. This is also where he the cuff links were. So on dance nights, when I heard the cabinets slam I knew he was almost ready.
Dad would hustle downstairs and we would take photos of them in front of their winding staircase. Dad in his tux and mom in her sparkly gowns. They dressed in fancy overcoats and went on their way. I always imagined what it would be like and couldn’t wait for the day I would date my husband.
What’s interesting is the concept of “dating” your spouse didn’t exist for my parents. Going out with your spouse was the norm. That is what you did. At the event this past weekend, I overheard someone say “I am not drunk enough to dance yet!” Nowadays, we have to encourage couples to go out together! We have to CONVINCE them that taking time away from work and kids is good for their relationship. We have to show them studies that prove kissing, cuddling, dancing, and having sex is healthy! We need studies to know that???
So many of us have checked off “marriage” like it is something on a “To Do” list. Our whole lives are like to-do lists. Go to school – check. Get a degree – check. Get married – check. Buy a house – check. Have kids – check. We dress up, cuddle, smooch, date, and then we say our vows and throw it out the window. We look for the next box to check, which is usually kids…and then the fancy house or the promotion or a cottage or a boat. It’s time to revisit the relationship box and get back in it. This is a box that doesn’t get checked off…this is a box that you will be working on the rest of your life.
Here are some reasons for why you need to date your spouse:
- Investing in your family – dating actually puts your kids first! So many people feel guilty for leaving their kids but what they don’t realize is that you are actually investing in your family when you nurture your relationship. If you don’t work as a couple, the rest won’t either.
- Role modeling for kids – dating sets an example for your kids so they can see what a healthy relationship looks like!
- Kids get a night off too – kids want a night away too! My kids love when they get a babysitter because mom and dad aren’t there telling them what to do all the time and they get to break some rules now and then. 🙂
- Time to talk – when is the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation? Or even had a conversation!?
- Remember why you love each other – when we get disconnected from each other it is so easy to focus on the negative in the relationship. Dating can help renew the spark and bring back good memories. You can see your spouse for the person you fell in love with and not the housekeeper, garbage man, disgruntled worker, nanny, etc.
- Dating is cheaper than divorce – relationships take work and wouldn’t you rather work at it over dinner and doing something fun than sitting in a therapist’s office or court???
- Night off of cooking – I don’t know about you but getting a night where I don’t’ have to decide what to make for dinner is the best thing ever!
- Get to get ready – wait I get to shower, shave, and wear something besides workout clothes?! I am in!
- Preparing for future – what are you going to do when the kids are out of the house? Continue as roommates “until death do us part”? That sounds miserable!
- Get touched again – holding hands, cuddling, touching, sex….it all is very good for our health. It releases a great chemical called oxytocin that makes us feel good!
In our classes we teach that relationships are an addition to your joy, not the definition. You must first love yourself before you can love anyone else.
Unfortunately, not many of us learned this message growing up. We were taught that we needed to find someone or get married or something was wrong with us. We hear it all the time…”Are you dating anyone?” “Is she married yet?” “You need to find someone” “My son needs a good woman”.
These messages come from a loving place but can be detrimental. We need to love ourselves so we can be available to love others and this is possible to do in our relationships. We need to give compliments instead of to-do lists. We need to talk instead of looking at our devices. We need to praise instead of nag. We need to cuddle instead of avoid. We need to cry instead of drink. We need to play instead buy things we don’t need. We need to say goodbye with kisses instead of slamming doors. We need to leave notes with loving messages instead of leaving each other. We need to prioritize family instead of work. We need to make time instead of waste it. We need to create peaceful homes instead of dysfunction. We need to make love instead of drama. We need to remember our vows not our arguments.
For some awesome date night ideas check this list out! If you’re ready to transform your relationship, check out our Date Your Mate Self-Study Course which includes 12 date nights and video lessons. Click here for more information.