No. 21: How to Date Your Spouse

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No. 21: How to Date Your Spouse

Listen to this episode from One Degree Podcast on Spotify. It can be easy to “date your spouse” when you are newlywed. But what happens when you and your spouse have been married for a few years, you have a newborn baby, and you are exhausted?

It can be easy to date your spouse when you are newlywed. But what happens when you and your spouse have been married for a few years, you have a newborn baby, and you are exhausted? You may not even be able to remember the last time you took a walk or had a deep conversation with your spouse. You’re tired, the romance is not natural, and the deep conversations don’t come effortlessly anymore.

This is likely a scenario that most married couples can empathize with. In this episode, we dig into 6 principles to keep in mind when trying to date your spouse!

Helpful Advice?

We’ve encountered the popular advice that married couples need to prioritize regular date nights and going out together. We kind of disagree with this advice- not everyone can afford to go out, or you might have a newborn, which can make date nights difficult for multiple reasons.

So how can married couples still prioritize their relationship with each other? Here are 6 principles to remember when trying to date your spouse.

1. Dating in marriage may not look like dating before marriage.

It definitely could, but don’t have the expectation that dating has to look the same. Before marriage, dating can be really exciting and exhilarating due to the newness and anticipation of it. But in marriage, the newness gives way to familiarity. This familiarity is beautiful and should be joyous- not boring and monotonous!

However, you should still try to cultivate interest and excitement- plan times to connect with your spouse! The goal isn’t about the activity itself, it’s about connection.

2. Recognize that going out is a privilege, but it’s not a necessity.

You do not have to physically go out on a date in order to connect with your spouse. If you have the financial ability and time and babysitter connections to be able to go out, go for it! But if you don’t have those options, you are not missing out.

One flaw in typical marriage advice is that you need kid-free date nights. While these are certainly beneficial for your marriage, they are not a necessity.

3. It is more important to be on the same page and have regular conversation than it is to go on official dates.

Plenty of marriages have been filled with dates and still ended in divorce. Social media and tv make it seem like going out and having it all makes a marriage last. But we would much rather have regular, rich communication and not go out, instead of the reverse.

Of course, having both is preferable, but the point is that good communication is what will last.

4. How can you prevent familiarity from breeding stagnancy?

Regularly communicate (especially about what it looks like to date your spouse)!

Talk about if you are able to go out on a date once a week, once a month, once a year. Can you hire a babysitter or do you have family nearby? Is your job preventing a regular date night? What are your other responsibilities and priorities? What does it mean to date your spouse for each of you?

When we lived in North Carolina, we were only able to go out on date nights about twice a year. We just didn’t have the resources. Now that we live closer to Nathaniel’s parents, we are able to go out about once a month (or even more)!

Whatever situation or season you are in, talk about what it looks like to spend intentional time together.

Here are some ideas of what this time could look like:

  • Maybe, once a week, you put the kids to bed, get dressed up fancy, and have a home-cooked meal.
  • Have a weekly movie night on the couch
  • Go on regular walks with the kids in the stroller and talk with each other
  • Go on a drive through the country and put on some good music or talk (one of our faves when we lived in NC)

Make the most out of the season you are in with the resources you have!

The most important thing is to put it on your calendar! Treat it like a business meeting or coffee with a friend that you are planning for. If it isn’t on the calendar, it is so easy to forget about it or push it to the side. Once it’s on the calendar, only let genuine emergencies cancel your plans.

How to Date Your Spouse Christian Marriage

5. Talk about and do activities that you both enjoy

Like we said, driving around in the car and talking or listening to music was a big one for us.

6. Be ok with doing what your spouse wants to do.

We have a friend who doesn’t place a lot of importance on big dates, but his wife really values them. Knowing that she really loves and appreciates them, he planned out a big special evening for their anniversary. Because it was a big deal for his spouse, it became a big deal for him.

You can alternate dates that the other spouse wants to do. But if you do this, make sure that you are all in. Don’t mope or hold your “sacrifice” over their head. Find joy in the fact that your spouse enjoys this and you get to partake in it together. Be engaged, put the phone away, and try to have fun!

One Degree Shift

Sit down with your spouse and have a conversation about what these regular date nights could look like and how you are going to implement them.

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