The best dates I’ve ever had came after I was married.
We were blessed with children early on in our marriage. The good news is we were young. The bad news is we were making a very small income that didn’t allow for any extra expenses.
Multiple times we were told it was important to keep dating each other after marriage. “That’s great when you have the resources to go on dates,” we thought. Who could afford dinner and a movie? We couldn’t.
What’s the big deal about continuing to date your spouse?
- In order to survive, your marriage has to remain a top priority
- Spending time together cultivates your relationship
- Your kids need to know they come after your spouse, not before
- You need to be able to talk to each other without the kids interrupting
- You need to be able to talk about sensitive issues without the kids overhearing
- You need to remember why you love the other person — spending alone time together helps with that
- You need time away from your kids
- Your kids need time away from you
- It’s fun – remember?
In order for our marriage to survive, we learned how to have a date on less than five bucks. In fact, those dates were many of my favorite ones. They only lasted a couple hours at the most, but the important thing was we had time together. Every week. We talked about our family. We laughed. We talked about hurts. We struggled over difficulties with our kids. We learned something new about each other. Our hearts connected.
Sometimes our dates were after the kids went to bed. We’d sit on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and just be together. No agenda. No timeline. No babysitter to pay. Comfortable. Together.
And we discovered again why we married each other.
My least favorite dates were when we splurged and went to a movie. By the time the movie was done, we were too tired to really talk about anything. So, we’d head home, pay the babysitter and take her home, then wish we hadn’t spent all that money on something that didn’t allow us to connect. Just wasn’t our best date option.
As our income increased, we even went out to dinner. While those were fun splurge nights, they weren’t any better than our five buck dates. They just cost more.
One repeated, extraordinarily special date is our anniversary date. My sweet husband plans it each year. I never know what it will be — even though each year he tells me we’re going to McDonald’s. In preparation for the anniversary date, he tells me the appropriate attire and when to be ready. Then, we’re off! Talk about building anticipation! He’s a master at it. And I love him for these special dates.
I challenge you to plan a special weekly date with your spouse. Get creative. Get out of the rut. No excuses now. It isn’t about the money, it’s about the relationship. Then, tell me about your most creative or most fun date.
Kirsten D. Samuel
Aftershock Recovery Coach
8-week Program, Custom-paced Coaching, Remote, or In-person Sessions