Do you remember when we first started dating your spouse? You remember getting ready, making sure your makeup, outfit, hair, and shoes were just right. You selected the right restaurant, checked the menu, washed the car, got your nails manicured, groomed your hair just right, bought a new outfit, put on Crest white strips, etc. You wanted to make the “right” impression that you were prepared, interested, interesting, excited, and motivated to impress the person. The days went by since the date was scheduled and all week, all you could think of was your time with him or her. Then, you rang the bell and felt your heart jump into your throat.
Dating is surely exciting, waiting for the first kiss, the call afterwards, planning for another date, and the attraction or passion you felt for the other person. Dating your spouse was fun. Wanting to be in their presence was your greatest desire. You longed for this time. Fast forward to now where you have been married for some time now. If you feel the same or similar way, it is because you continue to be interesting and interested. In most cases, you continue to go out on dates. Maybe not every week but once a month or every 4-6 weeks to explore, reflect on growth, and learn more about the person you married.
Dating Your Spouse
Kathie and Dean like to “play” with each other. They play ice hockey, they watch movies on the couch, they cook dinner for each other, and they cherish their time alone. Raising two gifted sons who have launched and no longer live at home and they say, “The key is dating each other and finding time to be together.” Kathie says, “I really still like him.” and Dean says, “She is one of the smartest ladies I have ever known. I am still interested in Kathie’s mind and how it works.” A doctor and a geologist have found love each day after over 35 years of marriage. Another woman remarks about her ex-spouse, “We stopped spending time together. We stopped talking with one another and it was over in three years.” So, what do these stories have in common? The importance of being interested in the other person, admiring your mate and spending time alone together. Intimacy is “into me I see.” Each mate holds us a mirror so we can see life fully and abundantly. The love never ends is what your marriage vows say and the infinite nature of the ring which never begins and never ends. Therefore, dating and presenting your best self is a continuous act.
Going out on dates is important. Keep showing your best self and impressing your mate. Be authentic. Be you. And, you still have to date your spouse. They look puzzled. We got married so we did not have to date anymore. Keep them guessing as you get dressed up. Present your best self. Spend some thought on making it a mutually fun date! Try some new date ideas, too! Not taking time out as a couple is a recipe for disaster. Often in couples, I see spouses who want to be seen or heard. The concept of appreciating your spouse is something that can be missed or assumed that the other spouse knows. The assumption needs to be that they need to hear it over and over. I need you. I love you. I have passion for you. I care for you, deeply.. You still excite me. You are my soulmate. You mean the world to me. You interest me.
The Importance of Dating Your Spouse
The “We” that the couple is depends on these dates. This is another reason why dating your spouse is important. The identity of being a couple is built on mutual respect, care, adoration, compassion, and listening. They can be your best friend and how better to get to know them but to continue to date them. Couples dates are essential – they are a break from the routine, the children, work, and the mundane. The date is that special time that is carved out, an oasis away from everything that commits you to run to the person you have committed to spend the rest of your life with. Dating your spouse should be fun! Dates can be to concerts, the movies, bowling, fishing, skiing, hiking, to dinner, coffee, dessert, a weekend at a hotel, the gardens, an arcade, a casino, hot springs, workout, yoga classes, or a candle lit dinner at home. Dating is fun. Dating your spouse is one of the best choices you can make. Invite him or her out for a night on the town. Go horseback riding, a couples massage, or get lost in a corn maze together.
If you do not have time to date, you do not have time for your spouse. Or maybe you don’t want to spend time with your spouse. Maybe this is the unintended message: I am cheap and no longer want to spend or invest in my spouse. One woman said, “He used to give me the world, until he got me- now, I am lucky if I can get money to buy a pair of tennis shoes.” A man shared in couples therapy, “I wish my wife looked at me like she used to when we did not have kids.” The missing part of the puzzle is remembering that presenting your best self is how you came to know this very special person in your life. You must continue to get to know him or her. The conquest is not over, the conquest is for their heart. Women as well as men can seek out each other with a note, “Meet me in our special place at 7 pm on Friday…Can’t wait to see you there!” or “Pack your bags, sweetheart with warm thing for we are slipping away, kids are going to my parents and we are going away…see you at 5 pm when I get home from work.”
If you have found that you’re really not interested in connecting with your partner. That’s an even bigger deal. Give us a call at The Marriage and Family Clinic to setup a couples counseling appointment and we can help you get to the bottom of what’s going on. We can help you get your relationship back to being great again so you’ll WANT to go on dates with your spouse again.