Dating in Marriage Isn’t the Same as Dating When You Aren’t Married
I love my husband.
We’ve been married since 2003.
We go on dates, we laugh and have fun., but it’s not the same. It’s nice to get out of the house but dating just doesn’t have the allure that it once did.
Am I alone?
I doubt it.
If so, praise the Lord!
Things I need to be doing + Feeling that the date might be lackluster = Planning Dates Feels Like Chore
I want to fix that.
I recently wrote a post on “How to Find Romance When You Have a Supersized Family” which helped me realize that romance wasn’t so much in the “doing” as the “feeling.”
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Scientifically, I’ve read that our bodies react to a new person in our lives (aka our relationship with our spouse pre-marriage) for 18 months with those feelings of “butterflies” – after that love grows deeper but those butterfly feelings don’t remain.
I kind of liked those butterflies. They were fun-making.
Marriage “Fun” Ebbs & Flows
Marital relationships ebb and flow just like any other. It’s just life. Anyone married person worth their salt will tell you so. Anyone else is either a) lying or b) extremely blessed.
Dating your spouse when you have a large family adds an entire layer of difficulty that many couples with smaller families face on a much smaller scale. Money, time and energy are tighter for sure. But there is also the increased obligation to make sure you’ve taken care of all the needs around the house and that you’ve spent quality time one-on-one with each child.
Due to the sheer number of people, your marriage can easily be put on the back burner. Date nights need to become more regular, not less, as you add more children to your family.
The amount of “fun” a date with your spouse possesses also ebbs & flows, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.
The Longer You’ve Been Married or the More Kids You Have…
As you increase your family size and length of your marriage, you also need to increase the “fun” factor in your dating life with your spouse.
Dating your spouse needs to be something you look forward to…a lot.
If your date night, year after year, includes dinner and a movie, maybe it’s time to change up the pace.
Everything on earth, by nature, isn’t prone to change. It’s called inertia. Things in motion tend to stay in motion. It’s the same with marriage. We get in ruts. We always go the same way to work. We eat mostly the same foods each day. And we also usually do the same thing on our date nights as we usually do.
But our spirits crave more. We want adventure.
The best person to find new adventures with is your spouse!
The more kids you add to your marriage and the longer you’ve been married, the deeper the rut can go which can make it feel impossible to see the light of new exciting adventure.
Even now, you might be reading this and making excuse why you can do different things for your date night.
- Excuse: It’s too expensive.
- Excuse: It’s too much work.
- Excuse: I’m too tired.
- Excuse: I’m too old.
These things might all be true, but finding adventure while dating your spouse isn’t just a good idea, it’s IMO a requirement for a thriving marriage. Sometimes we need to push ourselves to get out of “date inertia.”
Overcoming Boring Date Night Inertia
There are a few things over the years that I’ve realized when it comes to dating my husband, here are my best tips for dating your spouse when you have a supersized family.
Do Something New
The same-ole-same-ole gets boring. Fast.
Doing something new and exciting is the first way to add excitement to your date night.
Don’t think too much, just do something you’ve never done before.
Plan Something Grand
If you’ve been married for a long time or have been busy making babies, it’s time to reward yourself.
Plan something BIG. Take a trip or attend an event that you’d usually skip because of cost.
We decided to go to India with our tax refund money one year and it’s been a talking point ever since.
Planning something bigger might require a long-term focus, but it’s definitely a great thing to do at least once a year or so.
Choose a Different Time of Day
Do you always go out to dinner? Try going for breakfast.
Changing up the time of day can lead to new adventures just because different things are available during different times of day.
Do Something Old
This might seem like I’m contradicting myself but what I mean is do something that you USED to do…a long time ago.
Did you use to do something together that you’ve given up?
Do it “for old times sake.”
Go to a waterpark (you might not be able to wear that bikini you used to wear…but oh, well) or visit the place you first met at. Go to a club (yes, you’ll feel awkward, but it’s bonding to feel awkward together, right?)
Link up with other couples for a new twist on your dating routine.
You don’t have to limit joining up with other people to a dinner date, you could meet up to play a game or at an event.
One of my favorite date nights is going to the comedy club with my husband.
Laughing together is a great way to bond. Jokes or sketches that you can reference later can feel like a secret language that only the two of you share.
There are some comedy clubs we avoid because we don’t like the content, but we’ve found that there are comics that don’t use filth to make you laugh.
If you’re going to do your regular date night thing, bring supplies to it!
Here are my top “supplies” for a more exciting date night:
- Book to Read Aloud
- Board/Card Game (You can also use your phones to play games against each other, we like Boggle)
- Blanket (for impromptu star-watching or playing footies at dinner)
- Old photos for reminiscing
- Blank Journal/Paper for jotting down ideas for the future
Do Something You’ve Been Avoiding or Scared to Do
Have you been avoiding visiting a relative in the retirement home because it feels scary and unfamiliar? Go with your spouse. Afterward, visit your local Starbucks and rehash how your felt.
Always wanted to visit a store in an unfamiliar area of town because you’re scared to do it alone? Explore it with your significant other.
Creating a memory over something emotional is agreat way to connect with each other.
It’s been said that two people are the most successful NOT when they are looking at each other, but at a common goal.
Volunteering or serving together can put a fresh perspective on your time together. It can make you feel good about yourself and your relationship.
End your time volunteering together with another one of the adventure-making tips above to make it really feel like special time with your beloved.
When It’s All Said and Done
Your children thrive when you have a good and loving relationship with your spouse.
They are watching you and will emulate your marriage habits (or have to overcome them). .
At the end of the day, when all the kids are gone, it’s just going to be you and your spouse for the most part. It would be nice to still know them and like them after all the child-rearing is done.