Dating…The Magical Pill to Marital Bliss

Guys, let's keep this simple. If you want a great marriage, date your wife. Dating is not a magical pill to marital bliss, but it's close.

Now, I'm not a proponent on creating rules and regulations about dating. For instance, I know some couples who religiously go out every Friday night. To me, that feels legalistic and routine, so it sort of sucks the romance out of dating for me. What's more, if you slow down enough throughout the week to regularly connect with your spouse, a weekly date could actually feel like overkill. As I've shared in many blog post here, Kathy and I connect throughout a typical week by taking walks together, preparing dinners together, eating dinner as a family practically every night, and just spending time in the evening talking. These regular touch points keep us relationally close.

(As a side note, some people like to refer to taking walks and preparing meals together as “dates,” but we don't. To us, these activities are simply part of doing life together as best friends. We like being together more than anything else, so we look for opportunities to be together as much as possible and don't feel the need to label these times as “dates.”)

With that said, we still love to date, and even though we have three teenagers living under our roof (which translates into a very busy season of life), we still carve out extended time to get away from it all and date.

However, since we already feel connected because of the habits I just described, we see dating as more of a chance to build memories and do something special that we wouldn't do regularly. In other words, we'd rather date a bit less, but make our dates more meaningful and fuller. For instance, a few weeks ago we went to a local restaurant not just to eat, but to spend extended time together. We enjoyed the live music while sipping wine. We ate slowly. At the end of the evening, we enjoyed lingering over coffee and dessert. It was a memory-making experience, not just a dinner.

Also, we're going to a Jason Mraz concert in a few months (see video below). But instead of rushing in and out of a local concert, we purposefully picked a show that is out of town. We'll go to the show, as well as spend a couple of days at the beach…just the two of us.

Again, the key for us is that we connect regularly throughout the week, so we don't view dates as our way to connect or re-connect with one another. We view dates as a chance to build memories; a chance to do special things that add flavor and color to our relationship. We go out less, but we do more.

Guys, make sure your wife knows you value her—take the lead and date your wife. Like I said, dating is not a magical pill to marital bliss, but it's close.

By the way, I'm always looking for creative date ideas, so feel free to share your ideas here.