Is your marriage a little ho-hum? Needing a little boost?
Maybe it’s time for a date.
My heart sinks at the thought. Richard and I have never managed to go on “dates”. We live too far away from everything, can’t bear to spend the money to eat out, and just don’t seem to have good ideas.
Can you relate?
Well, there’s hope for us!
And that’s because a good date doesn’t require an elaborate environment or a large dose of creativity. A good date doesn’t require money, a restaurant, or travel.
A good date goes much deeper than a picnic basket (although food is always a good idea – guys will agree).
But, what makes a date a date?
Let’s talk about some essential elements of a good date and then we’ll look at some cheap (think: free) ideas you can do at home.
Time alone is a basic essential for a married date. Plan for it. Find a baby sitter or wait till the kids are in bed. Turn your phones off so that nothing interferes with your time together.
(You won’t believe how many people check their messages or scroll through Facebook on a date. In fact, google this: how many people check their phones during love-making! It’s true. People do.)
Having fun together doesn’t require a specific location. You can have fun and play together wherever you are. Just decide to.
Find ways to have fun together – whether it’s frolicking in the sea, playing a board game, or wrestling on your bed together.
Playfulness keeps you young and brings a freshness to your relationship.
Communication that connects has to go deeper than the weather and your to-do-lists.
Talk deep stuff – the stuff that you don’t share with anyone else.
Share your thoughts and feelings. Share spiritual ideas and what God is teaching you.
Take a trip down memory lane and relive your dating days. Remind each other of what made you fall in love. What attracted you to each other? It will rekindle the spark.
Dates are about connection – emotional, spiritual, physical. When you open your heart to your spouse, you connect. Share your fears, dreams, hopes for the future.
When you share spiritual thoughts and ideas and pray together, you connect deeply.
If your date includes love-making, great. But don’t neglect the other forms of physical connection – hold hands, touch faces, kiss, hug, run your hands through each other’s hair, or rub sore feet.
While Richard and I haven’t gone on many dates in our 27+ years of marriage, we have spent time together. A lot. In fact, we had a daily date for years when life was hectic. We called it chat time – half an hour of together time.
Sometimes I hopped on the back of his motorbike and we sped off to have our chat time in some secluded spot.
On hot summer days we floated on the reservoir on inner tubes.
In winter we sat outside on the grass and soaked up the sunshine while we talked.
What did you do before you were married?
I bet you talked. You laughed. You did fun stuff. You spent time together focused on each other.
You didn’t have to think about doing those things, you just did them. Because you wanted to.
Being married is different.
There’s just too much stuff clamouring for your attention, and you lose sight of each other. You kind of get used to having each other around and you slip into taking each other for granted.
Want some of that energy back? Some of that fun?
You’ll have to be intentional about spending time together, as a couple.
So, how about that date then?
Maybe you’re not creative and need some help in the dating department. Here are 10 ideas for (free) dates at home:
Don’t neglect time together just because you can’t go on a formal date. The idea is to be together, have fun, communicate, and connect.
Make it happen! Be intentional. Rediscover each other.
Have some great date ideas? Share them in the comments.