“Do what you did in the beginning of your relationship and there won’t be an end.” – Anthony Robbins
If you’re a past bride of ours and your sign-in book asked guests to leave encouragement or marriage tips there’s a good chance that I simply wrote keep dating as my little nugget of advice.
It’s difficult to choose just one piece of guidance that’s paramount in marriage. There are so many facets to learning how to love your spouse well and how to be a good spouse in return. However, I have to say when a friend told me during my engagement to schedule regular date nights and hold them sacred, it may not have been revolutionary during year one but now that we are in year six those dedicated nights with just the two of us (sans toddler) are so life giving.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day to day routine of work and coming and going, each of you doing your part to achieve a common goal. This was the hubs and I in year three which was also when we were pregnant. On a random Tuesday I found ourselves high fiving each other as we passed in the front yard; him coming home from work and me leaving to meet a client. I sat in my car as it hit me like a ton of bricks, “is this where we are; giving each other high fives like locker room buddies?” The answer was a resounding yes.
In the busyness of life we had somehow fallen out of our beloved date night routine and had become working robots, falling into bed at night too tired for more than a quick kiss goodnight. I sat in my car and tried to remember when and where our last date took place. Nothing. I honestly couldn’t remember, which means it had been way too long.
Later that night I asked him if we could bring date nights back and of course he was on board. But getting back into a routine of saying “no” to #allthethings was challenging. I’m slightly embarrassed to say that it was difficult to go out to dinner instead of sending out contracts to brides or replying to just one more email. It was a mindset shift for me. I’d literally have to tell myself that this quick dinner at Gringos was way more important than earning another dollar. It was a conscious effort for awhile until those evenings became sacred again and non negotiable. I stopped apologizing to family and clients as to why I had to turn them down or was a little late in responding.
Gary Thomas explains it perfectly in his new book, Cherish,
“Love is the athletics of marriage and cherish is the ballet of marriage. We cannot cherish our spouse without love, and we cannot take our love to a new level without cherishing one another. Studying how to cherish one another, with all of its special qualities, puts a polish on love, makes it shine, and adds a special sparkle to our lives and marriages.”
While it was a conscious effort, in the beginning, to get back into this routine, now our bi-weekly date nights are the things I look forward to the most, even if we occasionally have a dinosaur obsessed little boy in attendance.
Currently, our favorite date night activity is to grab sonic drinks and take a drive through the country on a hunt for land or sneak into homes being built to see how we would change the floor plan. This may or may not be illegal. Shhh! What’s your favorite date night? Comment below…
photography- The Cotton Collective