For a Happier Marriage, Date Your Spouse

With the stress of daily life, work and family responsibilities weighing on you, Lindsey Rietzsch, author of How to Date Your Spouse, suggests changing your lifestyle will make your marriage more fulfilled.

Thinking back to before you married your spouse, there was a period of courtship. Each of you presented your best selves, groomed and dressed as attractively as you could muster. Chances are, you each listened more intently, tried to be funny, and in general were enjoyable to be around. Rietzsch says keeping these behaviors going is how you date your spouse. She breaks it down to seven factors:

  1. “E” for Effort—Arranging a special date night or focusing your attention fully on your partner shows effort. So does making sure the car is tidy, your legs are shaved, and you look your best.
  2. Earn Interest—Ask interesting questions; listen as if you are hearing your spouse for the first time. Look at things from his/her perspective. Appreciate your partner for who they are now. Be interested in your partner’s hobbies, job or interests.
  3. Ignite the Romance—Think about activities for your dates that allow you to be physically close, such as dancing, ice skating, swimming, taking a walk or getting a massage. A woman needs to be romanced and made to feel special. Hold hands, compliment your partner, and make time for intimacy.
  4. Dress to Impress—Make sure you smell good and look good, especially when you go out on dates. Maintain a healthy exercise regimen to give you self-confidence and energy. Wear something attractive to bed.
  5. Build Mystery—Plan some large or small surprises to keep your spouse wondering what’s next. Also, give yourself alone time, time for hobbies or friends, so you are rejuvenated and building interests.
  6. Fuel Excitement—Plan some new and exciting activities together to keep things from getting mundane. Take a trip, go kayaking, sailing, hot air ballooning or something that gets your adrenaline pumping. Even an amusement park or game of football can trigger youthful feelings.
  7. Flirt—Touch your partner throughout the day, say or text sexy things. Praise your spouse publicly and privately.

Rather than making date night a once a month or once a week ordeal, make dating your spouse a lifestyle decision.

What do you find most challenging about maintaining a dating lifestyle, versus getting caught up in the busyness of life and its challenges? For me, it’s making my marriage a priority and carving out regular time to invest in it.

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7 responses to “For a Happier Marriage, Date Your Spouse

  1. Even taking a moment throughout the day to send a text or leave a voicemail is helpful. I also make a conscious effort to smile at my husband every morning, first thing. I may not want to talk, but at least it sends a message that I’m happy to see him. That little act can really “set” the day.

  2. Lori , Having practiced dating my spouse for the majority of our 31 years of marriage, I can say it is worth it! And I agree with you that it’s a lifestyle decision, not just another thing to check off your “to do” list. Tom and I have often asked ourselves, “where do we want to be next year, in five years or ten? And what choices are we making today to help us get there. Most couples would desire a closer intimacy with each other – regular dates as well as surprises go a long way in helping to reach such goals. Thanks for sharing! If you need ideas for things to do – we have lots of ideas on our blog: The Romantic Vineyard!

  3. This is a great list on keeping the dating mentality in your marriage. Very, very important stuff.

    I completely agree that it isn’t so much a matter of how or when but a frame of mind. I reflected a while back after seeing the movie “Date Night” on how important it is to keep a sense of mystery and excitement about your marriage, to not fall into auto-pilot mode. Just getting along and treating each other respectfully isn’t really enough. Dont’ settle for good enough!

    (full post on the movie is here: http://surrenderedmarriage.blogspot.com/2010/04/date-night.html)

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  5. Pingback: الرباط المقدس: عن درر الزواج: لحياة زوجية أسعد، واعد شريك حياتك For a Happier Marriage, Date Your Spouse | Marriage Gems « الرباط المقدس The Sacred Bond

  6. Pingback: A Different Kind of Date Night « 4 Mothers

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