“I can’t remember the last time we went out on a date.”
“We can’t afford to go out. $40 for a sitter and $150 for the night, it is not worth it.”
“With the way she has been treating me, why would I want to waste my time and effort to set up a date?”
These are the very statements made by many of the couples who have found their way to our Marriage Saving Intensive. They have “lost that loving feeling” and believe that they will never get it back with their spouse again.
Spouses who feel like there is no real emotional connection and little to no physical attraction fell stuck in a committed marriage relationship. They are seemingly doomed to live the rest of their lives in a passionless marriage.
The healthy marriage research is clear. Couples who continue the behaviors that helped them initially fall in love with their spouse stick together for the long haul. Couples who stop dating and investing in quality time with their spouse end up living parallel lives under the same roof. Unconnected and passionless, it is not long before they begin looking outside of their marriage for the very things God built for us within our marriage. The end is near if we do not do anything about it.
You may ask, “Why date? We did that when we didn’t know each other. I know everything about him now, so what is the purpose?” Here are the most important reasons to start dating your spouse again:
- You need to change your interaction pattern. Early in your relationship you enjoyed getting together simply to be together. When you left being in their presence, you were happy with the interaction. You had a positive pattern of interaction. As you married and children came along, your pattern of interaction began to change. Most of your conversation and interactions were about household management, budget, parenting, schedules, in-laws, friends, etc. More conversations focused on the requirements of what your wanted your spouse to do rather than just being together.
- You need to get to know your spouse again. Let go of your assumption and what you think they will say and focus instead on really listening to their heart and sharing yours.
- You need to feel connected to your spouse. It is impossible to meet the emotional connection needs of your spouse without knowing what they are. Spending time hearing what is going on in their life and how it affects them will draw you closer together. You need to share something about what is in your heart for your spouse to connect emotionally with you.
- You need to get back that loving feeling. Your physical attraction toward your spouse is influenced by how positive your interaction pattern is. Your physical attraction toward your spouse is also connected to how emotionally connected you feel toward each other. Regularly dating your spouse will help re-ignite the passion in your marriage.
It is important that if you are not doing it you begin dating your spouse now. Have a conversation with your spouse about what kind of rhythm you can agree to regarding regularly dating. Some couples date weekly. Devra and Roy date monthly. Devra is in charge of developing and asking Roy out on a date once a month and Roy is in charge of developing and asking Devra out on a date once a month. For a list of Conversation Starters great for date night, check out When Date Night Isn’t Working.
We want to know. Share a story about a no or low cost date experience that other couples may want to incorporate into their marriage.
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2015. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.