Why Dating During Marriage is a Good Thing
I met my husband on October 28th, 1998. I actually remember thinking that day when we met, "What took you so long to find me?" The attraction was that immediate for me (not that I told him that way back then!).
After that initial meeting, he asked me out on a date that very night. We went to see the movie, Practical Magic... pretty fitting, huh?
Matthew was pretty incredible coming up with some unique, special and different kind dates.
We've been fishing and ice skating and bowling and to concerts under the stars.
We've gone to the zoo and fed the animals.
We've had candlelit dinners on the beach.
We've gone on walks in the rain and hiked through mountains.
We've built snow castles and made snow angels.
We would even go away…
We went to NYC one weekend and just walked around Central Park and Tiffany's and had frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity's.
We went to Philly one day just to get an "original" Philly Cheesesteak.
We went camping on the beach in North Carolina one weekend (I pretended to like camping for that weekend).
And literally... throughout our "courtship" from 1998-2001, Matthew (or Matty) did just about everything and anything romantic for me. My most favorite story to share? We were dating when the book "Message in a Bottle" was a huge hit. I remember going to see him one night and he was on his couch reading THAT very book. I couldn't help but laugh. This big, hunky football player reading a romance. He said to me, "You seem to like it so much, I wanted to read it." My heart stood still. And then further, a few nights later... when I went to bed one night in my dorm, I felt something hard under my pillow - it was a wine bottle with a message in it. You know.. I still have that bottle with the message, and I still haven't read it. My sons will read it someday...
But my point in all of this is the romance.
Ahh… the ROMANCE!!
It was wining and dining and falling head over heels. It was the magic of love...
And not that that magic still isn't there… it's just that, well... you start to have a family - and for us: Boy #1. Boy #2. Boy #3. Boy #4.
And as what happens in life, things starts to change. You suddenly become head over heels in dirty diapers and bath-time and working and cleaning the house and - you know, all the responsibilities that come with being an adult, wife and mother.
The romance… the dinner at 11PM at night because you feel like it? Yeah… not so much anymore. And that's just not right.
So, I drew the line in the sand.
I want the romance. I want the silliness. I want the crazy love. I want the date nights. And so, we've been making it a POINT to do this. And believe me, it's not always easy. Dare I say it, it's almost impossible sometimes.
I remember saying to my husband... I want to date you while we're married. I don't want that to change. I want to do all the stuff we did before we had the boys, we just need to be more efficient in planning it all out, not just fly by the seat of our pants (we can't be like that). We can do it, it just needs to be scheduled in.
I don't know many moms that (truly) fit in the time to date during their marriage... and I mean, date the SAME man you're married to… but I do know it's important. It's essential for happiness. It's important for the boys to see us making the time. And it's special to know that we're both trying on our ends to keep everything fresh and exciting.
There are 5 distinct things I've been doing lately:
1. I've bitten the bullet and hired a babysitter. She will come twice a month while we head out for a date night.
2. I don't count family things or nights out with friends as dates. I want alone time. I don't want to share my time with anyone else.
3. Reservations are a beautiful thing. Once I've made them, I feel obligated to go. If we just sort of wing it, we end up at a "regular" place. It's always fun to try something new and exciting.
4. The boys can't be the only focus of dinner. We need to make sure we're checking in with each other and not just solely focused on William, Alex, Ben and Henry.
5. We dress up. Plain and simple. I'm a jeans girl… but jeans aren't allowed. :)
Dating during your marriage is a smart and healthy thing to do.
It's fun. It's exciting.
And you know what, it's even sexy.