Dating in Marriage and Linkup!

Date Your MateI was honored when Steve Pare, of Spousedates, asked me if my husband Gary and I would share about the ways we make dating a priority in our marriage. If you’re interested, I’d love it if you’d hop over to Steve’s place where you can read more about our story.

I also want to emphasize just how much I appreciate Steve’s desire to encourage dating in marriage.

It’s easy to let this slide. I’ve even heard some wives complain that their husband’s believe dating should end with the walk down the aisle. {Any husbands out there brave enough to admit that mindset?} Often it’s those same marriages that are in trouble because things have grown stale, disconnected and apathetic.

Believe it or not, I believe that neglecting to date your spouse makes your marriage a prime target for an affair!ย 

[Tweet “Dating is absolutely essential to the health and vibrancy of your marriage. “]

BTW, I’m not talking about spending a lot of money on your dates either. I’m talking about doing things like a candlelit picnic on a blanket at the park one fall evening {before it gets too cold}. I’m also talking about brief and spontaneous dates like after you’ve put the kids to bed, you pop in a DVD while you munch on popcorn and snuggle with your spouse on the couch. Those are some of the best kinds of dates I think.

In fact, here’s a pic from a recent double date that Gary and I went on with our friends, the McWhorters. We joined them for a “cake scavenger hunt”- a fun date idea if you live in the area {There are “250 cakes” in all sorts of obscure places all over St. Louis, Missouri as a way to celebrate the city’s 250th birthday}. Oh yeah … Go Cards! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cake Hunting

 

What are some of the best kinds of dates you’ve had over the years?

 

What has made dating a low priority in your relationship?

 

Here are some great posts/blogs that I’d like to encourage you to visit and check out –

Mommy Sue of Chaotic Simplicity’s, Boast in the Lord reminds us of the importance of gratitude, as well as providing some amazing Bible verses that would be great to memorize and/or post somewhere in your home to be reminded of this truth regularly.

Joanne of Days and Thoughts, Day 8: We Learn reminds us of the very common ways Christ heals and redeemsโ€”both in Bible times and present dayโ€”giving us hope in any desperate situation we may be facing.

 


 

Joining with my friends at ย Works for Me Wednesday, Wifey Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation,ย Wholehearted Wednesday,ย Whimsical Wednesday, ย What You Wish Wednesday, andย Essential Fridays.

Now itโ€™s time for Wedded Wednesday!
Grab our WW Button Codeย here!

Messy Marriage

And donโ€™t forget to include a link back here, because the easier people can find Wedded Wednesday, the more traffic I can send your way!

  • A few weeks ago, Sherri and I accompanied a couple we are friends with for a weekend getaway to Greune, TX. We spent the weekend floating the river, browsing the Greune historical district, and just relaxing and enjoying the sights.

    Had a blast! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s always so much fun to do something with a couple that you enjoy, Joe. Gary and I have good friends from Tennessee (Gary’s stomping ground) that we love to go on short trips with or we’ve even taken some family vacations together. I’m glad you and your wife make that a priority. Thanks for linking up and stopping by to say hi!

  • So cool to get to know you guys better through that interview, Beth. Would love to live closer so we could do the double dating thing.

    It’s easy for kids, not a whole lot of $, and jammed schedules to keep us from making dating a priority. And in our later years to let exhaustion creep in like the plague. Let’s hear it for just getting OUT, somewhere, and having a good time again!

    • Yeah, Linda, aren’t you glad you found out about my days as a “stud stalker”? I’d think that would give you great delight that we are miles apart! ha! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And yes, those are probably the three main issues that cause couples to drift and neglect dating. But we all need that time of fun and relaxation. It’s like turning the light on in our marriages. Thanks so much for coming by, sweet friend!

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  • LOVED this post. Jason and I struggle in this area and your words were so motivating (in a good way :). A couple of years ago, for our anniversary, I got jason 12 – preplanned, prepaid dates and that was the first time in our entire marriage where we were faithful to go out on a date once a month for an entire year!
    Thanks for reminding me how important date nights are.
    Darby

    • I’m so glad to hear it, Darby. I bet with a newborn and four other kids in the house it has to be extremely hard to carve out time to be together that’s uninterrupted or away from home! You have to tell me more about that “preplanned/paid dates. Was this something anyone could buy or something you made all the plans for in advance? I’d love to share this with MM readers! It truly is important and I hope that you and your hubby can find that time to reconnect and refuel your relationship!

  • Beth,
    I love spending time with my husband. I think one of our favorite dates we went to a huge park with a lake. It was beautiful and our dog got to come too.
    I love looking forward to dates with my husband, even if all we do is I put on lipstick and then we cuddle on the couch ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I love being outside at certain times of the year–Spring and Fall–with my hubby. We go for walks and take lots of photos, then at the end of the day we compare the treasures we found and “took” (in picture form). I love places where there’s water–the lake, the ocean, even rivers can have a certain beauty to them depending on where you are. And what a great idea to bring your dog along. I know our dog would have loved that! Thanks so much for adding to the discussion, Julie!

  • We don’t date, for a couple of reasons.

    First, my illness makes it hard. I’m in enough pain much of the time that it dominates what I can do, and my very movements. It even hurts to be touched.

    For my wife, it’s tough, because she feels that rather than enjoying a date, she feels she has to keep an eye on me. She feels closer to a nurse than a wife, sometimes.

    Beyond this, though, my likely having a limited time of life kills the possibility of dating. My wife is looking at life beyond my presence, and while she says she wants to spend time with me, it comes across as her being “willing” to spend time with me. I don’t want charity.

    I may be unfair. probably am. But a date where I’m still the “patient” is heartbreaking. Because I remember what it was like before.

    • For lack of words right now Steve I would only say that you hold on to God, and I would mention you in my prayers.

    • Is it painful to reminisce about those times, Andrew? I know at the very least it would be bittersweet. But I love getting out old photos and thinking back to days when my kids were young or when Gary and I went on a special trip, etc. It might be something that you and your wife (or even just you alone) could do to bring a bit of pleasure and escape if only for a brief time while you think back to healthier and younger days. Again, I have no idea if this would be helpful. That’s up to you to decide and discover, but thought I’d throw the idea out there in case it would be a nice diversion. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hello, my dear! I love the picture of you two with your friends. So cute and how fun!

    My hubby and I don’t technically go “out” and “date” much. I am kind of a homebody and prefer staying home when I can since I have to go out so much. Plus, our schedules are crazy. So we might have some popcorn and watch something together, or just sit and chat. I love it when he runs errands with me, so sometimes we will do that.

    Thanks for hosting, my friend!

    • Gary, my hubby and I spend a lot of our day off together running errands. He typically sits, reading his tablet or a good book in the car, while I shop. Then we do lunch or dinner out but typically prefer to relax at home as well, Nan. I think there’s just a greater need for pastors and wives to pull away from socializing sometimes. We have to give so much to people all throughout the week that it’s nice just to relax alone with each other. I’m glad you and your hubby make time to be together too. Dates are really all about connecting–nothing more or less. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I can imagine all sorts of simple, date ideas and hope to be able to try those out some day. Blessed as always by your link up and willingness to encourage those of us who hang out here each week. Have a blessed day!

    • I do hope that you get to try out some of these date ideas when the time is right, Mary. You are such a sweet lady that I can’t imagine the men in your life don’t see that and feel drawn to you because of it. I know that the life of a teacher can be all work and no play, so maybe when retirement time rolls around, you’ll be able to hit the town with a godly guy holding your hand!

  • You know Beth, caring for the Church as ministers can be quite demanding but my husband and I often find ways to spend quality times together… even though it can be more often than it is right now.
    Thanks for sharing this important topic, it is a great compliment to my latest blog post!

    • Oh yes! I hear ya, Ugochi! I just mentioned to Nan above that for couples who are in the ministry, going out can be something of a drain. Dealing with people all week, my husband and I find that staying home and decompressing with each other rather than hitting the town can be just the ticket sometimes. But then, if you or your hubby are extrovert(s), it might still be important to find times to go out rather than just staying in. I hope that things slow down for you, sweet friend! I’ll pray that God would increase the amount of time you and your hubby have to reconnect. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • The best dates for us are usually simple ones. A quick dessert, going on a walkโ€ฆ it does not have to be complicated, just time together! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You are so right, Stasia! I love going for walks with my hubby–especially this time of year. And we find that when we go for a walk, the conversation just flows better than when we are sitting across from each other sometimes. I think it gets our brains moving too! ha! Glad to hear that you make connecting with your hubby a priority, my friend!

  • Beth – I was so honored that you would want to share my post here with your readers. Thank you for blessing me! I always enjoy being here & with those who join you each week!

    • You are quite welcome, Joanne. I was so encouraged by that post … well, it seems you always have a wealth of wisdom to share when I visit. Thanks for all you do to feed our hearts and souls, my friend!

  • Hi Beth – I love this topic, and appreciate Steve for keeping the conversation going. I am going to hop over to Steve’s site and read your story.

    I linked up an article I wrote this week for another site; if that’s not okay, feel free to delete it. But, I have to say that it and my own post fit in really nicely with your theme for this week! It’s all about being intentional to keep a positive focus on our marriages.

    • I’m glad you did, Gaye. My commenting system held it in moderation until I could approve it, but the more resources and inspiration we can bring to this subject the better! I also want you to know how greatly I appreciate your Twitter, FB support as well as, keeping up with me here there and everywhere. You are a sweet friend that I hope to meet someday. Maybe it will happen, so I’m reserving a hug in advance of that day! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I think the date I enjoy the most is when Ryan and I go for a run or bike ride together. I am a quality time person so it is great for that because we get to chat it up the whole time ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I can’t imagine chatting while running, Cassie! {huff, puff!} ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course, I do have a bum knee so walking or biking is about all I can do without a problem these days. But I’m glad you and your hubby find time to do something active on your dates. I think that can be some of the best dates because it gets our brains fired up and primed for conversation, like you’ve mentioned! Thanks for adding to the discussion, sweet friend!

  • That’s so important. I love the cakes! Hubster and I spend a lot of time together since we are empty nesters. It’s great! Thanks for the important reminder. Visiting from Wholehearted Wednesday

    • Good to hear, Mary! Sometimes after the kids leave the nest, the mama and daddy bird don’t know each other anymore! ha! It sounds like you and your hubby have kept that distance at bay. My husband and I are enjoying something of an empty nest too with our youngest away at college this fall. Of course, I say that and he’s home now on fall break! But having the extra time to do whatever we want has been a real treat!

  • Pam

    Love you, Beth, and love Gary. And for anyone out there who doesn’t know you both personally-you are what you say you are on your blog. You practice what you preach. You are genuine inside and out! xoxox

    • Awww! You bless and honor me, Pam! I know that you of all people know how very important dating and staying connected to your mate is! Thank you so much for your kind words here! You made my day when I read them … and by the way, I’m going to reply to your email tonight too! Hugs to you, sistah! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Oh, I’m a huge advocate for dating in marriage… now. I didn’t always realize how important it was. Ironically, it was my daughter who showed me how valuable it is to continue loving on my husband. Kids need to see their parents in love. And we parents need to reconnect. My husband and I plan one date night a month, which doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a deliberate effort and we look forward to it. Bonus if we can get Grandma to babysit for free! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs, Beth! Thanks for all you do to encourage our marriages!

    • Yes, that’s so true. That reminds me of when Gary and I went through “Growing Kids God’s Way.” Have you heard of it, Becky? Anyway, they always stressed how important it is to have “couch time” and not let the kids interrupt this. They said that the children will not only learn healthy boundaries but feel secure watching and knowing that they’re parents are building their relationship together. I’m so glad you and your hubby have made that a deliberate effort in your marriage. Of course, who wouldn’t want to take you, your hubby’s fiery red hot wife out on a date?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Dating has always been a priority for my husband and I. We do a weekly date night at home and try to get out of the house at least once a month for a date on the town.

    • That’s a great plan, Allison. My husband and I struggled to make dating a priority early in our marriage, but didn’t always think about the many ways to have “a date” at home way back then. I’m glad you haven’t let money or the issues that come with kids get in the way of this priority. Thanks so much for coming by and joining the discussion!

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  • Absolutely agree that dates with our spouses are important – thanks for encouraging it and for the link-up. Found you on Coffee and Conversation.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Abi and joining the discussion. I’m glad you found me and I hope you come around again!

  • Thanks Beth for the linkup party. I am finally trying to get back into linking up.

    My husband and I go out to eat every so often. We have a couple places we like to go that have a nice atmosphere without being expensive. Just a couple weeks ago we had a nice time on a little vacation.

    • You’re so welcome, Judith! Glad to have you back and I’m so glad to hear that you and your hubby make dating a priority. Thanks so much for coming by, my friend!

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