6 min. read
If you’re married (or even in a serious relationship) you hear it time and time again, “communication is the most important thing in any relationship” and I’m here to say NO! IT’S NOT! I mean… it is, kinda. But NO! THAT’S NOT IT! Yes… communication is clutch to any relationship, because let’s be real, what’s the point of sharing your life with someone you can’t even have intentional conversation with? However, we’d argue that one of the most important things to do in order to maintain not only a healthy relationship, but also a fun one, you have to constantly continue to date your spouse/significant other. I’d even argue that this tip is sometimes more important than simply focusing on conversation as often times, it creates more conversation, knocks down more walls, and naturally brings you closer.
A couple of years ago I was talking to my friend who had recently broken up with her BF of 3 years. I truly didn’t think the day would come as I was certain they were going to get married. So when I found out about them parting ways I, of course, as any terrible friend would, skipped right over the “are you okay?” and got right to the “what in all the heck happened!?” I mean, talk about a perfect couple! Her response threw me off for a second because it was unexpected, hilarious, and also thought provoking:
At first I thought she was joking but she further explained what she meant & essentially she was saying, “we stopped dating”. Sure, not going out on dinner dates every other day isn’t necessarily make it or break but let me paint this picture for you…
Do you remember when you and your partner first started talking? Really think back to day 1 of your relationship, when you were likely smitten as a kitten, all googly eyed, holding hands and kissing in public like teenagers, feeding each other ice cream, going on dates G A L O R E and swooning like Squince in The Sandlot. Now let’s fast forward a couple of years. What do your outings look like now? & Be honest.
Aaron and I can’t even begin to lie/deny it, we’ve been there and done that. Where we hit a funk and suddenly, we “don’t have time” to go anywhere or we “don’t have enough money” to go out to eat or we’re both “too tired” to do anything and our relationship transparently became stagnant because of it.
Of course, we still loved each other through it all and sure neither of us were really complaining but as time went on with these same excuses, we unintentionally became distant. Conversations became redundant and repetitive. Even coming home from work was now a routine: Leave work, get home, purse down, hug and kiss “hi” to the boo, say “hi” to dog, ask how his day was, share how my day went, discuss what to cook for dinner, take the dog out, decide to just go grab a quick dinner and bring it back home, eat our meals while halfway in conversation and halfway in our phones catching up on Lord knows what, watch GOT, Blacklist, or The Challenge (don’t judge us!), shower, take the dog out again, bed and then next day… we wake up and repeat. Except maybe add a workout in there somewhere too. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with routine but you gotta spice it up! Our routine was fine and dandy until we both realized we were literally doing this every single day, to the point where it a mindless routine.We realized that what we were doing wasn’t healthy, it wasn’t ideal, and we went on a mission to fix this little issue of ours.
Insert the Eureka! moment to be “Newlyweds for life”. We knew that a major culprit and sometimes even the demise of marriage was rooted by boredom and the last thing we, or anyone, wants in a relationship is to have their spouse or S.O with wandering eyes searching for something fresh, new and exciting. So, we looked at what was causing this funk, why this funk wasn’t present before in our relationship and what fixes it and/or what actively fights against the funk of boredom. And Ta-Da, we concluded that consistent dating is an antidote to routine – it’s an easy option to bring LIFE back to your relationship. It doesn’t require a ton of time, doesn’t even require a lick of money, it just requires commitment from both parties to make it happen on reg.
1. FLIRT! Remember how we were just reflecting on the beginning days of our relationship and how we used to swoon and send pointless winks at each other from across the room? Yea, well, let’s bring that back! Give a pat on the butt here and there, send a flirtatious text, get dolled up/clean up real nice just for the heck of it, play footsy, compliment each other, etc.
2. BRING BACK THE CHASE! Literally. Aaron and I literally play tag around our tiny apartment and we have the BEST time running around like immature children without a care in the world about bills, appointments, meetings, and dog poop breaks – you know the usual things that can consume your conversation when you get into a routine. To keep this post out of the NSFW zone, we’ll leave with, you never know how this lil game of tag will end. HEY OH!
3. BRING BACK THE CHASE! Figuratively. This one is for my sista friend readers out there. Men, by nature, love a good chase. This doesn’t leave when you get married. It’s programmed in their brain! So, add a little mystery in the relationship. This can look like a random scavenger hunt that leads to a gift or “something special” (keeping it SFW) or by simply playing a game of “how well do you know me”. Tease and play hard to get every once in a while, keep them guessing!
4. PURSUIT! Men, if in case you’re reading this… you have a role as well. For every ounce in your body that loves a good chase, there’s about 2 extra ounces in every woman that loves to be pursued #scientificfactthatijustmadeup. But really! We, as women, need/want and love to be wanted, loved and pursued! Send your girl flowers, tell her you miss her, show her your adoration.
5. DATE NIGHT! Every. Single. week. You should have at least one night dedicated to solely you two, no interruptions and no cancelling/rainchecks. Aaron and I have a date night every Wednesday – sometimes we stay home and cook a Blue Apron together while listening to some smoooooth jazzzz, sometimes we go to Dave and Busters and I school Aaron in every single game they have there and sometimes we just pop some popcorn, buy a movie on demand, and just cuddle and CHILL together. Your date nights don’t always have to be a 5 star restaurant or a night on the town.
6. DON’T STOP ASKING QUESTIONS! Even if you’ve asked a question 4 times before, keep asking! You never know when someone changes their mind. Just ask Aaron. He asks me anything from what I want to do this weekend to do you still want to have kids in __ years, and my answer changes as often as I change clothes. Things change, decisions change, ideas change, people change – you’ll never know your S.O. inside and out but it’s beneficial to try so don’t stop asking the q’s. Half the fun in a relationship is constantly learning so much about a person and watching them transition and grow on this beautiful journey called life.
7. CHEERLEAD! Often times, men and women alike will push and encourage their S.O. like it’s their last chance when they first start dating. 3 years later… you may be lucky if you get a “good job, babe” once a month. Bring back the mentality that “my (insert pet name) is the best thing in these streets”. And bring it more now than ever. Why? Because life happens! Situations or circumstances, small and large will be thrown at all of us constantly and in these times, there’s nothing more important than receiving a reminder from your PIC-for-life that you really ARE unstoppable and you really ARE a beast.
What are some dating ideas that you have/do? Let’s add to the list!
written by Tey Swartz