When you think of “dating,” you usually think of pre-engagement fun filled with long talks, throbbing hearts, and bouquets of flowers. But who says all that has to stop after engagement—or after marriage, for that matter?
The media paints life after marriage as dull, but we married people know better. That spark absolutely does not have to go out once you say “I Do!”
Want to keep your romance fiery and fresh after the wedding cake has been eaten and the thank-you notes delivered? Here are some great ways to date your spouse!
1. Make Time... No Matter What
The first step to dating your spouse is commitment. After all, commitment is what marriage is about! So commit to do something fun with each other regularly.
This can look any way you want. My husband and I always plan one date a week, but we aren’t stuck on a certain day. Our schedule isn’t regular, so we find any day that works.
If regular scheduling is best for you, put it on the calendar! And if you find yourself rescheduling over and over, make it your sacred, number-one priority. Say no to plans with friends and work functions, if you have to. Your marriage is more important than anything else, so put your spouse – and your date night – first.
2. Have Good Talks
Communication, along with sex and money, is one of the top three reasons that marriages go south. Creating space for communication is important!
Dates are the perfect opportunity for you and your spouse to connect. Spend time talking so you can keep acquainted and stay in touch with each other’s lives! Don’t stare at your phones or always go to movies. Get face-to-face!
Don’t know what to talk about? Google does. Look online for a list of date-night conversation topics to start a flow of conversation.
3. Get Creative
I like food as much as you do, but sometimes the dinner-date routine gets old. It can also get expensive! If you’re on a budget or just need something fresh, find something unexpected to do.
An idea I love is to bring your own table cloth, china, and silverware to a fast-food place. Dress up your Chick-Fil-A table, and it will feel like a whole new experience! Or “kidnap” your spouse and don’t let them know where you’re going until you get there. Need more ideas? Pinterest has about seventy million of them!
4. Make Errands into Dates
My husband and I had a super fun date today! Guess where we went? Sam’s Club! We needed to sign up for a membership, so we made a date out of it as we tried samples, found our favorite cereals, and ate at the food court.
Doing errands isn’t ideal for regular date nights, but it is great for days when you don’t have time to just relax together, and it’s also cheap. Speaking of cheap …
5. Be OK with Cheap
I know you’re going to be totally shocked to hear this, but being a newlywed can really be a tight season of life. Actually, any season is a good season to be frugal! If you’re like me and my husband, you don’t exactly have a massive date night budget.
A common misconception is that quality romance has to be expensive. Let’s throw out that idea right now. Sure, you may not be able to afford bouquets of roses and diamond jewelry, but handmade notes and picnic dinners can be just as sweet!
If you’re OK with dating cheap and don’t judge the quality of the experience by the cost, you can have a ton of fun doing things like going to the bookstore or exploring a public park.
6. Be Active Together
Get your workout and your date night at the same time! Some couples have fun going to the gym together, while others would rather do run a benefit 5K. Whatever you both enjoy, go do that!
Maybe you can take an exercise class together, or join a co-ed sports team. Or, go to a climbing gym! There are lots of fun places to get active together.
My husband and I like to go hike through national parks together. We have both a U.S. and a Canadian national parks pass, plus a state park pass! This is an easy (and fairly inexpensive) way to get out and see your surroundings while burning calories.
7. Be Sexy
There! I said it. Yep, I said it right here on this classy blog. But honestly, being sexy is a huge part of keeping your romance alive. You don’t want to be tempting before you get married and then let the flame go out once the wedding license is singed. This is the time to ramp it up and make your dates sizzle!
There are a lot ways to do this, but you know what works for you. Perhaps a set of boudoir photos would be fun, or maybe a change of … um … outfit.
8. Do Overnight Dates
Dates don’t have to be limited to one evening. Why not take a whole weekend for your next date? My husband and I like to do camping trips on three-day weekends. Maybe sleeping in the back of your car on an air mattress does not sound awesome to you. Then book a cute little house a few hours away and spend a couple days away from the stresses of life! Or, book a fancy hotel downtown.
There are so many great ways to do overnight dates. If you want to rekindle the romance of your early married days, why not go on a second honeymoon?
Dating your spouse is one of the best ways to keep your marriage strong and healthy! Maintain communication, spend time together, and keep your romance alive. There are few things in life that are more important than your relationship with your spouse, so take the time to let him or her know just how much you care.
Check out these 5 books we recommend that will enhance your marriage. Because here at Forever Bride, we love weddings but cherish marriage even more!
photography // Russell Heeter