I remember well the days of him picking me up, having butterflies, anxious and excited, all at the same time, awaiting his arrival.
These feelings are special but for most people, once you date for a bit, the butterflies tend to go away.
What if you are married for thirty years? Do you think the butterflies have gone away to butterfly heaven? This doesn’t have to be true.
One way to keep your marriage fresh is to renew your dating practices. Date night in marriage.
My husband and I started this almost a year ago, after we had celebrated twenty-nine years of wedded bliss. Our children were living their own lives, in their own dwellings and we were having dinner together, just the two of us, every night. Alone.
Sure, we went out with other couples regularly, we also took our children out to eat occasionally. But for the most part, it was just him and I. And that was fine.
We decided to return to our younger days, when it was just the two of us. We began to go out every Thursday for date night.
Date night in marriage?
Why Thursday? I have no idea. Friday was generally the night we would see our couple-friends. Thursdays simply made since. It is, after all, the pre-weekend night.
We began with “your turn-my turn”. One Thursday, I picked the restaurant. Wherever I picked, he had to take me. The following week, he chose. (And, yes-once he chose Hooters!)
We are enjoying this new stage in our life, empty-nesters. We have settled into our new roles nicely. It’s quite, it’s easy and now, we enjoy date night in our marriage. It gives us a great excuse to try new places in Waco. And thankfully, Waco has quite a few new places to enjoy.
We have changed date night up a few times and gone to breakfast instead of our Thursday night date night. We have even had a lunch date. It really doesn’t matter where or when—what matters is doing it. Planning it. Sticking to it. Date each other again, even if it is for two hours a week.
You could pick up take-out and go to the park. Eat popcorn at a movie. Paddle boarding on the river. Go see a baseball game at Baylor or MCC, or a peewee team (unless you do that weekly watching your own children!). Think about what fun and carefree dates you went on before the big “I do” and do them again!
You may not be in the empty-nester stage. You may be in the “we need a baby-sitter real bad” stage, or the “we have practice every night but Wednesday” stage. Whatever stage, wherever you are, it is important that you are together, spending quality, unplugged time together, away from your kids and away from your friends. Just the two of you. The way it all began.
Remember, you and he started out as two. You started out dating. No matter how long you have been together, you must still date. You need date night in your marriage.
Life gets busy, I know, we raised three busy kids. And to be honest, we didn’t have date night when we were in the throws of dance, cheerleading, baseball and football practices. We also rarely had date night when we still needed a baby sitter. I wish we had. I wish we would have made more time for us as a couple. I wish we would have made date night a priority.
You can. You can start now. Remember traditions, habits and practices have to start somewhere. Start today! Start Thursday—just start. I am glad we did, even if it took twenty-nine years.
Think about what you will be telling your children—you will be telling them, showing them, you are important to one another and you want to be together.
If you commit to this practice, it will bring you joy. It will bring you wedded bliss. The butterflies will flutter again.