My husband and I started dating in college (more on our love story here), after having been best friends for a year. Even though we already knew each other well, dating still felt new and exciting. Calling him my boyfriend felt new and exciting. Further realizing our potential to be together forever was exciting! (And dating in college is even more fun when you have roommates who get excited along with you! 🙂 ) I have great memories of afternoons after class, touching up my makeup and rushing out the door as that handsome man pulled up in his black pickup truck.
Now we’ve been married for a while (I can’t believe it’ll be 2 years in March!!), and we are definitely settled into that “adult life” routine. We both work full-time (actually, he’s working 3 jobs), so to be honest, evenings are very low-key around here! We leave the house around 7 am every morning, and I like my 8 hours of sleep (haha, anyone else like this?!) so we don’t tend to go out or stay up late anyway. In college, we never were the people begging everyone to go out; we’d opt for a quiet homemade supper and a movie night instead. I could argue that although fancy dress-up dates sure are fun, our countless low-key evenings together during college really set us up well for what our life together looks like now. We grew to love making homemade hot dish together. We made a big deal out of picking up coffee while out running errands. And the more we did that, the more I saw how perfectly God had matched us – we had a steady partner-in-crime and fellow adventurer to enjoy life with, wherever we were.
But the dating years are gone! So are our months of engagement! Those times were so special – if I’m being honest, I was often wishing or pushing for the next thing. People told me to really soak up those seasons and I’m glad I did, even though it was often a bit of a struggle! 🙂
It’s easy in the more monotonous, weary moments of this “adult life” to forget the excitement and small joys from our dating relationship. But something we’ve tried to be very intentional about is continuing to date our spouse, even after the wedding!
7 Ways to Keep Dating Your Spouse After the Wedding:
1 // Thoughtful notes or gifts. One day a couple weeks ago, I surprised Bjorn with his favorite candy on my way home from the grocery store. And recently he left a note for me on the front door when he had stopped by the house one afternoon before I got home from work. Think about those little things that made you smile when you were dating. Something I’ve learned in marriage so far is that you don’t always feel that drive to write special little notes or pick up a gift (or make a gift) for your spouse. I used to make little gifts or write little notes to Bjorn all the time. This is an area I want to improve in!
2 // Dress up sometimes. I’ll be the first to say that I love changing into my comfy clothes the moment I get home from work! But when I take the time to look nice, especially if Bjorn and I have plans to go out to supper, it makes a difference – not only for him, but also in terms of my attitude.
3 // Surprise dates. I LOVED those times in college when Bjorn would say, “I’m picking you up at 4, and I’m not telling you where we’re going!” Sometimes we’d discover a new bookstore. Other times, I’d surprise him with a new coffee shop to visit. Bring the fun and the spontaneous into your relationship by surprising your spouse with a reservation to a new restaurant you heard about…or even by taking them to a fun new park to walk the trails! The sense of the unexpected sure makes things different and fun!
4 // Flirt. Bjorn and I work in the same building during the day, but we usually don’t see each other (he’s upstairs in the middle school and I’m down in the elementary). However, we all use the same copy machine and one morning a couple weeks ago he and I happened to be making copies at the same time. We have a new person who works in the copy room and she was thrown off by how familiar Bjorn and I were with each other! (We weren’t flirting that much, but we definitely were joking around and standing close as we waited to make copies.) He almost drank out of my thermos and when she looked especially curious, I finally told her we were married and then we all laughed long and hard! Marriage is great. It gives you a person with whom you can be utterly yourself, and perfectly comfortable. Don’t take those moments for granted!
5 // Hold hands. Actually, my husband and I tend to walk with our arms around each other’s waists even more than holding hands. Bjorn says we’re closer that way. 😉 Either way, small things like that can act as a physical reassurance and a reminder that you are dear to each other.
6 // Kiss goodbye. Bjorn and I leave the house at the same time in the morning (and go to the same place), so our situation is a little different, but I have heard from multiple sources that the simple commitment to kiss goodbye every morning adds up over time to make a meaningful difference in one’s marriage. It’s special. Don’t forget to! 🙂
7 // CALL things dates. Remember when you were dating and decided to go grocery shopping together in college? And got all giddy because to you, it felt like a date anyway? Call it that now! My parents have been married over 25 years and like to go on Home Depot dates together! 🙂 They have set a great (phenomenal) example for me as to what it looks like to do life married to your best friend. The definition of a date is up to you! To us, a date means special, set-aside time together. If a date means that in your book, then congrats! So many things in your day-to-day life with your spouse are about to become dates! We’ve gone on dates to the grocery store, we have semi-frequent tractor dates in the fall and spring, and we even have dates to have supper and cuddle up with a rental movie at home. Not too shabby. 🙂
To be perfectly honest, even if I don’t do each of these things all the time, every day just really feels like I’m dating my best friend. It has been a wonderful ride thus far! So no matter what you’re doing on a given day, just remind yourself that you have the privilege of doing life with your forever date – and that is a remarkable gift. 🙂
How do you keep those “dating feels” in your marriage? What fun ways do you date your spouse?
- Our anniversary photos were taken by the lovely and very talented Hannah Elise!