on dating your spouse
It's advice I've heard my entire life. From everyone. Media, parents, friends, relationship books.
And I always thought it was good advice. But my thoughts never really moved past the physical aspect of dating - an activity that two people do together. Date night, movies, restaurants, bowling, biking, etc.
But recently I've realized that it goes so much deeper. Dating is so much more than events planned in advance. Dating is a way of speaking to your husband, spoiling your husband, loving your husband. Dating is holding hands in church, playing board games together at small group, exchanging glances at a party. Dating is continuing to choose romance, day in and day out.
Do you remember what if felt like when you first starting dating? Every touch was heightened. Any communication was special. We'd spend hours kissing, talking, walking. I was so excited to know Tyler, and he couldn't get enough of me. I loved driving through town together, windows down and music blaring. I felt so lucky to be the girl beside him. I felt special.
And like most couples, after dating we got married. The highest compliment you can pay to another. The ultimate special feeling. And that feeling carries over into newlywed bliss for a while. It's easy to date your new husband. Every single day feels like a date. You're living together! It is awesome!
But that fades. It just does. That's where the advice comes in. Date.
Yes, plan activities together. Get excited about outings. Go to the movie theater. Get buttered popcorn.
But don't forget to sneak glances like you did when you were dating.
Hold his hand in the store like you did when you were dating.
Leave sweet voicemails and notes like you did when you were dating.
Watch a movie he loves like you did when you were dating.
Surprise each other like you did when you were dating.
Say thank you like you did when you were dating.
But most of all, don't let the monotony of life numb you. Don't let familiarity become the enemy.
In his book Sex God, Rob Bell talks about humans having bottomless souls, that we can never stop learning about each other. I love that. I love what it means for marriage. For fifty years from now.
A lot of people miss that "beginning" feeling from dating someone new - but I really think you can have something better. Something deeper -- with your husband.