Continuing to Date in Marriage
My husband and I were able to sneak away for a bit this weekend for a date night. We were back in my hometown and were able to explore new restaurants and reminisce on years gone by. We spent the first year of our relationship as a long distance couple. Weekend road warriors really. With the 4 hour drive between us we were able to make it through that year only missing 2 weekends together. Half the time exploring my city and half the time exploring his. Looking back on that period, I don’t know how we did it. The driving alone was insane and then having confidence in our decision for one of us to move after only date weekends together was huge.
We spent this past Saturday night nestled up in booths and around smalls tables reflecting on what we’ve faced since first meeting and all that we’ve learned through the journey. We’ve lived through different seasons together and we have found that just when we think we’ve figured it all out, we are reminded that our life together is a journey and not a destination.
We recently celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary and we had to laugh with the fact that we are just now really learning what marriage is all about. It’s taken situations which have exposed our most vulnerable areas. Enjoying each other at our best and supporting one another through our worst has proven a simple truth: marriage is more than being in love. It’s choosing to love each other fully; even the darkest corners or truths hidden behind the curtain. It’s a choice to support one another and to grow together when you feel like falling apart. It’s a choice of lifestyle to raise a family and to commit to even the most mundane tasks and days. It’s choosing each and everyday to make our marriage a priority even when the rest of our life is hectic or stressful.
We’ve had times when we’ve been great about regular date nights and times when we haven’t. Without a doubt, the day-to-day tasks of our marriage hold more joy when we’ve carved out time for one another. Keeping our intimate relationship nurtured allows for us to navigate the waters of marriage and parenting with greater ease. It’s not always ease to set aside time for regular dates, but by doing so you have so much to gain.
Our weekends now may not always be the whirlwind of over-the-top love expressions or time to sneak away from the rest of the world, but capturing private moments like we had this past weekend shows us how far we have come. These moments re-affirm why the initial choice to love was made and they recommitted us to jointly weather the storm or follow the plans before us. After years together a date becomes so much more than a dinner or a reason to dress up. It re-ignites the butterflies in your stomach, re-charges the confidence in your days, and remembers the heart of your family.
Our dates aren’t always extravagant or planned weeks in advanced. We still have those as well, but we’ve open up our definition of a date to include much more. It can be a stop before work at our favorite coffee shop, it’s meeting for lunch during the week, or curling up on the couch with take-out, a bottle of wine and Netflix. It doesn’t matter what your date looks like as long as they happen. The time of weekend long dates feels like a lifetime ago, but those memories help us to appreciate all that we have and all that we’ve worked for. It’s been quite the ride so far and I can’t wait to see what is ahead.