A question to anyone involved in a serious long-term relationship: do you still ‘date’ the other person?
What might sound like a silly question could in fact be the one thing which saves your relationship and adds spice to it over the years. A long time ago we decided that it would be great to be able to ‘date’ each other on a regular basis even though we had been married for many years. To some this might seem like a strange thing to do as a married couple who lived together and saw each other every day. But we did it because of the realisation of how busy our lives were becoming with growing children, as well as having multiple social and work commitments.
We also discussed that day fast approaching when all our children would leave home, and we would have an ‘empty nest.’ We have heard of other couples who appeared to have a good relationship that fell apart soon after their children grew up and left home. It is almost like they built their lives so much around their children that they had lost sight of that love and companionship they had for each other. Everything afterwards was just routine!
So, regarding our date, we were determined to do something about making it a reality. Every Friday night, regardless of where we are, and what else is happening around us, we made a special effort to have some time together somewhere special, and be there for each other. Sometimes we were able to go out for dinner and a show like above, while at busier times it has meant only having time for a coffee in a café somewhere. Many a time though, we have just sat at the beach as the sun sets, watching the waves crash ashore while we enjoy a simple picnic meal of cold chicken and salad.
The point being that it is not so much what we do, as the fact that we do it.
Our family and friends soon came to see Friday night as something sacred to us and they didn’t make plans that involved us on that night. Having said that, we have often used the occasion to call in and see someone special as we are driving around – if it feels right to both of us.
Now I know that many people reading this will argue that they don’t need a special date, or that they see enough of their partner during the week to keep their relationship strong. I’ve even heard some people say that they would like to see less of their partner! Over the years I think I have heard every conceivable reason for not needing a special date, however let me put this to you if you are thinking this – why not?
If you love this special person in your life so much that you have married them, or are determined to spend forever with them, don’t you enjoy actually being with them? Don’t you relish those moments when the chores are all done, or the kids are finally in bed, that you can actually sit together and talk?
You see, without a date, it is very easy to get into the ‘same old, same old,’ where the same routine occurs day in, day out. Where you finally get home from work, eat, sleep, and work again; where you seem to go weeks or months without a seemingly encouraging word to each other; and where your relationship is slowly disintegrating before your eyes – and you don’t even realise it.
I’m not for a moment suggesting that a date is the answer to all your problems, but I am saying that if genuine love (not lust) was there in the first place, then the best way to keep it alive is through making the other person feel special.
We have a loose arrangement for our date nights whereby we generally take it turn about to decide where and what we are going to do. This way it is not one person imposing their will on the other. Added to that is the thrill of being able to do something that you know will really please the other person.
So, will you try it? Will you commit to a regular date night with the person you love? You won’t regret it and it could be the best thing that has happened in your relationship for a long time.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.