NUGGETS OF GOLD a monthly Blog by David Nofziger
Date Your Mate
July 1, 2020
Many years ago, I read an article by a female Psychologist entitled “Date Your Mate.” She stated that it is a sad commentary on marriage that we stop dating after we get married. It seems the romance and spark leave the relationship at that point. She began the article by recalling a recent vacation. She noticed a clear distinction between married couples and those who were single. The unmarried couples were being playful, making good eye contact as they conversed, and were enjoying being together. The married couples, in contrast, were sitting by the pool looking bored, or eating quietly, barely looking at each other. Then she said there was one bright spot. An elderly couple was interacting and being playful and having fun together, and she thought to herself, “That is the way marriage should be.” She assumed they were married because they were an older couple. She found out they were not married. (I’ve always wondered what her husband thought of her being on vacation observing the other couples rather than being fully with him.)
I remember thinking to myself as I read the article, “This is so true. Why is it like this?” Unfortunately, the purpose of dating in our society is to get someone you like to like you. We are on our best behavior when we are dating. But then, when we get married, we feel we have accomplished our goal, and there is no longer any need to “be on our best behavior.” I frequently hear married husbands say in counseling, “I’m just not a very romantic guy.” But their wives will say, “But you were romantic when we were dating, don’t you remember that?” But now, romance does not feel that ‘manly’ for a man.
That article had a positive effect on me and became a strong motivator for me to try to remember to date my mate regularly. And I am glad I did because dating your mate brings many benefits and rewards in marriage. And I am writing especially to husbands, as most wives wish their husbands were more romantic.
Your spouse is the most important person in your life. Never forget that. A good marriage can be the closest thing to heaven you will ever experience on earth. Therefore, it is essential to work hard on your marriage. Taking the time to build your relationship and enjoy being with your spouse is crucial to keeping the connection healthy. But work, busy schedules, the demands of parenting, etc., can cause us to drift from each other and lose that connection as the months and years drift by. With that said, here are a few practical tips to keep the embers of your relationship burning strong.
First of all, get in the habit of spending a little quality time with your spouse each day. It might be after the kids have gone to bed or maybe getting up earlier each day to have a cup of coffee together. Those 10 to 15 minutes of “connecting” can work wonders in your relationship, but you have to be consistent for that time to become a well-ingrained habit. This special time will not just happen; you have to proactively make the time and honor your commitment to that time. The benefits of taking those few minutes every day to connect can be incredible. But sadly, if you don’t connect, it is so easy to drift apart, and soon it feels like we are two ships passing in the night.
Next, try to get out on a date at least once a month. I encourage the husbands to take the lead in this. Your wives enjoy being wooed just like you did when you were dating. Ask your wife out, then make the arrangements of getting a sitter, planning the date, etc. Be creative, and do some fun things together. You can also switch things around once in a while and ask your wife to ask you out and make the plans. As long as she does not have to make the arrangements every time, she will love that. The connection made during those times will help your wife to be more affectionate in return, which will significantly enhance your love life.
Finally, go out on some romantic getaways. It might be an overnight or a weekend. I know this gets harder when you have children, but that is when it is most important. I have always tried to get away with my wife at least 3 to 4 times a year. Those memories are some of my favorites. When you get away from the routines of life and do something different, it restores the spark and passion in your relationship. The getaway is a time when we can forget about all the pressures of life and relax together. You might be saying, “I can’t afford that.” But I would say, “You cannot afford not to do that.” It will strengthen your relationship and be worth every cent spent. Put aside some money from each paycheck, and you will be able to afford it.
Life passes by so quickly. Don’t let your marriage slip by and wish that you still had that secure connection you had when you got married. If you work on it in the right way, your relationship can grow stronger each year. And believe me, it will be worth all the effort. In one month, I will celebrate my 43rd anniversary with my sweetheart. There have been plenty of ups and downs over the years, but I can genuinely say that I am more in love with my wife now than I have ever been in my life. I would love for you to have the same blessing in your marriage!
Nuggets of Gold is a monthly Blog focused on Personal growth, Marriage Improvement, and Parenting Issues. Your comments can be entered below. They are always welcome and suggestions for future posts are appreciated. Thank you for allowing me to share these thoughts with you.
David Nofziger has been the director and lead counselor at Hope Alive Counseling Services in Defiance since 1989 and author of “Brain Washed, Transforming Your Self-Image through the Amazing Love of God.” He and his wife, Sue, attend Family Christian Center in Defiance where they head up the church’s mission program. Visit HopeAliveCounseling.com for more information.
BRAIN WASHED Transforming Your Self-Image Through the Amazing Love of God, by David Nofziger.
If you enjoy “Nuggets of Gold,” I would like to recommend this book to you which brings you an entire pot of gold. This pot of gold is not at the end of an imaginary rainbow, but is found in the transforming power of the love of God.
The key to fulness of life is discovering who we are in Christ. Our self-image is one of the most important factors affecting our growth and wellbeing, and we need a Christ-Centered Self-Image. In this book, you will learn how to allow the truth of God’s love to penetrate deep into your heart and transform you in such a way that you take on the “Image of Christ.”
All profits from books that are sold through the Hope Alive Counseling Website go to counseling scholarships for clients with financial needs.