If you have ever read or heard any type of relationship advice, I’m sure this will sound familiar: keep dating after you’re married (living together, committed, etc.)! This is especially true the longer you are together. I’m here to tell you the advice holds true. I say that with all the usual disclaimers about how this is only my opinion, marriage isn’t the only type of committed relationship, and relationships can be more than two people. As a heterosexual female woman married to a heterosexual male man, I can only speak from what I know.
So, you ask, what do I know? The answer is, I know what works for my relationship and choose to share parts of my story in the hopes that it will also work for someone else. My husband and I have been married for 16 years. We dated for two years before becoming engaged, which gives us a total of 18 years together. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s been that long, other times it feels like we met last year. Going out on dates has given us time to reconnect, learn new things about each other, remember why we like each other. Dating has helped strengthen our relationship. We still make time to date each other, even if it’s on a Monday.
Today we were able to take time away from life and go on a date. We went to see a movie and then to say goodbye to one of our favorite restaurants that is closing in a few weeks. (The food was delightful and I’m sure going to miss that place.) I realize this isn’t glamorous by any means, but simple can be special. When I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel like going out and I was tempted to cancel our date. After looking at the calendar and the week ahead, I was reminded things are about to get hectic and we needed the time alone before it all gets crazy. Besides, I probably wouldn’t have canceled last minute if I had plans with a friend and my husband deserves the same amount of respect (if not more).
Over the years we have enjoyed many dates together. If it’s been awhile since we’ve planned something, we’ll gently remind one another to make it a priority. Our dates take me back to the beginning of our relationship, when we were getting to know each other. I think of how different we both were, how far we’ve come, and wonder what our future holds. I’m grateful for all of it and can’t wait to talk about it with him on our next date.
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