So you’ve been together for years. You live together. Maybe you're married. You see each other everyday. You eat breakfast and dinner together. You’re texting throughout the day, maybe even a lunch time phone call. You hang out most nights and you sleep in the same bed!
So what the heck is the point of dating, really? Is it just an excuse to treat yourself to a nice meal? Is it a waste of money? Is it really, truly necessary?
Well to that last question, I would like to say...YES!!!! Dating is going to hugely impact the depth and longevity of your relationship.
We spend our lives alongside one another, but not often “as one”. We go about our daily tasks, our paths cross, we might spend time in the same room, watching the same show, eating at the same table, but are we spending quality time together?
Sometimes Shawn and I will occasionally get through a whole week and realise we have not had one really genuine, meaningful, quality conversation or time alone together (yes that is mildly embarrassing to admit). But it happens so easily. And that’s how it is when we let life just carry on, and we each continue doing our own thing “together” but not really.
Dating is intentional quality time. The sole purpose of going on a date (besides the yummy meal you might order) is to spend time investing in each other. Connecting. Talking. Laughing. Being emotionally intimate. We don’t need to date every single day, cause the everyday life stuff is just as important and special. The simple things like brushing your teeth and making weird faces and/or hairstyles in the mirror (are Shawn and I alone in this? 🤣) or cooking dinner together, are all so important! But dating is when your focus is solely on each other. You fill your love tanks. You lay work, laundry, social media aside and invest in one another.
Dating is “checking in”. Giving a space to share your heart, voice any troubles, come back together and “regroup”. You are, after all, a team! Teams need “huddles”, to get back on the same page and make sure they’re all working towards the same thing, using the same tactics and to make sure everyone is working well together. There’s so much that can go on for us internally in just one week, so to have someone there in your corner ready to walk through it all with you is pretty special, no?
Dating is keeping your relationship fun and flirty. “Dating” typically refers to the early stages of a relationship. You’re still getting to know one another, you’re a little nervous, giddy, and desperate to impress. Every little touch, smile and compliment sends you crazy! So when we date as a married couple, or partners, we bring back some of those sparks into our relationship. We should be woo-ing, flirting and pursuing one another forever. Settling down does not mean “fun’s over”, it means it’s different, but even more fulfilling.
A study conducted by the Marriage Foundation in the UK has shown that married couples who have a monthly date night show to be far more likely to still be together 10 years later, than those who don't. You can read more about this here. It seemed that the couples who were incorporating regular monthly dates, were reinforcing the importance of their relationship to one another by carving out purposeful time to spend together. The date has a meaning and purpose. As a married couple, you have made a crystal clear public declaration of your commitment to one another, for life. So by going out on a date, you are solidifying this declaration again and again. You're saying "I'm still here for you, I'm showing up, I'm prepared to keep doing this". Because we all know that marriage is not simply saying "I do" on your wedding say, it's saying "I do" everyday thereafter, which is a lot less romantic than the alter!
Dating allows a depth in conversation, a deepening of connection and a heck of a lot of fun. It’ll spruce up your love life, ignite that flame, have you feeling emotionally supported and stronger as a couple. So sure, a good meal is tasty & seeing a movie is fun, but the intimate benefits of dating your spouse far outweighs them both.
I’ve created a fun little tool to help make booking in dates that little bit more fun and easy!
The Date Jar!
I first came up with this little guy, as I’m sure many others have, years ago. I was reminded of it the other day, and as ours got lost in one of our many moves, I thought I’d make another and share it with you all.
Simply find a large jar, download the PDF by clicking the link below, and print out the date ideas (with blanks included to write your own!). Then cut them out, fold them in half and fill up your date jar!
Next time you’re booking one in, randomly select a date idea from the jar and do that! How fun! Let me know how you like it. Don’t forget to tag me if you share yours! @ellie_lowe
Lots of love guys. Happy dating! Download here ---->