Because Intimacy Begins Outside the Bedroom
Early in our marriage, my husband's aunt and uncle gave us simple yet profound advice. Never stop dating.
They are well into their late 60s now, with 40+ years of happy marriage, and they still celebrate their monthiversary. It is the anniversary of the day they met, marked with a date each month. Their love and commitment are such an inspiration.
Because of this advice, my husband and I have always made dating a priority, no matter how difficult it may seem to find time on the calendar or how challenging it may be to find a babysitter.
For us, dates are non-negotiable.
Date night should be a time to deepen your connection and bond. However, how many of us use this time to talk about our stressful issues at work or the annoying things the kids did that week?
We need to get dates back to what they are really for; for time to truly and intimately connect with our spouse.
This Valentines Day, I challenge you to have a different kind of date night.
I challenge you to have a conversation that will spark an intimate connection.
Let's face it- intimacy starts outside the bedroom. If your love life is lacking, it is only a symptom of the real problem; connection.
There are 3 rules, however.
- Rule 1 - No talking about the kids. (Seriously.)
- Rule 2 - No talking about work. (Read that one again.)
- Rule 3 - No negativity. (Yup, I'll explain more in a bit.)
Plan a special dinner at your favorite restaurant. Reminder: Valentine's Day is ONE week away. If you don't have a reservation yet, you may have already screwed the pooch. Brownie points if you can also secure a sitter rather than leaving it to your wife.
On your date, ask your spouse the following questions. Print this list off and take it with you.
Now, remember Rule 3 - No negativity. That means no mentioning the annoying or stressful issues of the week AND not being negative when answering the questions below. For instance, if the question is: 'What is something you love about me?' DO NOT answer it by saying, "I love when you compliment me. But, I wish you did that more. or I wish you did not do..."
Date Night Questions for a Better Marriage
Walk Down Memory Lane
- When we first started dating, when did you first realize you loved me? How early on was it? What were we doing? Explain.
- Tell me something you love about me and how or/when you first noticed that quality back when we started dating. Explain.
- What is something I said or did, this year that truly made you feel loved?
- What is a special memory that we shared in our marriage this year?
- What things, actions, or words from me make you feel most loved?
- What am I doing really well to make you feel appreciated?
- What can I do more to help you feel supported and encouraged?
Expectant Hope for the Future
- What is a difficulty we overcame this year? Take a moment to celebrate it.
- What blessings do we still need God to provide? Pray over this.
- What is a favorite memory we made with our family?
- Tell a parenting win each of us has had this year.
- What are our relationship goals for the next year?...
Let's dive deeper into that last one: Relationship Goals
My husband and I love goal setting. I am amazed at how we can accomplish something incredible when we are mindful of what we want.
When it comes to goal setting, most people focus on business, income, and achievement-based goals. Those are all great, but what if we prioritized our relationship when setting goals too?
Discuss some relationship/marriage goals for 2023. To do this effectively, you must first cast a vision.
Cast a Vision
To effectively set relationship goals with your spouse, you must first cast a vision for what the marriage of your dreams would look and feel like.
If you want a rockin, passionate, deeply fulfilling relationship with your spouse, you must actively and mindfully work toward goals in that area.
Like in your career, you can't expect a promotion if you are not doing the work. The same thing applies to your marriage.
To cast a vision for an abundant marriage, discuss these prompts
- Think about what you want to see in your marriage.
- What would it look like?
- How would it feel?
- What do you miss or want more of?
Take some time to discuss these with your spouse.
Now, focus on steps to foster more of what you want, and together make a Goal List.
Here is an example:
Relationship Goals for 2023
Together we will
- Find at least 2 more dependable babysitters
- Have at least one date night per month
- Plan & host our 15-year anniversary party
- Take 2- weekend getaways this year. (Just the two of us, kid-free, for 1 or 2 nights)
- Go on a romantic getaway (No kids, for 3-6 days)
- Go on a hot air balloon ride
- Learn archery together
- Give each other more back rubs
- Buy Casey flowers once a quarter
- Rub Casey's shoulders more
- Cuddle more in bed
- Give Samson more words of affirmation
Hold yourself accountable to follow through with deep connecting conversations at date nights AND by following through with the goals you set together.
If you stay intentional with your relationship over the next year, I promise you will see a deeper, more fulfilling, and intimate bond with your spouse.
Wishing you a passionately abundant 2023. xo