DATING AFTER MARRIAGE
By Judy Segraves
According to the Random House Dictionary, a date is “a particular time at which some event happened or will happen, a social appointment; to go out with persons of the opposite sex.”
It seems that some married couples have read the wrong meaning. They must use this one: “To show the age of; show to be old fashioned.” Some seem to know as much about dating as this definition: “The oblong, fleshly fruit of a tropical palm tree.”
The key to dating your spouse is the same key used in dating a would-be spouse. Each must work to make the dating game work. It must be a unified effort. It takes the husband and wife to make a date. Though interests change as life progresses along, it’s best to choose a place or event that both would enjoy doing.
I have observed couples of all ages together in various circumstances. The young, the middle aged, and the elderly can enjoy being together. Enjoying your mate sometimes simply comes with practice.
Many couples stop dating after marriage. They feel there is not enough time for such “foolishness.” Marriage creates many duties for both the husband and wife, but many have learned to use time to its fullest and still have a place for romance. Benjamin Franklin once stated, “People should not squander time, for time is the stuff that life is made of.”
What about those who say they do not have enough time? Each person is allotted twenty-four hours in a day. Everyone has the same amount. It is a matter of priorities.
If dating means setting a time to be together, then choosing a time is the most difficult part, for it has to be when both are able to drop all other obligations. It is good to set aside a certain time of the week if possible. The schedules of the husband and household duties of the wife can then be worked around this particular time. Proper planning is needed for the fast pace of life today.
A date can be at anytime during the twenty-four hour day. A breakfast in some quaint, cozy restaurant at 9:00 a.m. can be just as romantic as dinner at 8:00 p.m. It isn’t necessarily when it’s done that matters so much. The atmosphere or just getting away from the norm can add a special touch to the occasion.
Husbands, and most wives, probably think of the cost of dating. especially if they have children at home to feed and clothe and send to school. But many activities are virtually cost-free.
How about packing a picnic and going for a drive in the country?
Stop at some woodsy spot and eat in the car. You can do this in summer or winter. It is restful to be away from the hustle and bustle of things. You will have time for some uninterrupted conversation. Sometimes, you don’t even have to talk to feel a closeness to the one you love. Being in his or her presence is often enjoyment enough.
If you are close to an ocean or a lake, it is nice to watch the water ripple or the boats racing up and down spraying great waves of white foam.
A walk in the park does not cost anything. It is quite refreshing to be out in a natural environment.
Many cities have a zoo. A couple can talk and laugh together as the animals show off to the spectators.
Take a drive to an ice cream shop. Sit for a time in the privacy of your car and share dreams while enjoying the treat.
Cozy restaurants with soft lighting are nice places to share a cup of coffee and a dessert.(Throw in some sweet talk with the pie.)
Even if a simple date should cost something, it is a small price to pay for staying in love through the years. You might at this point be thinking, “Why in this world should I worry about a date now?I have been married thirteen (or twenty-nine or forty-one) years,and I am with my mate all the time.” That may very well be true.But shouldn’t there be room for a spark of romance in your marriage? Do you still know each other intimately? Or after so long, has your marriage become routine and nothing more than a test of endurance? Christian and non-Christian couples alike evidently have the same problems in this area, for homes are breaking up everywhere. There are many reasons and excuses given. Perhaps if there were more romancing, those reasons and excuses would seem less intense and husbands and wives could stay together. It is often up to the wife to help her husband feel romantic. The male and female think differently because they are different. Instead of being a nag and using those abominable phrases “you always” and “you never,” a wife should try a different approach. A husband will tend to rise to the level of what his wife thinks him to be. As a similar example, some parents say to their children, “I can’t do anything with you! You’re going to end up in jail! I just know you will!” Often, that very thing comes to pass, for people tend to rise no farther than what is expected of them.
Why not visualize your husband on a romantic plane where you want him to be? Believe him to be loving. Respond to him as if he were. (He may wonder what has come over you.) Put your arms around him (if it is possible after thirty years) and tell him he is the most wonderful man on earth. He has provided for you, and what you have is due to his caring. Even if he has been romantically dead for a while, you will surely see a tiny spark ignite. Who doesn’t relish knowing that someone thinks he is worth something?
Romance is not reserved just for the bedroom. Romance is a frame of mind carried with you. Let’s take a trip back to the Random House Dictionary and see what it has to say about a romantic: “having feelings or thoughts of love and adventure; appealing to feelings of romance; fanciful or impractical.
That last phrase is certainly true about a romantic. How many stories have you heard of men and women who chose to be romantic with someone they shouldn’t? They get very impractical! For example, they may meet at the lakeside, on a lonely road, at a motel off the beaten path, or in a secluded restaurant in a secluded town. People are full of romantic ideas; they should not be reserved for those who misuse them. Married people can be romantic too!
A husband and wife live together, laugh together, cry together, argue together, have children together, and sleep together. They deserve to keep romance alive as long as they are alive.
A couple doesn’t grow too old to spend time together or to go places. A lifetime of grunting at each other and simply living together in order to have someone cook and do the dishes is not my idea of a good marriage.
It is said that marriage was the first institution. Some have truly made it an institution. They are trapped with a ho-hum love life and cannot escape. Their heart cries out for help, “But I don’t want to be institutionalized! I want to be free to love!”
Many find it difficult to express their love to each other. “I love you” hangs in their throat. They think living together is proof enough of love. But those three little words hold much power.
“I love you.”
“I” refers to the one speaking.
“Love” refers to the force that draws one to another.
“You” refers to the recipient of that powerful force called love. Love is so powerful that it caused Jesus Christ to go to the cross for people who were not worthy of His great sacrifice. Yet, because He showed that love, hearts have turned to Him throughout the centuries.
A wife who showers love upon a husband will probably be able to win him .over eventually and unloving attitudes will change. If it was so exciting to be together before marching down the aisle or standing before the justice of the peace, why shouldn’t it be exciting today? It can be fun to leave all cares behind and be with the one you pledged to live with till death.
If you haven’t had a real date with your husband in some months or years, start planning for one now. It could very well be worth the effort. Choose a special occasion, event, or place. Buy a new dress or blouse. Try a different perfume. Begin working on him by heaping words of praise and love upon his head.
Put a spark of excitement in your marriage, and living together for life won’t be impossible!
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT
1. How often do you say, “I love you”?
2. Do you have romantic feelings when you think of your spouse?
3. Do you have time alone with your husband away from the normal activities of life?
4. Do you enjoy being with your mate?
(The above article was published by Judy Segraves.)
Christian Information Network