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How To Date Your Husband And Keep The Spark Alive
Ok, ladies, let me let you in on a secret to keep the marriage spark alive: Never stop dating your husband.
Wait. What? But, we are already married! Yep, and that is why you should never stop dating. Ok, Sue, you are going to have to explain this one.
When you start seeing someone, you do all of the little things to put your best foot forward – to look your best, say the right things and prioritize spending time together.
As time goes on, we tend to be so wrapped up in the minutia of everyday life that the rituals of dating, fall by the wayside.
Dating your husband simply means that you continue to put your relationship first. That you talk with your husband the way you did when you were dating – with words that build up and not tear down.
It means that you take the time to look your best for him, just as you did when he was coming to pick you up for a date.
It means that you carve out time in your schedule to focus on only each other.
Taking Care of How You Look
When you first met, you took care to wear the right outfit, do your hair just so and wear makeup to look good for him, but as time went on, it became easier to forget about the makeup, pull your hair up into a ponytail and pull on your sweats.
That look is fine for cleaning the house or doing yard work, but does your husband ever wonder what happened to the stylish girl he married?
I’ll be the first to admit that I got a bit lazy with this. I work from home and used to just roll out of bed, grab my coffee, and head to the office. My husband would get home from work, and I would still be in my pajamas. He said he didn’t mind it, but every now and again, he would say something to let me know, subtly, that he noticed I wasn’t making much of an effort anymore.
Now, I get up and go straight into the shower and dress. It makes a huge difference in how I look and feel when my beloved gets home from work. He has noticed it, too, and he appreciates it. (There are still some days that I don’t, but generally, I strive to do this daily).
See Beauty is Fleeting for more on this topic.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m sure that your husband loves you just the way you are – messy bun, no makeup and all. That is a beautiful thing – some men prefer the natural look. What I am saying here is that you should put the same effort into how you look for your husband as you did when you were dating.
A few extra minutes to put on a clean shirt and maybe a coat of mascara will reap the rewards. He will notice – even if he doesn’t say anything and he will appreciate it.
- Consider swapping sweatpants or leggings for jeans.
- Try flip-flops instead of slippers.
- Add a bit of mascara and lip-gloss rather than barefaced.
What did you use to do when you were dating? What does your husband like?
Words of Affirmation
When we are newly dating, we also tend to compliment and encourage our sweetheart more often than we do as the married months and years roll on.
Looking back on when you started dating your husband, did you say more nice things than you do now? Did you tell him how much you missed him when you were apart?
Did you share all of the reasons that you thought he was so special?
What about now? Do your words build him up and edify him, or do they sound more like nagging and lists of things to do?
As the responsibilities of managing a home, raising kids, running errands, and everything else that goes with adulting take over, do you find that you and your husband talk more transactionally now than when you were dating?
How wonderful it is to hear words that affirm you are loved, appreciated and the object of your loved one’s affection!
“ Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” – Proverbs 16:24
Make a conscious effort to praise and appreciate your husband for something every single day – be it how hard he works for the family or the great job he did mowing the lawn. Words of affirmation may just be his love language and may mean more than a freshly baked cake to your hubby.
Talk With Each Other
When was the last time you talked with your husband? I mean really talked. Not just about what to have for dinner or who is going to pick up your son from soccer practice. I mean, talked about your hopes, dreams, fears, and interests.
When we started dating our spouse, we were so interested in them! We wanted to know everything. What made them “tick”? What they enjoyed doing or what dreams they had.
We couldn’t wait to hear about their favorite color, food, or vacation place. We wanted more.
Communication is an area that many couples struggle with and is often cited as the most common reason for divorce. It doesn’t have to be this way!
At the end of each day, ask your husband how his day was, what went well, what he is fearful about, and what he’s grateful for. Ask him to tell you a story about his childhood.
Open the door to deeper discussion and deeper connection.
So much to do and so little time! The house, work, and kid’s activities – how the heck can I fit in a date night with my husband? My question for you is: how can you afford not to?
Time invested in your spouse, and your marriage will generate huge dividends in the long run. Time for the two of you to reconnect and talk. Time to laugh alongside one another. Time to enjoy a shared hobby or interest. It almost doesn’t matter what you do – as long as you do it.
Date nights with your husband help to foster the four types of intimacy:
Shared experiences – A fairly recent study of over one thousand married couples in the USA cited that having shared hobbies is one of the keys to a happy marriage. Activities that you do together allow you to build a memory bank of shared experiences. They bond you together. Even negative experiences can do this, but happy ones will build upon your relationship. It doesn’t matter what you do, but that you can use the opportunity to interact with each other and have that shared experience.
Spiritual intimacy – This is one of the most important forms of intimacy for a Christian couple.
Spiritual intimacy is the mutual commitment to God and His purpose for our marriage and our lives. It is sharing your faith and placing God at the center of your marriage. Faith is incredibly personal, but having someone to share it with, bonds you in a way that nothing else can match.
Physical Intimacy – I am not just talking about sex here. I am talking about being close to one another, holding hands, touch. Physical intimacy connects the skin to the heart. It is comfort, and closeness, and yes, it can fan the flames of desire, but it doesn’t always lead to sex.
“His left arm is under my head,
and his right arm embraces me.”
Song of Solomon 2:6
Emotional Intimacy – This form of intimacy is when you peel back the curtain to your heart and let your spouse in. It is being vulnerable and sharing what is on your heart. It is letting your husband know what keeps you up at night, what desires your heart has, and what you hope for your future. This is one of the truest forms of intimacy. Sex without emotional intimacy is just a physical act, but when you are emotionally intimate with your spouse, your connection transcends.
Date nights with your spouse build on all four types of intimacy. Simply going mini-golfing is a shared experience, allowing you to talk to each other, hold hands and even pray together. Date nights are what you make of them.
Don’t go into it with the perspective of checking off an item on your to-do list.
Make the effort to ensure that you are covering all four types of intimacy.
A date night can be weekly if you are in a season of life that allows that (and you have a responsible, reliable babysitter if your kids are young), or it can be every other week.
A date night can be dinner, bowling, or a walk in the park. It can be visiting a museum or street festival, or it can be much simpler than that: a quiet night at home.
Below, I have listed a bunch of date night ideas for you. I have shared both out-of-the-house (for money and for no money) and date-night ideas for home. For more great ideas, that are nearly done for you, take a look at the Little Book of Great Dates: 52 Creative Ideas to Make Your Marriage Fun from Focus on the Family. I love these creative ideas for dating your husband.
Just click on the images for a downloadable PDF of great date night ideas – there’s one for out of the home and one for at home!
Choose one a week (you can alternate in-home and night out if you wish) and enjoy dating your husband, again!
This isn’t just for couples with kids at home. Couples who are empty nesters seem to struggle with this one just as much. They think, “it’s just the two of us; we are alone every night together,” but when you are home alone, are you spending time investing in your marriage? Are you doing things together? Are you talking with each other? Are you laughing with each other?
I pray that you will plan a date night with your husband for this week and enjoy the rewards that time alone together can provide.
When a couple sets aside time to be alone on a regular basis, studies show that how happy they are, how positive their communication is, and how satisfying their sex life is increased threefold over those who do not.
By dating your husband, you can dramatically increase the success and stability of your marriage!
When we were planning our weddings, we probably thought of how wonderful it will be to have regular sexual relations with our husbands.
We dreamed of passion and playfulness. We probably didn’t dream of being too tired or too apathetic for sex.
God created sex to be a way that is set apart for married couples to enjoy each other and bond together. (Of course, for procreation, too, but we will save that for another time).
When married couples find their greatest pleasure in each other, through intimacy, they are affirming their bond.
I find that when things start to feel off with my husband and me or we are getting on each other’s nerves more often, it’s when we haven’t been intimate with each other for a little while.
Sexual intimacy, between a husband and wife, is critical for a deeper connection.
Now, wait a minute, I thought this article was about how to date your husband. I didn’t have sex before marriage!
Well, yes. That is true, but we probably did kiss each other, hold hands, and enjoy other forms of physical intimacy that did not include sex.
However, God blessed married couples with the gift of sex and, and one of the greatest ways to fan the flames of marriage is through physical intimacy.
For more on this subject, see Sex in a Christian Marriage
Little Things Mean a Lot
Of course, dating, communication, intimacy, and the other items above are all-important but what other ways can you date your husband?
When I think back to the days that my husband and I were dating, I think of the little things that meant so much.
They weren’t always the dates, the stolen kisses, and the heartfelt talks for hours on the phone.
Rather, they were the moments that we showed the other we were thinking of them.
- They were the links to songs on YouTube that my husband sent me. I remember waking up one morning to a Facebook message with the song “Good Morning, Beautiful.” My heart melted, and I’m pretty sure that may have been when I fell for him.
- They were little videos he sent me of him mowing the lawn or walking in the woods on a camping trip and telling me that he missed me.
- They were the 100 hearts that I punched out and hung in my house when he came to visit – one for each day that we had been dating, and each one had written on it a reason that I loved him.
These little gestures remind your husband that he is still special to you and that you are thinking of him.
What did you do or say when you were first dating that you no longer do? What can you change today to start dating your husband again?
How do you feel about the importance of dating your spouse?
For more on Christian marriage, consider my book, The God Centered Marriage.
Because of Him,
To learn more about developing an attitude of gratitude for your husband, see this previous post.
Wednesday 26th of October 2022
Is there a similar article for husbands on how to date your wife. We've been married just shy of 45 years and the zip-zing has fizzled out.
Thursday 3rd of November 2022
Hi, Frank - I have not written one geared toward husbands but I believe that all of the things mentioned in my article would apply for men, as well. Re-read the post and let me know if you have any questions. I will be lifting you and your bride in prayer!
Sunday 6th of September 2020
Excellent message. Thank you for sharing your wisdom :)
Friday 26th of June 2020
I find that women usually are the ones that keep themselves looking good. It’s the men that don’t. I wonder if there are articles like this for husbands... ?
Thursday 26th of September 2019
This hit home for me. I really needed to hear this today. I know dating your husband is so important, but we really slack on the date night. I don't think we knew how much it was affecting our marriage until we did it for the first time in three years. Thanks for the extra encouragement to pick that back up. :)
Thursday 26th of September 2019
Awww..I'm glad it connected with you. Plan that date night! I can't wait to hear about it :)
Wednesday 11th of September 2019
I often find that when I am intentional about using words of affirmation, emotional intimacy comes easier. That is one thing that helps me continue dating my husband in every season - even with littles ;)