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I was given free e-copies of Dating in Marriage by Brittany Putman and Prioritizing Your Marriage by Amberly Lambertsen in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
With my sister’s wedding this weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about the best pieces of marriage advice I was given. One such piece of advice was from my dear friend Lydia, who said the idea of your “perfect” man might not be for you. Another piece of advice was given to me at my bridal shower. This particular person told me to “Never stop dating. Continue to have fun together and laugh like you did before you were married!” Little did I know that I would be reminded of that advice so soon.
When Andy and I first became a couple, it was pretty easy for us to go on dates. Since Andy isn’t from Kentucky, there was so much here that I wanted him to see and experience, like visiting my alma mater, picking apples at the orchard, seeing the Christmas lights in Santa Claus, Indiana, and going to lots of concerts. Since our wedding day, we’ve been slowly knocking things off our Fort Knox bucket list, but it hasn’t been as much as a priority as it was before. I’m sad to admit that lately, we’ve become pretty complacent in dating and barely do much more than maybe eat out once or twice a month. Honestly, it feels like we’re so busy lately, that dating is at the very bottom of our priority list and the little time we do have off is spend resting and recharging for the busy week ahead instead of adventuring and exploring the world together.
This needs to change! We need to keep our marriage fresh and exciting, instead of letting it get a little stale. Just because we’re “boring married people” doesn’t mean our marriage needs to be boring. We should still laugh together and have fun together. Date night should not always be eating dinner in front of the tv while we watch Netflix. How can we still be newlyweds yet already stopped dating each other?! We should always be that “newlywed” couple– you know, the ones who look like they are forever in love and happy together!
I was thrilled that, recently, two of my blogging friends released e-books about dating this spring, and I had the honor of being on the launch teams! Brittany from Grace, Love, Life‘s e-book Dating In Marriage (affiliate link) released a few weeks ago, while Amberly from A Prioritized Marriage‘s e-book Prioritizing Date Night released earlier this week. Although both e-books are on the same topic, I loved both of them for their different perspectives. Amberly, a Family Studies major in college, approached the topic from a research perspective on why date night is so important, and then provided an extra-long list of over 200 date night ideas for every stage of life. Brittany, a former Seminary student, approached the topic from a Christian-based perspective, integrating discussion questions with 12 months of date ideas that felt like a couples’ devotional book I would buy at LifeWay.
Both authors stress that, no matter how busy life seems, dating your spouse is an investment in your marriage. I loved that thought. How much quality time do I spend with my husband in a given week? Honestly, I would probably say not very much. (A time audit would be great to determine this!) I can use the excuse that we’re both in a busy phase of life right now. Andy is currently in Recruiting school plus taking a college course, I’m working part-time while also blogging and just finished a second (seasonal) part-time job, and we’re both busy preparing for the upcoming move this summer. But in reality, when is life not busy? Never. The only way we’re going to find time to date is to make time. While some couples have the luxury of planning date nights far in advance, with Andy’s work schedule it’s a little more complicated. With him transitioning to a more demanding job this summer, time will be scarce but if we stop dating each other, it can put our marriage in danger during an already stressful time for us (hello, Recruiting duty!)
I could also use the excuse “We can’t afford to date right now.” We’re in the middle of a debt snowball and although we don’t do anything extravagant for date night, we still invest in it. Sometimes, it’s big investments like traveling while other times it’s smaller investments like going for dinner at Pizza Hut. What is the point of becoming debt-free if I let our marriage fall apart? Then I wouldn’t have my best friend, my partner-for-life, to celebrate with!
Both Amberly and Brittany’s books inspired me to prioritize my marriage with Andy. No more will I give into the excuses. I’m going to set a goal of having a real date night (not of the Netflix variety) at least once a month (hopefully, more than that!) In fact, I’m going to add it to my Monthly Goals list every single month, hopefully with a date idea already in mind to further the commitment. Next weekend will be our first big date night since starting this goal.
If you’re wanting inspiration on dating in marriage, be sure to buy Brittany from Grace, Love, Life‘s e-book Dating In Marriage (affiliate link) and Amberly from A Prioritized Marriage‘s e-book Prioritizing Date Night.
What are your thoughts on “dating in marriage”?