My husband and I are 6 months into marriage. We’re 24 and 22 years old with no kids and work-from-home jobs after long distance.
We certainly can’t speak to married life with kids – although I do know that that will, God willing, change our schedules, the amount of time we have for one-on-one dates without kids, and our priorities.
I DO know, still, that dating Johnny will forever be one of my top priorities in our marriage. Here’s why, and here’s how.
Three Reasons Why
We believe in spontaneity. I truly think that genuine spontaneity is one of the keys of joy. After all… Jesus is spontaneous, right? Some of the greatest things He has affected in my own life have been things in HIS timing that I could have never anticipated or seen coming. Being spontaneous in our affection, in our chill time, in our words, in the way we love each other is what love is all about – and it’s easy when you love a person so much.
We believe it’s part of a godly marriage. Dating doesn’t end when you get married; it only becomes more important! Learning and knowing your spouse never ends; it’s truly a lifelong adventure. Spending quality time together doing new things, having conversations, deep in US time – it’s so important.
We are each other’s best friend. I genuinely can’t get enough of being with my hubby. After over 4 months of working from home, I only fall more in love with him every day. This only grows through continuing to get to know each other, to be in the Word together, and to track with each other… but it’s natural from the beginning that we are truly best friends.
Five Date Ideas
Date Night In. Inspired by a recipe book from my lovely sister-in-law, called Date Night In, something that is important to me is that most of our date nights are, well, in.
Mostly because… they’re the most fun, most intimate, and most relaxing, in my opinion.
But… you can’t cop out. A date night isn’t every-other-night (although, of course, it is – every night can be date night if that’s your attitude). If you’re planning some of that super special one-on-one time, it needs to be different. In the words of Ashley Rodriguez, the author of this cookbook,
First of all I like to start the meal off with a cocktail. An ordinary dinner in our house does not begin this way instantly reminding us that this meal is different. Also, I find that cooking becomes more of a gift and less of an obligation when a cocktail is in hand. The lingering voices of children fighting sleep seem somehow muted when sipping on a fine beverage.
Our date night food is different. Most days my meal planning begins around 4:45 when my kids are ready for dinner at 5:00. Our everyday food is simple, quick, healthful, and easy. When date nights are approaching you’ll find me amid a pile of cookbooks eagerly anticipating a dish, ingredient or flavour that will suddenly inspire our meal. Creating the menu is the first step in distinguishing this evening apart from others. I choose dishes that comfort while still giving us the sense that this is special. The meal is usually three courses (four if you include the cocktail as a substantial course).
Rodriguez simply provides inspiration for me. We don’t frequently have evenings just like this ^, but, when we have date nights in, the food, ambiance, and activities are unique.
Double Date. Double dates are so important! We are blessed to have so many couple friends that we love just hanging out with, talking about our relationships with God, watching movies, going for walks or to coffee shops or patios… all of your typical things, perfect for four!
Movie (or Netflix) & Chill Night. Let’s be real: sometimes this is all you feel like doing after a full day, and, sometimes, there’s no harm in that! Gettin cuddly on the couch is something you can’t do at the movies.
New Foodie Adventure. I am a foodie all around, and I LOVE trying new cuisines, even though it can be hard with my dairy allergy. While Johnny isn’t quite as adventurous as I am, he’ll always embark on food adventures with me, and usually end up finding something he loves! When it’s something brand new, it can spark creativity – and be all the more memorable.
Mini Golfing. More rare for us, but always so much fun! While I’m not sporty, this is something verging on sports that we love to do together, and with friends, that brings out a rare competitiveness in me ;).
I gotta say, though… just being at home with Johnny is actually my favourite date of all. Waking up next to him and holding each other for those first few minutes of the day. Smiling at him over my laptop while I work. Eating together, cleaning together, laughing together, always talking about new things and learning new things about each other… it never gets old. It’s a forever sleepover with my best friend, and that is my point – NEVER let it stop feeling like a sleepover. ALWAYS delight in your spouse, in your covenant, and in your vow to love each other selflessly and until death. And the truth is, it IS forever – EVEN when we have kids. EVEN when we’re 89. No, I can’t speak for those seasons – but I know that Jesus can. And I know that His will and His desire for those seasons is nothing but even and ever GREATER love and devotion.