It's May, and that means National Date Your Mate Month is here!!! Over the last couple of years, this holiday has become one of my favorites, maybe even more than Christmas, and that's saying a lot. I'm especially excited for Date Your Mate Month this year for a few reasons. After eight months of quarantine to keep Emmy healthy through RSV and flu season, we are finally adventuring out of our house and taking the little ones on family dates with us. Our lives have settled into a routine again and going on dates without the kids is easier and we feel like we can stay out later. We are in a good place to focus on dating each other again.
My goal for May is to truly make date night a priority and follow the advice and tips that I share in my date night e-book. We have fun, not too extravagant date night ideas planned for the next four weeks. Going to the movies, getting our anniversary pictures taken, and a Pirates of the Caribbean movie marathon in preparation of the new movie coming out at the end of the month are on our calendar so far. I am also planning to fit a lot of date moments into our schedule as well. We are going to be making our marriage more of a priority by making date night a priority!
Date Your Mate Month means a lot more to me than date night. When we started dating each other, Joe and I were on each other's minds constantly. We would text each other throughout the day, go on a long walk every night, hold hands any opportunity we had and you could often find us cuddled up on the couch. Now, more than six years later, there are some days when I fall asleep realizing that, other than our good-bye kiss in the morning, Joe and I didn't do anything very couple-like that day.
After marriage, you should continue to pursue each other every single day. You both deserve to feel special, wanted and loved, and that takes deliberate action from both of you. Make it your goal to be more intentional with your words and actions every day and let your spouse know just how much you care. Below are some simple ideas for continuing to date your husband or wife for years to come. Your relationship will be more enjoyable and your marriage will last longer because of it.
Daily, weekly and monthly rituals (or traditions) are a great way to keep courting each other throughout your entire marriage. The rituals in your marriage could be as simple as pizza night every Thursday, going to bed at the same time, or greeting each other with a longer than normal kiss at the end of every work day. Or your rituals could be more grand like spending one random weekend a year at your favorite bed and breakfast or going out for drinks together at the same time every single week. I recently read about a couple who had been going out for a burger every single week, it was their standing date. Their marriage is strong and has lasted many years. I'm sure their burgers and fries tradition alone isn't responsible for their success, but it did have an affect.
Did you know that you should be sharing eight touches a day with your spouse? And those touches have to be meaningful. When Joe and I were dating, we were inseparable and always touching. Whether we were holding hands in the car or on a walk, cuddling while I did homework or we watched a movie, or hugging at the end of the night, we were always touching. We may not be as attached at the hip this many years later, but we still touch often, in the simplest ways. Read this post for ideas on how to add more touch in your marriage.
I mentioned earlier that Joe and I used to text all day. Funny story, Joe didn't used to have unlimited texting but I never knew that and he never told me. We were in the process of getting engaged and that $200 texting overage charge was a little bit of a set back. The nature of both of our jobs now makes it really difficult to text throughout the day. On the days that I'm home, I make an effort to send snaps to Joe throughout the day, sharing the things that the kids and I are doing. If I have a thought, I'll text him about it or make a note in my phone to talk to him about it later. And I've recently really loved sending these fun and flirty picture messages to him.
Out of the conversations that you have with your spouse each day, what percentage of them are business (bills, parenting, etc.) and what percentage of them are fun (your relationship, dreams and plans for the future, etc.) While Emmy was in the NICU, one of the things that really helped us to make our marriage a priority, despite the limited time that we had to spend together, was to spend our dinners connecting on a deeper level. Rather than talking about the stresses that we were experiencing and how our situation was affecting life, we planned fun activities for after Emmy was home, talked about what we wanted to do for date night that week, talked about the funny things our kids had done recently or reminisced on moments from earlier in our marriage. Those simple conversations were an anchor for our relationship when life was tossing us to-and-fro.
Dating your spouse shouldn't happen only during your weekly date nights. You should be making it a priority to date your mate on a daily basis. Your efforts don't have to be large ones, but they should be intentional. Find ways to date your spouse often this month and make it a lifestyle change that lasts well past the holiday!
Follow our Instagram feed for tips and ideas to help you date your spouse this month! You might also find a giveaway over there today, so keep any eye out. AND, use #prioritizeddatenight so I can see what fun things you are doing to date your spouse this month!
P.S. If you can name the show that the title of my post came from, we can be the very best of friends!
Photos by Photography by Emily Jane