During the dating, engagement, and honeymoon phase, it can be hard to fathom a boring moment in your life with your mate. You and your honey no doubt are pert-near professionals in the art of romance. You have heard the stories of how the fires of romance slowly burns down to embers, but, as you”ve no doubt been told, don”t worry! Those embers are good! Slow-burning and non-romantic as they may be, they aren”t cold; and strong, steady love is the way to go. Still others have said it all just goes cold. Kids, house, job; not much romance, not much love.
I say baloney. Well, to be fair, your marriage will have times that are that way, and, without a few tears, lots of acceptance, and tons of communication and effort, it will stay that way. But it doesn”t have to. There are many ways to ensure your marriage stays red-hot, even through the baby years. But one that my husband of 15 years and I found particularly helpful is to continue to date – yes, even after baby.
One of the easiest ways to continue to date is to rethink your idea of dating. It doesn”t always have to be a theater movie, fancy restaurant, or night on the town. While those are needed too, think in terms of sitting on the front porch drinking wine after the kiddos are in bed, taking a Sunday drive to the nearest tiny town and doing some tourist shopping, or if you keep a calendar or daytimer, sit on the couch with hot chocolate and read through the years and reminisce.
My husband and I do ”fry nights”, where we find anything in the fridge or pantry that would be good deep fried, then after baby is in bed, warm up some oil (we really need a deep fryer!), make up some batter, and eat as they come out of the oil. By the time we are done, it”s midnight, we”re stuffed and giggling, and we feel like newlyweds. Even the dishes don”t bother us when we wake up, we just snicker and get to work!
My Creative Stirrings came up with a fun, fabulous idea called “Can of Dates”. She uses it as a wedding present and fills a decorated can with 36 pieces of colored paper, each paper containing a date idea. If possible, she throws in items that go with the dates, e.g., money, gift cards to the “date place”, or items to be used on the date, like recipes for a picnic, small stones to skip at the lake, or a packet of tomato seeds for gardening together.
This idea would be fabulous as a game to play at your bridal shower. Take a can and decorate it. Then ask each guest to write date ideas on a piece of paper and put it in the can. Or set a can at the bride”s table at the reception, have an attendant hand out pieces of paper to each guest as they arrive and place the papers in the can before they leave. You and you mate can go through them and add to these date ideas some evening.
Keep this tradition up as long as you both shall live. Make it a date. Once every few months, grab some wine, sit down and come up with date ideas. Then write them down and do them. Keep the can in your bedroom, keep it full, draw out of it often, and enjoy some red-hot having and holding!