Updated: Nov 1, 2018
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First written and published on Lady of Purpose Network: Lady of Purpose Network would like to introduce guest blogger and licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Candice Cooper, as she discusses the importance of dating your spouse. Let’s hear what she has to say!
Often times many couples in long-term marriages become complacent and stop doing the things that they used to do. I want to emphasize the importance of “quality” vs “quantity” of time spent together. Couples often spend almost every day together but lack when it comes to quality time spent. I’ve had couples in therapy tell me that they would actually speak to each other on average about 5 minutes per day and did not spend any time together. They would often say how they did not know each other the way they used to because of the lack of time spent. Below are some suggestions on how to continue to date your spouse and set quality time aside.
· Set aside at least one day a week to do a date night at home. Some couples do not have the time or money to go out to dinner or a movie. There are many things that couples can do at home and have a date night. This could include watching a movie while cuddling on the couch, having a candlelight dinner, or playing a board game. This will give the couple the opportunity to give each other their uninterrupted and undivided attention. If a couple has small children, they can set up a babysitter for a couple of hours just so they can share their time together.
· Go out at least once per month and get dressed up to do so. Often times couples stop getting dressed and looking good for one another, which was one of the things attracted them to each other in the beginning. Make an effort to look nice for your spouse.
· Do some of the things that you used to do in the beginning of your relationship. Whether it is going to the same restaurant as on your first date, bowling, or any other activity that you as a couple can enjoy. Also sending good afternoon texts or phone calls to let each other know that they are thought of throughout the day would be a welcomed gesture.
· Don’t stop having fun with one another. Often times couples get caught up in everyday work, raising children, if any, and other forms of stress that take place in life. Go play at the park, horseback ride, play golf, etc. and enjoy each other’s company.
· Remember that it is important to spend quality time with one another. It can foster more intimacy within the relationship and keep the sparks flowing. This also includes physical intimacy. Many couples that I have worked with state how it had been months since they had been physically intimate with one another. Often times this was attributed to a lack of emotional intimacy and quality time, which is sometimes a contributor in the lack of physical intimacy.
· Marriage takes continuous time and work. Both partners need to be invested in the relationship and prioritize their quality time with one another. It is imperative that both partners in the marriage or relationship make the effort to appreciate each other. They must remain conscious of the things that bought them together in the first place in order to keep their relationship healthy. It will also help to withstand adversities that may arise over the course of their marriage.