After being married for a while, it is easy to forget what “getting ready for a date” feels like. This might be the night you make sure you shave your legs while taking a bubble bath, put on your favorite dress, and wear that special perfume. All of this feminine preparation can say, “I’m ready to enjoy you.” The process can help us detach from the masculine mode work (or home life) required of us and to transition into feeling pretty. There is something that happens when we feel confidently beautiful, our sexual energy ignites. This is when we become our husband’s hot date.
This week we will be exploring Secret #2: Date your Spouse. The “Happy Wife for Life” series is based on the findings from Fawn Weaver’s book, Happy Wives Club, where she travels around the world to find the threads that weaves amazing marriages together.
Regular Dates are a Must. Men need to be reminded that the “hot woman I dated” is still in you. This was the woman who radiated sexual energy, who was easy to be around, and laughed a lot. Regular dates help to remind us both that “I still like you.” Scheduling regular dates tells each other that your marriage is important. There is sacred space on the calendar that I’m protecting just for us. Regular dates say, “us-time is a priority.”
Taking the Lead. One of my favorite podcasts, One Extraordinary Marriage, is about a real married couple who have real lives and real struggles. They lead by example of how to put date-night on the calendar every month. Tony and Alisa have “first Fridays” with a designated babysitter for their two kids. They alternate each month on who will “take the lead.” This means confirming with the babysitter, making reservations, and communicating the clothing attire expectations. One eventful evening, Tony made all the decisions for Alisa. He picked out her outfit, pre-ordered the food at their favorite restaurant, and took charge. All Alisa had to do was follow. She was relieved that she didn’t have to make any decisions. Alisa graciously received everything her husband had prepared for her without complaint.
First Steps to Date-Night. Having to make decisions on what to do can be one of the biggest barriers. “What do you want to do?” with a response of, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” Then nothing gets decided. One recommendation I use is saying, “I would be happy with our favorite Thia place or the new Mexican restaurant. Which one would you like?” By limiting choices, it helps the decision-making process, just pick one because I am with both. Another idea is to take a list of date-ideas and highlight the ones you want. This happiness-guarantee list helps husbands feel confident that whatever they decide, you have already a pre-approved “yes.” You can also write each pre-approved idea on a piece of paper, put it in a jar, and pick that way.
Lifetime of Courtship. I’m the schedule-lover in my marriage. When it is my turn to take the lead, I book our calendars. I also have a reminder on our refrigerator a week in advance so we can build up our excitement. For example, I blocked off this Saturday from 10am-1pm for a couple’s massage and lunch. Knowing there is an enjoyable experience at the end of the week to look forward to makes me happy.
My husband’s style is usually contingent on conditions. The water is clear + the sun is setting = “hey, do you want to go for a dinghy ride with me?” He takes control of where we wander, he prepares the pillows and brings the drinks. My husband “taking the lead” allows me to appreciate what he provides. He leads in a way that is complimentary to his strengths and his standards of the experience he wants to give me.
It is my responsibility to identify what would make me happy. My husband’s job is to agree to what he is willing to provide. This can make our master list of date-night ideas. The process decreases the trial-and-error of spending money without a favorable outcome. What makes my husband happy is going to the same place to eat because it will be a reliable experience. I go with a happy attitude because I know he will get exactly what he wants. This makes him happy. We both are committed to keeping our marriage a priority by going on regular dates and to never stop courting each other.
Reflect & Share: What is your favorite date night idea?
One Extraordinary Marriage: “4 Tips to a special stay at home date night” (blog)
One Extraordinary Marriage: “Let’s Go Out” (blog)
“The Top 50 Date-Night Ideas of All Time” (article)
“Top 10 Cheap Date Night Ideas for Parents of Small Kids” (blog)
“Date Night Ideas For Married Couples” (article)
“No More Excuses: 42 Date Night Ideas for the Date Night Challenged” (blog)