Dating can be fun when you are single and carefree – or just single. It is a special time to get to know someone and enjoy some relaxing time (although most of us have at least one story of a date that was not so relaxing). After marriage, dating is more important than before marriage. How that is possible? After all, wouldn’t dating be more important when you are trying to get to know if someone is right for you to marry?
It is important to get to know someone deeply and study his or her character, responses to situations, and personality before determining if you and he/she are a good match. This process usually takes couples an average of two years to do this well (though going through The PAIR Test can greatly accelerate this timeframe). Some couples meet and marry quickly; whereas, others take several years to decide. But, if I had to guess, I’d say the average first date to marriage time is generally around two years.
Marriage is meant to be for a lifetime. It is not enough to connect before marriage and hope that all the fun you had leading up to marriage will carry you through the rest of your life. Once you choose to marry and meet at the altar, your journey is just beginning.
So, here is why you should date your spouse. Dating after marriage will give you and your future spouse time to connect each week. Life often gets crazy – especially after marriage. It amazed me how much time Eric and I had for each other before marriage and how little time we could find to spend together after marriage. Going on a date gives us a chance to walk away from the computer, the dirty dishes, and our furry golden pup to concentrate on each other.
It is wise to set aside time each day for each other, even if it’s only fifteen minutes (though, more is preferable, if possible); and, if at all possible, go on a date once a week after you get married. Before you have children, you may even be able to go on several dates a week, so enjoy it! You don’t have to spend a lot of money. There are several activities you can do that cost little or nothing: play one-on-one basketball, go walk or bike a trail, visit a museum, or pack a picnic lunch and go to the park. Find some way to concentrate on each other and connect on a weekly basis.
What if you don’t date him or her? What will happen? Will you be one step away from divorce? Not necessarily. Not dating and spending one-on-one time with each other does not determine whether or not a couple will divorce, but it is strongly likely to lead to dissatisfaction in marriage. People don’t get married to be ignored. They get married to share their lives with someone else who will care about the ins and outs of their days. If you and your future spouse don’t take the time to share your life with each other, you and he/she will begin to drift apart emotionally. Such marriages that don’t end in divorce are unhappy at best. We all need to connect and we all need to have something fun to look forward to when we are hard at work during the week!
Determine early that dating will be a vital part of your marriage. Even if you have to miss an occasional football game with the guys or a girl’s night out, make dating your spouse a priority. Aside from your relationship with Christ, there will be no other relationship more important in your life than your relationship with your life’s partner. Treat him or her right and give your marriage the fun time it so desperately needs!
What dating ideas do you have for your future?