Few things are worse than being bored in your marriage. That’s why dating your spouse is so powerful, for it can keep your relationship vibrant and freshly energized. Dating is an essential ingredient to a successful and intimate marriage relationship.

These boundaries will prove helpful as you as you develop a dating ritual in your marriage. Use them to protect your dating so that it can last a lifetime for you. Make sure that your dating is safe and fun for both of you, so it will have a much greater chance of becoming a fundamental part of your ongoing intimacy together.

The first boundary for making dating successful is this: You may not that discuss problems and personal issues that you are having with your spouse or children. In other words, never let this become a “gripe at your spouse” time about what he or she did or didn’t do or how he or she is not meeting your needs.

Remember, dating is supposed to be fun and listening to your spouse whine and complain about you is not fun. You can discuss the issues during the other sex and a half days of the week. If you are self employed, do not discuss your business during your date. You must protect your date time, protect it from personal problems.

The second boundary for a couple dating: You may not discuss money. Nothing can deflate an evening of fun quicker than saying, “we don’t have the money for…” Keep your date evening as free as possible by avoiding any mention of money.

The third boundary for a couple developing a successful dating ritual is this: Do not use this time to run errands. Dating is not a time to trap your spouse in a car and go to Target, Home Depot, the cleaners or the bank. Running errands is not dating.

The fourth boundary, involves is shopping during dating. Ladies, most men don’t like shopping, and not too many women want to spend a romantic evening in the power tool aisle at Home Depot. Shopping falls under the category of errands. Now, some couples may decide to use a date night to do some Christmas shopping, but I really caution couples around shopping in general.

Your best shot at intimacy for a couple there needs to be two adults in the marriage. This can be no truer than in dating. I believe it is optimal for each spouse to be 100% responsible 50% of the time.

Let me clarify what I mean by 100 % responsible. On the night of the date, one person decides, without being influenced by the other partner, where they are going and what they will do. Now, the next time they other spouse is 100% responsible to choose where they go and what they do.

The expectations and benefits are clear in this system. You always know who is responsible, and you never have to play table tennis with the question, “What do you want to do?”

How often should date? As much as possible! I realize that with different schedules, work, children and babysitters, that the details of dating must be worked out. The options for couples are:

I hope you start a dating ritual this week. I tell my friends dating is cheaper than therapy. If you need therapy, we offer phone counseling as well as 3 and 5 Day Intensives or feel free to give us a call at 719.278.3708 or email heart2heart@xc.org

Excerpt taken from: Intimacy: 100 Day Guide To Lasting Relationships

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Stay Happy!
Dr. Doug

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