Think of dating, and what comes to mind? If you’re anything like me, it’s the boy-meets-girl scenario infused with romance, flowers, and a whole lot of creativity. It’s a time when two people commit to getting to know one another in hopes of finding true love. Emotions are high, and hopes are even higher.
Fast forward 10 years. Sometimes, life looks a little different. Marriage, children, and life commitments tend to take over the scene. The evenings that were filled with candle-lit dinners and long strolls with hands intertwined are replaced by chaotic dinner-time messes, toys all over the floor, and pushing strollers around the block. Before we even have the chance to realize it, life just happens—doesn’t it?
I have to admit, I really enjoyed the season of dating during which my husband and I had no commitments in life but to one another. But as I take a look at my life today, I see that each stage of life brings with it a whole new normal. Through the dating stage, relationships have the opportunity to plant and water the seeds of romance, but through the stage of marriage and starting a family- those seeds began to sprout roots that run deep.
But sometimes, the roots of romance run so deep that you forget they’re actually there. Sometimes, it takes deliberate effort and opportunity to continue watering those seeds that were once planted, making sure that they’re an integral part of the day to day. As we contemplate the importance of reigniting romance in marriage, here are some things to consider:
When it comes to life after marriage, I think the biggest mistake that can be made is to consider romance to be based on feelings.Feelings come, and feelings go, but true romance is rooted in much more than how you feel in the moment.It’s rooted in love- which is a series of deliberate actions to connect, serve, and give to one another whether or not we “feel” like it in the moment.1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that the most important part in fueling a relationship is giving yourself fully to the actions of love, and allowing those things to penetrate every part of your relationship.The overflow of this kind of love will always be romance.
Once you’ve rebuilt the foundation of love, it’s important to take the next step to ignite romance in your relationship.It’s important to think outside of the box, remembering that you don’t need an elaborate date or a weekend getaway in order to foster romance.Special moments start with holding hands at the dining room table, an exchange of kind words in the car, or a time of intimate communication before bed.Romance isn’t limited to candlelight and flowers, but it’s something that should be an integral part of our day to day.
When you get the chance to be creative, remember to always take it! Take advantage of babysitters, the in-laws, and the friends and set up certain times in the month to get out and connect one-on-one. Plan ahead and put some thought into your date-nights, seeing these as opportunities to go the extra mile.
It’s important to remember to keep your relationship rooted in love, and be deliberate to let romance to be the overflow of that love. Whether you’ve been married one year, 10, or 75—continue to see your marriage as a chance for life—long dating: a deliberate commitment to connecting and getting to know one another, as long as you both shall live. Happy Dating!
About the Author
Debra K. Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in Relationship and Marital issues. She, her husband and two children live in Hershey, PA. She is the author of the new book True Love Dates(Zondervan, 2013), challenging young men and women to do dating in a way that is psychologically sound, emotionally healthy and spiritually grounded. Visit www.truelovedates.com and follow her on Twitterto get your dating questions answered and to learn more.