If you have not read Part 1 of this blog yet, I would highly recommend going back and reading that blog before you read this blog. This blog will make very little sense if you have not read Part 1 first. You can read Part 1 of this blog series here.
Here are the action steps we have discussed so far:
Action 1: Discover Their Little Joys. Read Part 2 here.
Action 2: Kiss Unselfishly. Read Part 3 here.
Action 3:”Just Because” Gifts. Read Part 4 here.
Action 4: Ask, “Is This Okay?” Read Part 5 here.
Action 5: Say, “I’m Sorry” Read Part 6 here.
In today’s blog, we will be discussing the 6th action step that I have come up with that I can work on doing that will help sustain my present relationship and future marriage with Steph. Remember, these are all action steps you can use and work on with me to improve your present relationships or marriages as well.
Action 6: Date Night
Do you have a regularly scheduled date with your partner every week or every other week? If you don’t, you may be missing an emotional connection that will keep the fires burning in your relationship.
Couples who don’t put energy and focus into their dating relationship end up settling for second best in their marriage bond. It becomes more of a business relationship. I know that I often have to ask myself: “Am I only giving Stephanie my emotional scraps?” It can be really easy to get focused on other things you are doing in your life away from your partner, especially work, and let the best of yourself go towards those other things and leave the one you care the most about with whatever is left over. I need and want to reserve some of my best energy and focus for our weekly or bi-weekly date. That means that, for us, we would focus on each other rather than on the latest household bill or some project we are working on at work. If you really love your partner and want to have a better kind of love towards them, you should want this too.
We need to make a regular date with our partners a nonnegotiable appointment. The best way to make sure we get this done it to set aside one day each week or every other week. Make it the same day each time. When planning what day this will be, set a day of the week when you have the least amount of potential conflicts. Once the day is set, schedule your other activities around this date night. If, for instance, you decide that Wednesday nights will be your date night, don’t schedule anything else on that night of the week. Treat that night as off-limits for scheduling anything else. The only exceptions should be family emergencies. Don’t put work ahead of date night. It might not be possible to devote each night to you partner because, let’s face it, we all live busy lives, but we can devote one night a week to them.
I know that when it comes to my schedule, it can be very easy to put the emphasis on what I have going on and put romance on the backburner. Keeping a regular date night is something I plan on keeping in my schedule so Stephanie and I will have time for just the two of us. I want to start the habit now so that after we are married, the habit will already be set. It will be important to keep it going, even after we have children.
It is important to plan the date prior to heading out the driveway. Be creative when planning these date nights. Think outside the box. Research shows that couples who share exciting, unique activities together tend to maintain more romantic intensity in their relationships.
If we look to the bible for guidance regarding the importance of placing our partner above ourselves, you will find the following two very relevant passages:
Philippians 2:1-5 (NIV)
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Romans 12:10 (NIV)
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Enjoying a stronger emotional connection will benefit your relationship, and the romance isn’t bad either. Let’s work to make date night a regular part of our week. It will make a huge difference in showing your partner how much you love and value them.