Monday, October 23, 2017

Date that hunk you married!

Date Your Spouse and Stay In Love! Mormon Mom Planner Blog

By Jen Sorensen

Okay, ladies. Who likes going on dates? I don’t mean the terrifying, stress-inducing dates of our teenage years (please say that wasn’t just me!). I mean going out with that hunka hunka burnin’ love you married. I’m talking about pullin’ out the gooood sweats, y’all. Maybe even the skinny jeans! (Not the ones you have to lay on the bed to zip. I mean, please. I said date, not PTA meeting.)

For my hunka hunka (whom we will call Josh, because that is his name) and me, looking forward to our Friday night date gets us through the week. Monday: baaaack to the crazy schedule OR only 5 more days until we get each other all to ourselves again! Wednesday: taxi kiddos everywhere in between laundry and dinner and homework again OR 3 more days until we give a conceal-our-joy-so-we-don’t-hurt-their-cute-little-feelings-too-much wave to the kiddos and speed walk to the door? We look forward to them a lot, in case I was being subtle. That’s one of my strengths.

Now, our dates are not glamorous. They would be, but I just don’t have the right shoes. ha! yeah, right. I have a million shoes. Our dates aren’t glamorous because

   a) we’re too tired for glamour (dude, we just survived fiiiive weekdays)
   b) it’s expensive (who wants to budget that in??), but, most importantly, because
   c) dates aren’t about what you do - they’re about what you say.

There are so many things that spouses need to actually hear from each other and way too many times that they don’t ever get said. I need to hear that I look beautiful. I actually kinda hate that I need to hear it, but I do. And guess what? I mostly need to hear it when I’m in my good sweats, so date night is perfect! I need to hear that he thinks I’m doing an amazing job at keeping all the plates spinning. I’m not going to believe him, but I need to hear it. I need to hear that I’m the world’s best mom and that our kids adore me. And even though all the mom fails from the week will come zooming through my head like a comic strip on steroids, those will be the words that help me have a little more patience the next week.

He needs to hear that I am amazed at how well he juggles work and family. How I fall in love again every time he helps our kids with math. If I did it, I’d have to whisper-google every single problem because I can barely double a recipe. He needs to hear that I saw our daughter’s eyes light up because he told her she looked beautiful. He needs to hear that I feel safe with him and that I can’t wait to fall asleep by him every night and that holding his hand actually makes me breathe slower and feel calmer.

Sometimes we talk for so long that we just drive and drive and drive-thru and drive some more. And other times, we talk a little bit on the way to a movie and I fall asleep on his shoulder while we drive home. It doesn’t always matter how much we say. Just that we say the right things.

Most of the time, our talks are simple and sweet, but there are times when the talks are hard and important and we hold hands anyway because hard talks don’t have to mean hard feelings. They might require hard steps, but we can do it. Life just happens one short, crazy day at a time. People don’t suddenly fall out of love. It’s a slow, sneaky thing and dating each other forever might just keep it from happening. In fact, it could keep it from ever starting.

You fell in love while you were dating.
Don’t you think if you keep dating, you could stay in love?

Just make it happen. If you have littles, pop open a bag of chips and play a card game before you fall asleep. Need groceries? Skip the restaurant portion of the date and proceed to the nearest grocery store. Actually, go to the farthest grocery store so you can chat while you drive. Ask each other questions. Believe it or not, your spouse can still surprise you no matter how long you’ve been married. For example, after about 12 years of marriage Josh asked me to tell him something he didn’t know about me. I thought really hard and finally said, “My favorite sound is dropping a lit match into a cup of water.” It took a while for the laughter to die down. Good talk.

Marriage is absolutely the closest thing we have to understanding the selfless love that helps us become more like our heavenly parents. I know my husband is always, I mean always, more concerned about my needs that he is about his own. He knows that I am always thinking of how I can meet his. When someone else is always putting you first, then you don’t have to put yourself first; suddenly you have a selfless relationship. I know this doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen easily, but it can happen one little day and one little date at a time.

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