Today’s post comes to us from Omer Redden. He is the author of 2 books, husband of one wife and father of three children. He works with Self-Publishing School, helping aspiring authors go from no-idea to best-seller on Amazon in 90 days. Connect with him on Twitter and at his website: omerdylanredden.com.
A very successful year.
As I reflect back on 2015, I must say, it was a very successful year.
I started 2015 using Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever, and as a result, I hit nearly all of my goals for the year. I moved out of my dead-end office job, into a self-employed, work-from-home job. I published a book that hit bestseller on Amazon. I even took numerous vacations with the family, more in a single year than I ever went on growing up.
Yet the satisfaction was not there.
But as 2015 came to a close, the sense of satisfaction was not there. It was not there for one simple reason.
My wife was unhappy.
In the midst of transitioning careers, writing and marketing a book, and yes, even in the midst of going on family vacations, I had neglected my wife.
Sure, I saw her more. Sure, we ate meals together, traveled together, and planned trips together. But I had done very little to make HER feel special.
My wife is not an ego-centric person, not attention hungry or nagging. In fact, she is one of the most giving people I’ve ever known.
My goal is to be a better husband. More specifically…
For this reason, in 2016, my goal is to be a better husband. More specifically, it is my goal to give her one new compliment a day, recording it in a notebook. Then, we are going on a date, every other Thursday at 4:30pm.
You see what I’ve done, what we’ve done. The goals are very specific. So here are my 5 tips for you, as you plan your date nights in 2016:
1) Schedule ahead – spontaneous dates will never happen.
Life will get in the way, kids will have activities, appointments, overtime, etc. There are too many things in life that get in the way of dating. That’s why you have to push everything else aside and set a date for your date.
2) Make it a habit: a fixed time, every time.
I know some people will object, saying, “That makes it too rigid. What if I don’t feel like going? What if we just had a fight or I had a rough day at work?”
My friend, that’s the point. You can always find excuses to not date. But when you schedule dates at the same time, like a habit, you’re essentially saying, “Honey, I’m committed to making this work, regardless of how I feel any given day. I’m choosing you and I’m choosing our marriage.”
3) Choose a convenient time.
Waiting until 9pm means you’re probably giving your spouse your leftover attention and focus. Also, you’re making it difficult for a babysitter. Don’t make that person go through the bedtime ritual, because you may not have that babysitter again. 😉
4) Choose a non-peak time.
Maybe you like crowds and lines at dinner rush. I do not; neither does my wife. That’s why we choose to go mid-week, mid-afternoon. Matinee movies, quiet restaurants, low-key art museums, sunny picnics. Love it!
5) Alternate planning the dates.
Now that you’ve taken the guesswork out of the time (if you’ve followed #2), now, devote your mental energy to planning the actual date, utilizing Spouse Dates’ Top Ten Date Idea Posts. Husband, let your wife choose one. Then you choose the next one. Take turns planning. That way she doesn’t end up at Buffalo Wild Wings every time and you don’t end up watching The Notebook every time. Over time, you’ll learn to enjoy what the other enjoys. But it all starts with making dating a consistent part of your marriage.
Dates aren’t enough.
The last thing I’ll say on this is dates aren’t enough to make up for months or years of marriage neglect. What makes up for that is daily habits. Daily affirmations and compliments toward your spouse, daily signs of affection, daily quick touch conversations, quick kisses on the cheek, and eating meals together. The daily rituals will make the dating rituals enjoyable.
So let me ask you, “What are you doing on a daily basis to make a better marriage? And do you have a consistent date night on the calendar?”
If not, get on it!
If so, bravo! Keep up the good work!
Here’s to better marriages in 2016!