“This was a nice date”, I said as we finished watching a great action movie after eating our Indian take-out.
“Are you kidding? This is nice but it’s not a date”, my wife replied.
I was not expecting that but had the feeling she was right. If she did not think it was a date, well then, it was not a date – and I had something to learn.
What is a date anyway?
What makes a date a date? Lots of advanced planning? Going somewhere special? Spending loads of money? Having to get dressed up?
Maybe. Maybe not.
A Spouse Date Defined
Wikipedia defines dating this way: Dating is a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by two people with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse.
Dating after you get married is different than dating before. Marriage changes things. Dating is most often defined as something that leads up to marriage. Adjusting for this difference here is our definition of a Spouse Date.
A Spouse Date is a form of courtship consisting of mutually agreed upon social activities with the aim of cultivating romance, intimacy and friendship in your marriage relationship.
Ahh, now this definition helps me see why the movie and take out were not a date.
It has to do with intent.
It is not because take out and a movie at home can’t be a date. We enjoyed the movie. We enjoy the Indian food. I am glad we were together.
But my attention was not on my wife. It was on the food and movie. I may have meant to cultivate our relationship but that was not very apparent, especially to her.
Had I made the effort to deepen our connection or talk about what we were watching or try to get to know her better that would have been a game changer.
The same activity with different intent would have made it a true date.
A Date as a Form of Courtship
Courtship is an old fashioned word that is worth dusting off and embracing today.
- Behavior designed to attract a mate
- The process of attempting to win favor
- Activity aimed to foster romance in a relationship
These three aspects of courtship greatly informed my understanding of dating. All three of these are key purposes of a Spouse Date.
So, is this a Date or not?
So what kind of activities can be a spouse date? As you can now see, the actual activity matters far less that the reason for it.
A spouse date can be nearly any mutually agreed upon social activity. A spouse date can be found anywhere on these spectrum of activities:
- from well planned to spontaneous
- from very expensive to free
- from a short momentary event to a multi-day experience
- from with many others to with just the two of you
If you think a date is only a date if it involves advanced planning or going somewhere special or spending lots of money or having to dress up then you may end up not dating at all.
Be careful not to set the bar to high when it comes to what you consider date worthy activity. Doing something is better than doing nothing.
The aim of a Spouse Date is to cultivate romance, intimacy and friendship with your spouse.
Just Do It!
Are you ready to kick up the courtship a few notches? Do you want to give more attention to dating your spouse well? Are you short on ideas about what to do or how to do it? Then be sure to sign up for our weekly Date Tip and Updates on the upper right hand corner of this page. We are here to help.
What do you think?
What advice do you have for cultivating romance, intimacy and friendship with one’s spouse?