*** This has been one of Spouse Dates’ most popular posts and was originally published in November of 2013. However, since then I have reached out to many more marriage experts for their expert opinions. I have published their responses in addition to the ones below (plus 5 scientific reasons) in my new (and free) 46 page ebook, “5 Scientific and 84 Expert Reasons Why You Should Never Stop Dating Your Spouse“. Be sure to check it out when you are done reading!
I reached out to a number of marriage experts and influencers and asked them,
“How important do you think it is for married couples to continue dating?”
Here is what they said:
As a counselor, I’ve never had a couple come to me with a deteriorating marriage that were committed to “dating” each other throughout the years. It’s always one of the first things they let go as they slid toward disrepair and apathy. Dating is like the kindling that keeps the fires of passion growing and going strong in the relationship. This is especially true in marriage because life can crowd out and dampen our passion for one another as the realities and hardships of life batter us.
Beth Steffaniak ~ Marriage Counselor and Certified Life-Coach
It’s important for couples to continue dating to keep a sense of freshness and adventure in their marriage. This was a struggle for us for many years because we were entrenched in a scarcity mindset. If I could do one thing differently over the past 23 years of my marriage, it would be to have a sense of fun around regular, affordable date nights. Planning a date says to your spouse, “You matter to me and our relationship is worth effort.”
Gina Parris ~ Author, Speaker, and Founder of Built To Win Coaching
Successful marriages require constant and continuous effort and care. Dates will improve commitment, intimacy, and cohesion within a relationship. Individuals that go on dates are more likely to feel loved and special, which makes them feel more optimistic about their relationship. Dating helps make working on your marriage a little bit more fun!
Rachel Thomasian ~ Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Perhaps one of the most important things a married couple can do to ensure that their relationship thrives is to date. Too often, life gets in the way and their relationship gets put on a back burner. Eventually, a disconnection sets in. Continued dating, even if it’s economical, still helps the couple feel like they matter to each other.
Dr. Karen Sherman ~ Psychologist and Author of Mindfulness and The Art of Choice: Transform Your Life
Continuing to date once you’re married may be the most important thing a couple can do to maintain their love and protect their relationship. Of course, it is important to date in the right way. Going out to dinner once a week or once a month and talking about the kids, the health of the relationship or other family issues is not dating. Dating involves doing fun things and enjoying each other’s company. It’s something to look forward to that will keep you connected as husband and wife.
Lesli M. W. Doares ~ Marriage Consultant & Coach, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: The Complete Guide to Building Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work
Andy Traub ~ Husband, Father, Speaker, Podcaster and Author
Dating will rejuvenate your marriage. No matter if it’s a quick coffee at Starbucks or an evening extravaganza. Take the time each month to nurture your marriage by taking the lead and planning a date for you and your spouse.
Tony & Alisa DiLorenzo ~ Speakers, Coaches, Podcasters and Authors of 7 Days of Sex Challenge
and Stripped Down: 13 Keys to Unlocking Intimacy in Your Marriage
People who have great marriages, have great marriages on purpose. They are intentional about what they put into their relationship. A successful marriage doesn’t happen “just because”. You need to work at it.
Mark Gungor ~ Speaker, Pastor and Author of Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage: Unlocking the Secrets to Life, Love, and Marriage
I think it’s critical for married couples to continue to date. Dating says to your spouse, “You are still special to me. You are worth my time and effort. I want to spend time having fun with you.” Planning and enjoying a date is one way to be intentional about your marriage. It keeps things fun and exciting, and helps prevent boredom, fatigue and irritability. Dates will probably look a bit different in each stage of married life, but making them a priority is always worth the effort.
Gaye Christmus ~ Writer and Blogger at CalmHealthySexy
Couples often have the best intentions to spend time with each other, but in their hectic lives, don’t always make the time. By making a set time (for dating your spouse) you’re demonstrating with concrete action that you are committed to your relationship. For couples steeped in negativity, date night is crucial. It will help rekindle the flame and allow you to experience some of the fun times that made you fall in love with your spouse in the first place. This also provides hope for the relationship, reminding you of the many positive things that you still share together.
Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin ~ Counselor, Author and Creator of The Marriage Restoration Project
We believe that having a healthy, growing marriage relationship requires friendship, fun and romance. And there’s no better way to encourage all of these things than having dates! Great dates are more than going to see a movie and tuning out the world for a while. Great dates involve communicating with one another, reviving the spark that initially ignited your fire, and developing mutual interests and goals that are not focused on your careers or your children. Great dates can revitalize your relationship.
David and Claudia Arp ~ Founders of Marriage Alive International and Authors of 10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage
Dating provides a wonderful opportunity for married couples to stay meaningfully connected. If we remember our pre-marital dating, we know that we focused then on trying to impress our partner and on getting to know him/her through spending valuable time together. Unavoidably, marriage changes the context of our relationship. We’re now constantly with each other and the reality of the mundane, routine aspects of our lives, can threaten the sense of excitement which characterized our earlier relationship. While some change in a long-term relationship is inevitable, dating provides an opportunity for couples to re-create that sense of adventure and anticipation. Dating allows us time to focus on our spouse and to discover new things together. It strengthens intimacy. While it can provide some much needed couple-time away from family and friends, group dating with other couples, can also be a positive reinforcement for our marriage. Dating should be a powerful reminder of why we committed in the first place and is definitely a necessity in a successful marriage.
Denise J Charles ~ Relationship & Life Coach, Counselor and Magazine Columnist
Dating is one of THE most important things you can do for your marriage! As our relationships “mature,” our time becomes more strained between work, kids and outside activities – it happens to the best of us. Yet, we need our spouse to remain our #1 priority through the madness, and the way to make this happen is through regular, prioritized date time together. It doesn’t have to be fancy or even away from home, but you MUST date your spouse if you want an awesome marriage and a love-filled home!
Dustin Riechmann ~ founder of Engaged Marriage and Author of 15-Minute Marriage Makeover: Refresh Your Relationship, Add Sizzle to Your Sex Life & Be Happier in Just Minutes a Day
Dating is important, especially for that of married couples. It allows for the couple to focus completely on each other while experiencing new things and deepening their level of intimacy through communication.
Alanna Gardner ~ Writer, Marriage and Family Therapist
I know it is very important to continue to date our spouse! The world pushes us to take on more, creates more stress and forces us to move faster. If we are not intentional in spending time with our spouse and continue to learn about them we will only be pulled away from them. It is so important to take the time, energy and effort to date our spouses!
Cassie Celestain ~ Blogger at True Agape Newlywed Blog
Now it is your turn!
What do you think?
How important is it for married couples to continue dating?
Share your answer and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.