Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dating 2.0

Dating is a good thing, a healthy thing, and something that I think should go on for a very long time. Its not that I’m against marriage in any capacity... I love marriage. I mean I am married.

But I love dating too...

From our early dating days
A friend of mine asked me recently if I have missed dating since I’ve been married. Do I miss the romantic dinners, the love notes, the holding hands, the late night chats? Do I miss the promise of the future, the learning more about him, the unknown elements of the relationship?

I quickly answered, “Well, no because I’m still dating him.”

Now, this choice to date my husband is a conscious one. Although marriage brings fun and spice, there are also other responsibilities that come along that were not there when we were girlfriend and boyfriend.

There are bills to be paid, garbage to take out, and dishes to be washed. There are schedules to manage, places to be, and alone time needed. There are a million little things that can be talked about, argued about, and focused on. None of these things are in themselves problematic, in fact they often need to be discussed and accomplished in order to function well and not have a disastrous home, but when the focus is set fully on these lower level things there is a danger of getting stuck.

And it’s easy to get stuck.

Since there are so many more moving pieces when two lives are brought into one these lower level things can be all that you talk about. Those late night conversations about your dreams and goals can get lost. Those date nights get pushed aside because of financial strain. Many of the things that you did as a couple before that big day can become overridden by the monotonous day in and day out varieties of life.

And this is why I consciously choose to keep dating my husband.

We have to choose to live in the higher level things while maintaining the lower levels. We have to intentionally focus on our dreams and goals as a couple and as individuals. We have to set the money aside so we can go on a date. We have to choose to learn more about each other and support each other in both the big and small things.

We have to do all of this because too often we can get caught up in what time the other person will be home for dinner or if the dishes have been washed.

I have noticed that an attitude of intentionality has been extremely important in these early years of marriage. And I’ve learned that the more intentional you are about living in the higher level things, the more automatic it becomes to easily accomplish the lower level things without the stress or focus.

Hiking in Niagara
And so, I find myself in a place of dating 2.0. I am able to engage in this wonderful thing of marriage without the constant weight that many couples find themselves under because they are living in the lower level things. It’s the passions that we share, not the fact that I have to pick up groceries today, that our marriage is built on.

For those married, engaged, dating, or planning on being any of the above – keep dating. Ensure that those lower level things get done but don’t stay there. Do yourself (and your partner) a favor and focus on the higher things in life – the love, passions, goals, and dreams that only the two of you share.

1 comment:

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