How to go on a first date with your spouse again — butterflies included
The whole time we were away, I just kept thinking about how fortunate I am. After over 19 years of marriage, Sharon is still my best friend. How in the world did that happen?
Learn to Date Your Spouse Again - OnlyYouForever
And how can it happen for you? Something nearly every married couple — and especially those with kids or busy careers — needs more of. Quality, uninterrupted time together. The kind that happens on date nights.
Woo Your Wife All Over Again
I already know that. I know you already know this. Or not enough, anyway. Many of my friends, and often my wife and I, get even less. But if you have children, getting out of the house may be the only way for that to happen. Even if your kids are angels, the threat of being interrupted is enough to make connecting much harder.
To hear how their day went. How did this relationship that used to thrill us become so commonplace, so uninspiring? When we live without margin, one of the first things to go is planning. Instead of living in light of our priorities, we allow life to come at us, which means practically that others prioritize our lives for us. And the unseen, critical parts of life — like time with our spouses — start to quietly fade away.
Finding something worth doing on the date can feel like a chore. The date itself can be really expensive, but hiring a decent sitter can double the cost.How to Fall in Love Again
We talked about extending that last time. Self-expansion theory, developed by husband and wife researchers Arthur and Elaine Aron, speaks to this situation [iv]. In their view romantic love is a period of rapid self-expansion by including the beloved in your sense of who you are.
Start Dating Your Spouse Again (Part 1) | Bryan Stoudt
During the very early stages of the relationship you learn a lot about your beloved and get to grow as a person and experience new things by integrating aspects of your spouse into your own life. The rate at which you can do this declines after the initial period of the relationship: The other side of the coin is the concept of habituation: Intimacy and sex then play into these early stages of love and then marriage. Back to our point. Remember that when we look at intimacy, we mean the whole enchilada, not just sex.
According to a study by Baumeister et al in [vi]passion is a function of changes in intimacy. So when intimacy is stable either low or highpassion is low.
But when intimacy is increasing, passion is high. Intimacy is often increasing fastest at the start of the relationship, as you become more comfortable disclosing information about yourself and generally become closer.
Learn to Date Your Spouse Again
But sex comes into the equation once we get married too. In later years it becomes less frequent, and as the research this points out this is often due to less interest, higher rates of dysfunction and difficulty, and major life events like having children [viii]. Sounds like a gloomy picture. But just stay with me.
And let me say too, that having less sex is not necessarily a bad thing if you are both satisfied with the quality and quantity. Gender Differences in Romance and Dating Men tend to fall in love more easily, and report higher scores on measures of romantic love than women in the early stages first few months of relationships [ix].
Later on the scores balanced out. Both men and women experience similarly high levels of passion at the start of the relationship, but this declines particularly strongly for women as the relationship goes on [xii]. What about our perceptions and our definitions of love? Perceptions of what love is were actually similar between men and women. Both placed importance on the value of companionate love, but men placed higher value on passionate love [xiii].
So we have these dynamics going on and we are seeing some gender differences and some similarities.
Reigniting the Passion in Your Marriage Now we want to talk about how to get the excitement back in your marriage. So we want to talk about several areas that you can work on in order to keep your marriage spicy or else bring back some heat. Again, we go deep on this in our bonus guide for the patrons of our show.
Gaining new experiences as a couple allows spouses to learn more about each other, increasing intimacy and self-expansion, both of which increase passion [xiv]. Doing novel and exciting things together also activates the same reward-pleasure systems in the brain as romantic love, so can boost romantic love by associating these feelings with the partner.
So, shake it up a little. Researchers have studied this.