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Why you should never stop dating the one you love

Publisher, editor-in-chief and author at Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Many couples rekindle the romance in their relationships by going on a special Valentine's Day date, even if they've been together for decades. But why don't they go on dates every week?

Sometimes it just takes a little imagination to fit a regular date night into a couple's busy schedule. In our book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love, we had a whole chapter of stories about keeping the love alive, and a big component of that strategy was regular dates. In her story "Date Night," Stefanie Wass explains how she and her husband manage to spend time together, just the two of them, once a week: "It’s Wednesday evening; church choir night for my daughters. I have two hours until pickup time, and like a teenager, I am giddy with anticipation." Stefanie goes on to describe how she and her husband grab dinner and linger over coffee, chatting and catching up on each other's lives. They even have an extra half hour to visit the library together and browse through some books.

Stefanie says, "Despite conflicts and commitments, I will do my best to continue dating my spouse. Although my girls are jealous when they hear tales of cheesecakes and pizzas, deep down I know they benefit. Secure in the knowledge that Mom and Dad love each other, they are free to grow up in confidence, surrounded by the very real possibility that romance can last forever. Although marriage may be made in heaven, I think its maintenance must be done here on earth."

Finding date night opportunities can be tough, and that's why David Martin and his wife ended up getting creative. In his story, "Breakfast and a Movie," David says he and his wife gave up on date nights. They'd hire a babysitter, get dressed up and then fall asleep during the movie. So they flipped it around and went to the movie before dinner. That worked until their daughter started having afternoon activities. Their next idea: breakfast and a movie: "With Sarah in school, every so often we take a weekday to ourselves. We go out for a nice leisurely breakfast where we can listen, communicate and, best of all from my perspective, eat. And then it's off to the local multiplex, which just so happens to start showing movies at 10 or 11 in the morning.”

The well-known author Ursula K. LeGuin, who has been married more than 60 years, said, "Love doesn't sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all of the time, made new." She is undoubtedly right. With a little planning we can keep putting those dates on the schedule. Every week should include a Valentine's Day!

On this special date, you'll feel the love between a father and daughter. Read this moving story here.

Image: Seth Rader via Flickr
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