5 Ways to make marriage more like dating

Sep 2, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. ET

Just because you're married doesn't mean you have to give up dating (well, you do with anyone other than your husband!). Instead, learn to keep the sparks flying by dating your husband!

Couple going on apple picking date

Think back to your best date ever. What, specifically, made it so great? You probably spent hours getting ready and were completely confident with the way you looked, you were in a great mood and didn't let the little things bother you (think not being able to find parking or having a 30-minute wait at the restaurant) and you put your best foot forward — listening intently to what your date had to say and asking questions to keep the conversation flowing. The night ended with a kiss — or more! — and the butterflies probably took a few days to find their way out of your stomach. Ah, those were the days! Just because you're now married, though, doesn't mean you'll never feel like this again. In fact, dating within marriage can actually be better!


Actually go on dates!

We know — this is common sense, but once couples get married, they tend to put ‘going out' on the back burner since they see each other every night and are most likely trying to save money. We can't stress the importance of planning weekly date nights with your significant other, though. They give you both something to look forward to and allow you to reconnect without being distracted by kids, phones and the television. Give your husband your undivided attention on these nights, just like you did when dating.


Give your spouse your best

When in a dating relationship, you're always on your best behavior. You don't get upset if your date's in the car and someone cuts you off on the road, you don't let a bad day at work interfere with your evening and by all means you don't get standoff-ish. Try carrying these attitudes over to your marriage — not only will you notice a difference in your relationship, but you'll also notice a difference in your own personal happiness and quality of life.


Do things together

When dating, how often did you sit around with your partner watching TV or goofing off on your phones? While we're sure it happened, it probably wasn't that often. Instead, your evenings most likely consisted of cooking together, trying out a new restaurant, going on a walk, playing games, lighting a candle and snuggling while watching a movie, enjoying wine on the back patio or — ahem — having sex! Though these things probably can't happen every night, why not make it a priority for them to happen a few nights a week?


Continue learning about each other

Dating someone new is exciting because you're learning all about a person you really like. You want to ask questions and get to know them better, and you also look forward to sharing your past, dreams and ambitions with them. Think back five years — are you the same person now that you were back then? Most likely, you're not, and neither is your spouse! Continue to ask them about their future goals, their favorite hobbies and meals, their work ambitions and the like. You'll never be done learning everything there is to know about your spouse — remember that!


Show him you love him — daily

Amanda, now married with two babies, remembers the days when she and her husband were just dating. She often surprised him with his favorite movie, a new shirt or tickets to his favorite basketball team. She enjoyed cooking him his favorite meal and texted him sweet-nothings a few days a week. Now, life is a bit more hectic, but she continues to try to do those things for her man. Challenge yourself to shower your man with love, just like you did at the beginning. Buy him his favorite candy bar when at the store, stock the fridge with his favorite beer, watch the game with him, put on his favorite lingerie or even just send him a text telling him how much you love and appreciate him. When dating, you did these little things all the time — why not carry it over to your marriage?

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