#MarriedAndDating - How To Date Your Spouse!
Posted on February 03 2020
#MarriedAndDating = Married And Dating
I’ve been married almost 14 years and I’ve dated Danny for 18 years. Like most couples there was a courting stage, passion stage, I can’t get my hands off you stage, newlywed stage, and lets deprive ourselves of sleep and have babies stage. Let’s not forget the “who have I become” stage, two children later. Plus our current stage of life where we are able to find balance between our relationship and our children’s needs as they become more independent. In 18 years of exclusively being a couple we have been challenged with the ups and downs that most relationships season but there has always been one factor remaining constant – our dating life.
Recently, @ThatPennyLife_ I posted a photo of Danny and I dressed up on date night. At the end of the caption I included the tag #marriedanddating. I received the following DM from a mom:
“please write a blog post about #marriedanddating. Might be fun for Valentine’s Day! I do NOT hang out with my husband nearly enough, but you two seem so good at making couple time. And getting dressed up to date each other! I love this concept. Obviously date night is nothing new, but it appears you make courtship continue and you might inspire your followers. Just a thought!”
To this amazing mama who wrote in....challenge accepted and so it begins.
#MarriedAndDating – when I googled the words “Married and Dating” many links matched my search criteria but ironically all of them were for married couples who would like to date other suitors simultaneously. The very term I used to describe my marriage is the antithesis of its meaning. Which leads me to the question – can a married couple also date each other exclusively? Are marriage and dating mutually exclusive as per my google search or can they co-exist? I’m supporting the argument that married couples can and should be dating each other. Further, dating your spouse is paramount to marital bliss.
Disclaimer: I am not a marriage counselor, nor a marriage expert, and not necessarily even good at marriage (depending on your definition). I’m a married mom, who a lifetime ago was a single girl, who is happily married and likes to have a couple of cocktails on a Saturday night with her husband. Keep reading if you’re intrigued.
About My Marriage
When Danny and I met it was lust at first sight. In fact we did not court each other at the beginning. There is significance in this bold but truthful statement. Our relationship was built on passion and while that could have gone either way in the long run, we turned that passion into a walk down the aisle and later into a family and strong marriage. In our 20’s, before having babies, our relationship was fun loving. When we weren’t building careers we were traveling together, eating at amazing restaurants in NYC, having cosmopolitans (hello Sex And The City), kissing a lot, dancing and let’s not forget sleeping in whenever we wanted. We were dating. Not in the traditional sense of the word – one usually uses the term dating to describe the beginning of a relationship, but I am using the term as an actual verb: the act and activity of dating.
I took to google again to search up the definition of dating.
“Dating is where two people who are attracted to each other spend time together to see if they also can stand to be around each other most of the time, if this is successful they develop a relationship.” (urbandictionary.com)
This definition of dating assumes that the act of spending time together ends once the couple decides to stay together. In fact, dating should be a life long activity throughout the course of a marriage. If dating brought so much pleasure, excitement and passion at the onset of a relationship, then a couple should not remove that from the equation during the life of a marriage, when infusing passion is more critical.
How To Marry And Date?
We’ve established that a couple can and should date while married, but how?
Step 1: MILF It Up
I took to google again, and searched up MILF, for which the definitions were Oscar speech worthy:
“MILF is defined as an offensive slang expression for a very attractive mother” (yourdictionary.com)
“A MILF is any woman with children who has men that want to have sexual intercourse with her.” (urbandictionary.com)
Let me explain – If you’ve been married for several years or in my case, fourteen and counting, how you feel about yourself has a direct impact on the messages you send to your spouse. I’m certainly not implying you should dress up or put on makeup so others will want you. Quite the opposite – allow yourself to feel confident, sexy and good in your own skin because you are a beautiful mama. Sometimes we need to shave our legs, put on heels and lipstick to remind ourselves of the MILF we truly are. He’ll get the memo quickly when he lays eyes on you and then the magic happens.
Want to get MILFed up for your date night? Date night new arrivals shop HERE
Step 2: Selfish or Self-worthy?
Sometimes it’s a shift in attitude and philosophy that is most critical when dating your spouse. As a parent your children’s needs are endless. In infancy there are basic needs like food and diaper changes. In toddlerhood it’s keeping them safe and fingers out of electric sockets. In the earlier elementary years it’s navigating new schools and making sure they don’t fall out of their beds. I am currently entering the teenage years and the needs are just as intense but in a different capacity. Homework, studying and keeping up with their schedules keeps me just as busy. I’ve even heard that in the high school years parents wont leave their house on a Saturday night because of house parties. In fact leaving the house on a Saturday night with your spouse might be more challenging as children age because they are still awake when you say goodbye.
There are endless reasons to stay in pajamas on a Saturday night with your children, and often there is guilt associated with leaving.
Dating while married requires an attitude shift. Is it selfish to make a date with your husband, therefore leaving your children, and allocate 30 minutes to get dressed up beforehand (remember the MILF step) or are you self-worthy of the break, the lipstick, the martini and the adult conversation & connection?
I vote self-worthy. While getting out the door might be a struggle, the connection and passion during the date will spill over to all areas of your marriage not only that evening but for weeks to come.
Happy Marriage = Happy Family = Happy Children
Step 3: Relax & Have A Cocktail
I speak from personal experience on this step. I run at full speed seven days a week. I know I am not alone here. For those who are CEO of their home and family and possibly work as well – full speed ahead all the time. One of the key components of a successful date night is to relax and transport yourself out of that chaotic head space. Everyone has different methods.
I don't drink much. Between my career and children’s lives and fitness and wellness goals I’m kind of boring and happy to have my tea before bed at night. Would you guess this about me? However, truth be told I look forward to my dirty martini every Saturday date night. It’s like a prize at the end of a busy week – something I enjoy sipping but also enjoy the effects. It takes me from my 110% full speed ahead to a much more relaxed head space, where the giggles flow and the flirt comes out and maybe I’m more handsy and frankly, more fun!
I’m not remotely implying you should have a dirty martini to date your spouse. I’m merely pointing out that we all need to find our own method to relax, unwind and let ourselves feel free and open. For some it may be a massage from your hubby or eating delicious food you didn’t have to cook yourself. For others it maybe holding hands or talking about something other than children over dinner. Whatever suits your fancy and lets you ease into a relaxing evening together putting your stress aside – dirty martini and all.
Step 4: I love you
Say those three words on your date - no further explanation needed.
What works for me might not work for you, but in my opinion #MarriedAndDating is not a luxury but a necessity. Make it a priority and don’t forget to take pictures along the way!
Penny Goffman is the founder of fashion & lifestyle brands Jolie Gotique & That Penny Life. She is also a mama to two spunky children and resides in Greenwich, CT with her family. When she’s not busy with her own boutique she can be found hosting or styling big-brand events for Alice & Olivia, Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales. Penny is also the local community manager for the Westchester/CT region of HeyMama. Plus she always fits in a great workout on her downtime! Above all, she is most passionate about empowering women to feel beautiful & powerful both inside and out. Learn more! @thatpennylife_ @joliegotique