In this post, we’re looking at the idea of investing in your relationship and why dating is important in marriage.
Why Dating Is Important In Marriage Intro
As someone who has been happily married for over 16 years, I can tell you from firsthand experience that it is all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to invest in our marriages.
We become complacent and comfortable, and before we know it, we’re barely hanging out with our spouses.
Indeed, if you’re not careful, your marriage can quickly devolve into a roommate situation in which you only see each other when it’s convenient for both of you or when time allows (which can be very seldom at times).
However, in the long run, this can deplete a couple’s connection and create a shaky foundation for marital happiness.
It is therefore critical to continue investing in your relationship, regardless of how long you’ve been together.
Continuing to date your spouse is one way to invest in your relationship.
Dating is important in marriage for a variety of reasons, but ultimately it boils down to keeping the spark alive as a couple, assisting you in growing together, and strengthening your bond.
The reality of all relationships is that our infatuation with one another, or the passionate love that many couples experience at the beginning of a relationship, fades over time.
It is simply a natural part of the dynamics of a relationship.
That is not to say that our love has waned; on the contrary, it has grown stronger.
Once a couple has passed the infatuation stage, they usually enter a new phase that is characterized by “companionate” love that can last a lifetime.
Companionate love, in essence, is a deep affectionate attachment between two people that is usually characterized by a strong emotional bond and a high level of commitment.
This attachment and commitment are more than just passionate sexual attraction; they are a solid foundation upon which long-term relationships are built.
In that sense, companionate love should always be the goal of any couple who wants to go the distance and build a long-term happy relationship.
As a result, investing in your relationship becomes vital when you are constantly battling the active reality of relationship decline.
No matter how strong you are as a couple, if you stop investing in your relationship, your marriage will suffer in the long run.
Marriage is an active and dynamic process that is never completed.
That is most likely the most important reason why dating is important in marriage.
How Dating Can Improve Your Marriage
When it comes to creating a happy relationship, the key is to develop and maintain a strong bond and deep connection with each other.
It’s really that simple.
If I had to sum up what you need to focus on as a couple to be happy, it would be to keep your relationship healthy and growing.
That, of course, necessitates a lot of one-on-one time together, as well as time spent developing good communication skills, working hard to keep your romantic love life healthy, spending time with other healthy and positive married couples, and so on.
In that sense, dating allows you to get to know your spouse in a new way every time.
It enables you to spend time together without the distractions of work, children, or other responsibilities, allowing you to focus on each other and grow your relationship.
In fact, one of the primary reasons why dating is important in marriage is that it helps you create a meaningful marriage while also reminding you to strengthen your commitment to each other.
One could even argue that, in many cases,
Dating Again Just Might Save Your Marriage
Dating again may save your marriage by providing you and your spouse with something to bond and connect over.
Trying new things together, according to research, activates the brain’s reward system, which floods it with feel-good dopamine and norepinephrine.
These are the same chemicals released during the early stages of love.
Dopamine-releasing neurons are activated when we anticipate receiving a reward.
Dating your spouse, similarly, creates excitement and thus helps to keep the spark alive in your relationship by making you feel more connected to your spouse.
So, whether you are newly married or have been married for a while, dating again can help reignite the fire in your relationship by bringing back the excitement and romance.
Ultimately, frequent dates with your spouse result in enjoyable times that go a long way towards creating an overall positive experience in your relationship, which is a reward in and of itself.
And, as previously stated, humans are primarily motivated by two factors: necessities (such as food and sleep) and rewards (i.e. gaining something).
As a result, if we establish a link between frequent dating and a positive relationship experience as a reward, we will be more motivated to pursue it.
With that in mind, and to give you even more reasons to date your spouse, here are the top five reasons why dating is important in marriage.
Top 5 Reasons Why It’s Important to Date Your Spouse
1. It helps to keep the spark alive in the relationship.
Dating helps to keep the spark alive in your relationship by helping you build up the emotional intimacy needed for strong marriages.
Couples who spend time together, usually talk about their feelings and build up the “you know” factor to help them see things from each other’s point of view.
However, when couples are in conflict, they often get so focused on what they are arguing about, that they forget to look at the situation from their partner’s point of view.
By dating, therefore, couples can learn to look at the big picture of their relationship and help each other become more intentional about their communication.
It literally helps you to get to know your spouse better.
Now, at this point, you might wonder “why do I need to get to know my spouse better?”
Well, when you spend time with your spouse, you are more likely to get to know them on a deeper level.
Truth be told, sometimes, there are things that we just don’t know about our spouse.
Perhaps they have been holding back or maybe they have grown as people, the point is, dating offers us an opportunity to get to know our spouse on a deeper level.
That is what experts like John Gottman refer to as updating our “love maps.”
Gottman’s love map is essentially a concept that refers to the way in which couples know and understand each other.
It is based on the idea that couples need to have a deep understanding of each other in order to maintain a strong relationship. It is a never-ending process.
If couples do not have a deep understanding of each other, they may find it difficult to communicate effectively, grow apart, lose connection, experience heaps of conflict, and ultimately implode as a couple.
Fundamentally, if couples do not understand each other’s needs, they cannot provide the support that is needed to maintain a strong relationship.
2. It helps the husband and wife feel more connected to each other.
Women are more likely than men to want to be part of a group.
When their spouse spends a lot of time with them, women tend to feel more connected, supported, and secure.
According to social scientists, women who spend at least one hour a week on “couple time” with their spouse are up to seven times happier in their marriage.
3. It increases self-esteem and a sense of worthiness in the relationship, and makes you feel happier.
When you date your spouse, you are investing time in your relationship and this can help to increase both partners’ self-esteem and sense of worthiness.
When we devote time to each other as a couple, it feels good and we also feel good about ourselves.
And when we feel good about ourselves, we also tend to be more confident and successful in other areas of our lives too.
Moreover, when our spouse wants to spend special time with us and feel valued and appreciated by our spouse, we are more likely to feel happy and fulfilled in our relationship.
Also, when you date your spouse, you are essentially investing time in your relationship which can help to increase happiness in your relationship.
4. It helps to inoculate against divorce.
Marissa A. Fye and Grace A. Mims did a study called “Preventing Infidelity: A Theory of Protective Factors” in 2018.
They found that ten specific factors kept a couple from cheating.
In a nutshell, the goal of this study was to find a theory that explains how married people keep monogamy.
Ten people were interviewed twice in a semi-structured interview format.
Grounded theory methods were used to collect and analyze the data.
Also, the study used member-checking, bracketing, peer-review, analytic memos, and outside auditing to make sure the results were correct.
Finally, and most important for you, the data confirmed that small, ongoing, and consistent efforts in each protective factor area keep monogamy going.
People had the best chance of keeping their marriage safe if they worked hard in each of the ten areas for a long time.
When you build a secure attachment or emotional bond, you and your partner will be more likely to stay together even when things go wrong.
These protective factors also include:
- sex in a marriage,
- behavioural, cognitive, and relationship boundaries,
- values and beliefs that support monogamy,
- and the ability to deal with problems both individually and as a couple.
5. It teaches your children about how to strengthen marriages.
The truth is that children are constantly watching their parents’ marriage.
For example, kids see how their parents interact with one another and how they deal with disagreement.
By witnessing their parents, they also learn how to love and be loved.
And, over time, children establish their own opinions about what constitutes a healthy marriage.
As a result, if their parents’ marriage is happy and rewarding, their children are more likely to have good thoughts regarding marriage.
If their parents’ marriage is miserable or dysfunctional, their children are more likely to have unfavourable attitudes towards marriage or to reproduce the same dysfunctional behaviour in their own relationships.
In either case, children pick up on their parents’ marriage habits and attempt to replicate them.
With that in mind, when you date your spouse, you are demonstrating to your children how to develop a healthy marriage.
You are demonstrating to them that you value your relationship and are prepared to put time and effort into strengthening it.
This will help them understand that marriage is not something that arises spontaneously, but rather something that must be worked on.
Ultimately, our children learn about marriage by watching how their parents interact with each other at all times. This is both a wonderful opportunity and a possible trap because our children will learn from both positive and terrible marriage examples.
Finally, dating is important in marriage since it keeps the spark alive and allows you to spend quality time together.
It is also a chance to demonstrate to your spouse that you still care about and are interested in them.
Most importantly, though, dating your spouse teaches your children how to create and sustain a healthy relationship, which they may then apply in their own life later on.