Nowadays with both husband and wife working outside the home, demands of jobs, children and social activities can overpower the pleasure of dating your spouse. Gradually it becomes one more chore in an already over-booked day. For some couples, all that sarcasm, name-calling, resentment or deadly silence they’ve adopted to attack each other’s flaws hardly makes it exciting to go on a date with the person they now despise. Even if the two of them do manage to go out, they start arguing about the kids or money and end up going home angry and disappointed. For others, they may sit across from each other in a restaurant, hardly having anything interesting to share with each other. It’s embarrassingly boring. So people conclude that dating isn’t worth all that hassles and thus stop doing it altogether.

Often times, the love is still there, but the marriage becomes weak from lack of attention due to competing priorities and unrealistic expectations. Dating your spouse is one strategy that provides the time needed to strengthen a good relationship or heal a hurting one.

Do you remember some of the things you enjoyed doing together during your courtship? Start there. One bad date doesn’t mean you can no longer have fun as a couple. Keep trying. Listen to each other and take mental notes of the things your spouse really wants to do and invite him on a date just to do that. Dress attractively to show enthusiasm for the date as well as to impress him. Leave all the problems at home and give him undivided attention.

Unexpected opportunities for dating your spouse can turn out to be the most fun, and they can create the best memories. Joe and I grabbed such a precious opportunity yesterday.

Jake went to the zoo with his friend Caleb’s family. Caleb’s mom told me that they would pick up Jake at 8:20 in the morning and drop him off around 4 pm. I asked Joe if he wanted to go on a date. The answer was a definitive ‘Yes!’ After some discussion, we chose to visit the Chicago Art Institute, something that had been on Joe’s bucket list for a while. On Friday night Michelle informed us that her plan to hang out with her friends on Saturday fell through and therefore she would be home Saturday afternoon when Jake got home. Joe and I were thrilled because this meant we wouldn’t have to rush home for Jake. What a treat to have the whole day to ourselves!

Yesterday morning, as soon as Jake was picked up, Joe and I headed to the gym to get the workout out of the way. Then we headed straight to downtown Chicago. Joe had the whole day planned out. We were going to park the car in the parking garage of Navy Pier since we had bought the annual parking permit along with the Children’s Museum membership. We’d then walk along the lake to the Art Institute. I suggested that we should go to Chinatown on our way home so that Joe could get an overdue haircut while I’d do some grocery shopping. Joe liked the idea.

We got a glimpse of the Air and Water Show from Navy Pier, which was a bonus. The weather was perfect for a long but relaxed walk from the Pier to the Art Institute. The city was abuzz Saturday morning around 11 o’clock with bikers, runners, visitors like us, and tourists. The water while calm had so many different hues of green and shone like a million little diamonds when each ray of the sun hit the surface. We went all the way to the Buckingham Fountain and waited for the spectacular water show on the hour at noon.

The Art Institute is certainly impressive. One can easily spend a whole day inside exploring and admiring the marvelous work of the different artists from ancient to modern times. From there we took a different route back to the Pier, made a stop at the bean sculpture and took some lovely pictures as well.

All that walking made us exhausted. But the fact that we were able to put all life’s worries and problems behind and devote the whole day to each other and enjoy every minute of it was just priceless!

A few miles from home, Joe turned to me and asked, “Did we have a good time?”


“How was my driving?”

“Good … And you have a nice car.” I gazed into his eyes and grinned.

Joe beamed.

Regular dating should be a fun and central aspect of any relationship. Making an effort to date your spouse helps nourish the relationship and create the sparks you long for. Showing love and consideration to each other on a daily basis lays the groundwork for enjoyable and memorable dating, as well as a lasting and fulfilled marriage.