Dating 101 :: For Husbands


Later today, two great friends of mine will be getting married!  Actually, this whole year has been a year of weddings.  Much in the same way attending a funeral makes me think of my own mortality and what I’d like my funeral to be about (it’s not that strange is it?) weddings also make me think of my own wedding, and more importantly, my own Bride.  It takes me to a spot of reflection.  How am I doing as a husband?  The face that I really am absolutely head over heals in love with my wife and would never, ever pick anyone else, even if given the chance.  So then its on me to be the best husband I can possibly be.  But how do I do that?  I don’t really know.  I’m still new at this and have never done it before.  So its a lot of on-the-job training and eliciting the advice and help of those who have gone before me down this path.  To that tone, I asked a friend of mine to do a guest post about what advice he’d give to a newly married husband.  Eric, from betterhusbandsandfathers.com was happy to oblige, and his advice- Keep dating your wife.  So Scott, (and Britt, Tim, Harlan, and Chris,) this one is for you!

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When you were courting your bride-to-be, no doubt you tried much harder to date and impress her then you do now, after the vows.  This happens to the best of us!  The other day I was trying to think about just why it happens and here’s what I came up with – I think men stop stop dating their wife after the wedding because they don’t need dates as an excuse to be with each other.  Because I didn’t live with my wife before we were married, I almost had to come up with dates and fun things to do so we could see each other.  Now that you’re sharing the same bed, why date?  I’ll tell you why – dating your wife allows you and your wife to continuously get to know each other.  People change and evolve and without time spent in meaningful conversation and on dates you will grow apart.  Here are 3 basic components for successfully dating your wife; The 3 “C’s” –

  • Consistency – it’s so easy to get wrapped up in life and forget about dating your wife – remember to date her and date her consistently.  I date my wife once a week (or I try to!) and I recommend this frequency to everyone. Figure out what works for you and your situation, but do NOT go longer than a month without a date!  One thing to keep in mind about dating your wife is that you may need to expand your definition of a date; a date can be anything where you spend quality time with your wife and get to have meaningful conversation (see below).  Talking on the couch for an hour after the kids are in bed fits into my definition of a date perfectly!
  • Creativity – This is so important! Hopefully you would like to be married to your wife for a long, long time – so make sure it doesn’t get boring! Add romance, spontaneity, surprise dates or whatever make it special for your wife.  Once in a while, do something big, get a hotel for the night or go for a romantic weekend getaway!  For those of us who are not creative this can be a challenge.  In addition over at my Better Husbands and Fathers blog I have an archive of date ideas…. ones I’ve used myself!
  • Conversation – This is an essential part of any date.  You may think “d’uh, that’s obvious” and I’m glad you think that, but in my experiences there are a lot of dates where its hard to talk to each other.  How about a movie or a show?  This can be a great date combined with something like dinner (where you can have good conversation), but by itself, it’s not a great date idea, because it doesn’t allow any dialogue.  So ask each other questions, talk about personal and family goals, learn something about them you didn’t know, and have fun with it!

Eric has been married for 4.5 years and is a father to a 2 yr old boy (and has another boy on the way!).  He lives in the Seattle area and runs the Better Husbands and Fathers blog, which is designed to create dialogue among men who want to be “better.” You can also follow him on twitter@BetterHusbands .

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