When Michael and I first got engaged we were bombarded with marriage advice. It seemed like as soon as he slipped the ring onto my finger, we were inundated with tips for handling finances, splitting household responsibilities, and tackling planning for the future. Sometimes these tips would come from people who themselves weren’t married, or even in relationships! It seemed like everyone had something to say on the topic of what creates a successful marriage.
A lot of those things didn’t work for us. And what did work required a lot of tweaking to make it fit us and our unique situation. But there’s one piece of advice that has served us extremely well over our first few years as husband and wife. And it can be distilled into a concise three words: never stop dating.
We spend a lot of time together, especially now that we are both working from home. Even if we wanted to, our cozy studio apartment doesn’t afford us much of an opportunity to get away from each other. But passively coexisting in the same space does not equate to quality time working to keep our relationship strong. That requires intention and a commitment to actively pursuing each other.
Don’t get me wrong, most nights are spent flopped on the couch deciding what to check off our Netflix queue. But we also plan nights cooking together and enjoying a distraction-free meal. Michael’s known for bringing home new games for us to play. He’ll sometimes spend mornings trolling the aisles of the grocery store to put together the perfect spread to enjoy at a picnic on the beach (which he knows is always my favorite date). And I’m always excited to plate up some charcuterie from Trader Joe’s for a quick day-date while our baby sleeps. These are the meaningful actions designed to surprise and delight and that continue to infuse joy into our relationship.
Do you have any marriage advice or date ideas you’d like to share? Share them in the comments!