If you want to grow closer to your spouse and strengthen your marriage, don’t underestimate the power of a date.


Dating was probably easy when your relationship first began. Every interaction was new and exciting. You were eager to learn about each other and spend time together.

After years of marriage, it can be challenging to come up with fresh date ideas. Eventually, you may fall into a routine of dates. The thrill wears off.

But it’s possible to have fun dating your spouse no matter how long you’ve been married. A little creativity, planning, and effort go a long way in helping you create a marriage filled with lasting fun and excitement.

What it Really Means to Date Your Spouse

Dating your spouse means spending time with them on a regular basis with purpose. All three aspects of this definition are crucial.

Spend Time with Them

First, a date with your spouse means you are spending time with them. It includes your undivided attention. To spend quality time with your spouse, you must be fully present and engaged.

Spending time with your spouse affects many of your 6 Pillars of Intimacy®. When you’re having fun together, you create new memories and strengthen your recreational intimacy.

The conversations you have during a date can deepen your emotional intimacy—as well as your spiritual or financial intimacy if you discuss those topics. Loving touches throughout a date boost physical intimacy.

On a Regular Basis

Second, dating your spouse requires consistency. You and your spouse need to spend time together on a regular basis.

Consistent dates look different for each couple, but you should try to go on dates as often as you can.

This doesn’t mean you have to dine at a fancy restaurant every night. Weekly dates can be as simple as a walk-and-talk, getting ice cream together, or playing a board game at home.

Dating your spouse will look different in various seasons of your marriage. For example, going on a date with your spouse when you have young kids can look different from when you are newlyweds or empty nesters. Throughout the years, you have to make regular dates a priority.

With Purpose

Finally, dating your spouse is all about intentionality.

When you were dating your spouse before marriage, you spent time together with purpose. You were intentional about dates, whether the goal was to have fun, get to know each other, or see whether they could be the one.

You have to date your spouse with purpose and intention.

Recreational intimacy is all about spending time together, doing things you enjoy, and having fun. It’s essential to plan dates with these things in mind.

Busy seasons of life are not an excuse not to date your spouse. It may require more planning and intentionality, but it is vital for keeping you and your spouse close and connected.

Your Recreational Intimacy Matters

So why is it important to date your spouse?

Recreational intimacy is one of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy® that provide strength and beauty to your marriage. When you date your spouse, you’re strengthening this pillar and several others. Strong pillars allow your marriage to thrive.

Research shows that dating your spouse has massive payoffs.

Married couples who spend time together weekly are more likely to have a high-quality relationship with a lower divorce rate and higher levels of communication. They are also 3.5x more likely to report being happy in their relationship.

Going on a date even just once a month can lower your chances of divorce by 14%.

3 Steps to Date Your Spouse

Lots of couples get stuck in a dating routine. So if you find it hard to come up with creative date ideas, you’re not alone.

The following steps will help you and your spouse get on the same page about keeping your recreational intimacy strong.

Step 1: Get the Ideas Flowing

Recreational intimacy is all about having fun and trying new things.

If you’re stuck in a date night rut and need ideas, spend a few minutes brainstorming with your spouse.

Specifically, create a Top 10 List of dates you’d like to go on with your spouse. Be as practical or extravagant as you’d like.

Your Top 10 List might include dates like hiking, watching a movie, or taking a road trip. It could be as bold as skydiving, flying in a helicopter, or taking a hot air balloon ride. Or maybe you’d prefer berry picking, antiquing, or going on a picnic.

Another important tool you should have in your marriage toolbox is a list of Low-Cost Dates.

While the definition of dating your spouse includes quality time, consistency, and intentionality, there’s nothing about how much you have to spend to make it a date.

Having a list of low- or no-cost dates at your fingertips helps you navigate financial obstacles. Cost doesn’t have to be an excuse.

Brainstorm low-cost dates you’d enjoy, such as camping, bowling, frisbee in the park, free concerts, coffee dates, or getting milkshakes and walking around a store together.

Dates don’t have to be elaborate. You can spend intentional time with your spouse by taking a bath together, stargazing on your porch, or making and enjoying a candlelit dinner.

Step 2: Communicate Expectations

The second step in dating your spouse is to communicate expectations.

First, discuss who will plan which dates.

Planning shouldn’t be just one person’s job. You and your spouse both want to feel valued and cherished. Taking turns planning dates is a gift you and your spouse can give each other. Be clear about how you will share responsibility for planning dates.

Second, discuss your expectations for the date itself.

The top thing many people want from their spouse on a date is undivided attention. What can you do to create the opportunity for undivided attention? Perhaps dates need to be a no-phone zone.

Meaningful conversation is also vital for dates. You and your spouse need to discuss more than work and kids. If you need help getting the conversation started, pick up 88 Great Conversation Starters or TableTopics.

Discuss how much you will spend on dates. According to a recent study, married couples spend an average of $130 per month on dates and $54 per date. What is your monthly budget? How will you allocate those funds for dates throughout the month?

Lastly, discuss your expectations for sex. For many married couples, dates and sex go hand-in-hand. Will you plan to have sex before or after your date? Having this conversation in advance will help you avoid disappointment and frustration.

Step 3: Follow Through and Have Fun

The most important part of dating your spouse is to take action.

Talking about going on a date isn’t the same as doing it. Again, dating your spouse requires quality time, consistency, and intentionality.

It’s also supposed to be fun! Dates helped you get to know your spouse and decide to marry them. Now, dates are your way of continuing to learn about your spouse as you grow and change.

Dates are the glue that can help hold you two together.

Resources to Help You Take Action

Being intentional and creative about dating your spouse is a critical success factor in an extraordinary marriage. The Date Night Done Right Guide provides ideas and examples of how to make dates work and create memorable experiences. With instant digital access to this guide, you can begin planning meaningful dates that keep your marriage strong.

Watch the video below to rekindle the spark and restore the connection in your marriage today!

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

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