Dating is cheaper than couples counseling – not to mention divorce.
Nearly ten years ago my husband and I decided to trade in our love of performing on the stage together for our desire to start a family. Onstage and off, we were partners. We coached each other through auditions, ran lines with each other, and enjoyed many curtain calls together— side by side. However, as much as we loved performing together, we eventually became burnt out and jumped into a new production:
Partners in PARENTING.
Parenting allowed us to fall in love all over again in a different partnership capacity. We enjoyed watching each other transition into caretakers, nurturers, providers and leaders. Whether growing or grappling, we found passion and progress in this new field of parenting.
However, we seemed to lose our dating groove soon after delivering our first bundle of joy…
A Different Kind of “Burn Out”
Parenthood tested our limits, our sanity and our marriage on more than one occasion— as was to be expected. The experts told us that planning an occasional “date night” would rekindle the romance and keep our marriage healthy and thriving. Dating made sense in theory, but with the busy lives we had, it often felt like “dating” was just an added CHORE.
Expensive and time consuming, we found ourselves more concerned with the quantity of the dinner bill than with the quality of time we intended to have together. Babysitters, expensive dinners and kiddy melt downs (“Mommy, please don’t go!”) can make you think the date isn’t worth the daunt.
DATING without the DISTRESS
Save your babysitting dollars and dine in… then BOOGIE AFTER BEDTIME! Once the kids are nicely tucked in, the house becomes your playground.
1. Go back to what brought you together.
After 2 months of rehearsing our favorite show and performing for 2 weekends, my husband and I agree that sharing the stage together beats any date night. Our kids are finally at an age where they can entertain themselves in the green room while Mommy and Daddy “play” characters on the stage, but next time we won’t wait 10 years. For us, opening a bottle of wine and singing along to our favorite Broadway musical soundtrack is a romantic night indeed. For you it could be listening to the music of a favorite concert band together, watching a movie you enjoyed during those early dating years, or cooking up a favorite meal together.
2. Find a new way to PLAY.
Now that you have kids…your house is filled with TOYS. Why not put the kids to bed and reserve a night of “play” for the grown-ups? Jump on your backyard trampoline, play video games or build Legos. It may surprise you how much fun it can be to sink a battle ship, spend fake money or compete in a round of Twister. Nothing is more romantic that being kids together again– without the actual kids.
3. Creative Questions for Quality Conversations
Try spicing up the conversation by communicating in an unconventional way. You may even learn a thing or two about one another that you never knew before! Play the not-so-newlywed game and find out which spouse knows more about the other as you take turns answering questions about each other –OR– make it philosophical by asking each other thought provoking questions and hypotheticals.
On Today’s Show…
We’ll share even more ideas for stay-at-home dating, and tell you WHY it is so necessary to keep dating your spouse. Joining us today are the married dating experts, Doctors Janelle and Rob Alex — here to help you parents rekindle your partnership through romance! Experts in relationship and intimacy dynamics, Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D. are mentoring couples around the globe. They recently released their new book, Richer Together: Secrets for Working, Living and Loving Side-by-Side. Passionate about married dating, Rob and Janelle are obliterating long-standing relationships myths.
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