great marriage

5 Ways a Great Marriage Still Looks a Lot Like Dating

My wife and I have been married for several decades. I am nowhere near as young as many of you, but our relationship is as vibrant, exciting, stimulating, and, dare I say, “hot” as it ever has been. One of the key “secrets” is our marriage still looks a lot like dating.

Of course, there are ups and downs along the way. One significant turning point was the day we remembered how much fun it is to date. Did we fall in love because we invested so much effort in the relationship? Or did we invest the effort because we were in love? The answer is yes. So we started dating again. Dating is even more fun now that I don’t have to get her back to the dorm before curfew. Yes, it’s a great marriage, and it still looks a lot like dating. Here are 5 ways to make a great marriage by dating.

1. Be intentional about time together.

The key word is “intention.” You have a calendar, so use it. Planning equals anticipation. Planning allows for creativity. Planning says “I do not take us for granted.”

2. Put your own wants/needs second.

Remember when you helped her wash the dishes instead of watching the game? That’s what happens when you are dating. When your wife’s needs, wants, and desires become more important for you than your own, there’s an undeniably positive shift in the chemistry.

3. Continue trying to “win” your spouse.

What is it that attracted her to you in the first place? A lot had to do with your intention to win her over. Be that guy. Be the guy who brings her flowers again, who wears her favorite sweater when you take her to dinner, who takes her for a walk on the beach because you know she loves it.

4. Go out of your way to serve one another.

Married guys who serve their wives demonstrate remarkably effective leadership in the home.

There is a beautiful mutuality to service. When you were dating, you brought her coffee—just how she liked it. You would rub her feet even when yours were tired. You would make her favorite meal and serve her with candlelight. Married guys who serve their wives (like they’re still dating) demonstrate remarkably effective leadership in the home.

5. When making plans, think “us” more than “me.”

Before Rebekah and I married, I worked hard to make sure this amazingly beautiful woman enjoyed being with me. Plans for the weekend always revolved around the relationship. It’s too easy to take a spouse for granted after we marry. Then our plans become less special. So here’s a question: Would she have been interested in marrying a guy so self-centered as we may have become today?

Earn some points: Share this iMOM article with your wife: How to be Your Husband’s Girlfriend.

Sound off: What do you do to make your wife feel special?

Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What did you enjoy the most when we were dating?”