Back To The Basics #romanticalrebel
We’d been dating for several months… Movie nights, putt-putt challenges, and dinners at nice restaurants were some of our regulars. He would be clean-shaven and I would be all dolled up. It’s what you do when you’re trying to impress the other. Love notes were written, the occasional gift or bouquet of flowers was exchanged, and deep conversations never ceased. It was so fun – just him and me.
Time passed and there I was with a ring on my finger and a wedding planner binder in my lap. We were sitting in the car, about to head out from my parent’s house, when my mom popped her head in the window. I’ll never forget that moment –she said something like, “Just remember, when you get married and have kids, don’t ever stop loving each other the most. At times it’ll be easy to love your kids more, but don’t.”
“Okaaaay, mom,” I thought. I probably even rolled my eyes at the randomness of her timing. We were months away from our wedding and years away from kids, so yeah… completely out of left field. But that 5-second piece of wisdom she threw at us that day totally stuck with me. It didn’t entirely make sense at the time but I chewed on it and over the years it’s become one of my most prized nuggets of wisdom.
If you have kids, you may be able to relate... Our cute babies are born and they’re so yummy to hold and fun to play with and all those snuggles and giggles, and ohhhh how tiring it is all at the same time. Before we know it, we may have inadvertently put our spouse on the backburner. That once fun, intimate relationship has now become more of what feels like a roommate-situation. Conversations are few and far between, romance is a thing of the past and before long, you just co-exist.
Regardless if you have kids or not, its easy to fall out of love because its easier to just not work at it. Gordon Hinckley says, “A good marriage requires time. It requires effort. You have to work at it. You have to cultivate it. You have to forgive and forget. You have to be absolutely loyal one to another.”
Dustin and I don’t have the perfect marriage, but we definitely have a good one. We put a lot of effort into it, we forgive and we’re loyal. It’s not always easy but it’s absolutely worth it. If I could offer any nugget, in addition to my mother’s wisdom, I would encourage couples to never stop dating their spouse. Remember those dating years? … the way we worked to impress the other, the time we took to show them we cared, the interest and desire we had to get to know them on a deeper level? So take your relationship back to the basics --- and ask them out on a date.
Romantical Rebel Date Ideas:
- Make a list of local restaurants that you haven’t been to and throw those in a jar. For dinner dates, pick one out of the jar and try it out. Make it a bit more fun and play “food critics”
- Grab a blanket and some pillows and snuggle up outside under the stars after the kids go to bed- whisper your wishes to each other
- Grab a glass of wine and a sketchpad. Take turns making sketches of each other
- Find out what your spouse’s dream car is and surprise them by taking them to the dealership just to test-drive it for fun
- Go to the bookstore, head for the travel section and plan out your dream vacation together
- Set up a late-night picnic in your room (no phones, no lights, no television) with just candles, romantic music, and some yummy treats
- Plan to play hooky from work together and do something special while the kids are in school (amusement park, hot-body yoga, spa day, etc)
- Get crazy bold! Pack a few essentials and head to the airport. When you get there, buy the cheapest, soonest departing flight to anywhere and head there for the weekend
- Download the Geocache app and go on a “treasure” hunt together
- Rent a movie you’ve never seen before, set it on mute and improvise the dialogue together
- Go on a double date and head for the thrift store. With a budget of $10 each, pick out a hilarious outfit for your spouse- the funnier, the better! Have everyone get changed into their new clothes and head to a fancy restaurant
- Pretend you’ve never met, then try out pick-up lines in a swanky bar and pretend they worked. Kick it up a notch by heading to a snazzy hotel for the night
- Go for a mystery drive. Take directions from the blindfolded passenger and see where you end up
- Reenact a favorite date night from your relationship
I hope these date ideas sparked some creativity and a desire to reconnect with your spouse, and I pray these nuggets bless you and your marriage as they did for us. I’m so thankful my mom popped her head in our car to drop that truth-bomb all those years ago. Who knows what my marriage would look like today had I not been encouraged to love him the most.
BY ALANA BOOKHOUT, REBEL ARTISAN & YOUNG LIVING DIAMOND LEADER