Pastor Phil Ayres from Kingdomcity joins Jeziel in the studio to share wisdom on marriage and relationships. Phil has a passion for growing strong families, and is a goldmine of knowledge and advice. Phil says his passion stems from enduring many difficult years of marriage. After weathering the storm, his marriage is now stronger than ever, and he loves to share his expertise on marriage, relationships, and great dates.
Prior to marriage, dating is where it’s at. The courting process, finding “the one”, getting to know each other on dates, making memories. But after you’re married… You’re kinda done right? Not even a little bit! You can still go on dates, in fact, you might find they’re even better.
So what’s the point of going on dates after you’re married?
Well, you’ll find that dating keeps your romance alive. That’s a pretty generic statement, but if you think about it, dating is what you were doing when you fell in love, so why not continue that? Additionally, it helps to set your priority as lovers, as a couple. Whatever other priorities you might have picked up will find their rightful place. It’ll also recharge your emotional batteries, and breaks up any unhealthy routines you might have fallen into.
How many dates should we be going on?
This one is a bit harder to answer, because it does vary a bit from couple to couple. However, a joint study by the Marriage Foundation and the University of Lincoln in the UK found that couple who had a date night once a month had a much higher chance of staying together. Now, you might be thinking “well good for them, but I’ve got kids!” As it happens, every couple in the study had at least one child, so if they can, you can too!
But wait just a minute there. From those stats you may be thinking “well the more the merrier right? More date nights is more better?” You’d actually be incorrect there. The study found that anything more than once a month is too much, and anything less isn’t enough. Having a good, comprehensive date night too often introduces stresses about planning, budgeting for a babysitter, and having to put off household tasks. So, go all out once a month, but maybe not more than that.
What makes a great date?
Well, there’s no one size fits all here. You and your spouse might love a movie and a meal, but your friends might prefer rock climbing and a drink. So here’s a great checklist to see how your ideas are stacking up:
- Agree on a budget. No matter if it’s $20 or $200, make sure you’re expecting the same thing.
- Reflect on the past. What have you done together in the past that worked? Maybe try that again.
- Feed the need. You probably know Dr Gary Chapman’s love languages, so figure out which of those you fit, and what sort of date works for that.
- Set the rhythm. While we know monthly is best, work on blocking out your time on a regular schedule. Maybe the first Monday of every month, or something like that.
- Create mystery. Don’t be afraid to surprise each other! Plan a trip or take a note of something they’d like to try.
- Share the load. Take turns to organise dates. Things will get old pretty fast if the same person is always organising things.
- Consider leaving your phone at home. If you can, go old school and focus on each other.
- Dress up and make a night of it. If it fits the activity, get your glad-rags on and be your best selves!
For all of Ps. Phil’s great tips, check out the podcast below: