Marital bliss is all about sharing each other’s happiness…
Thriving couples genuinely enjoy spending time together. They develop meaningful traditions and rituals characterized by laughter and playfulness. They schedule regular date nights and outings, cultivate common hobbies, and undertake shared adventures. They don’t just live under the same roof and sleep in the same bed. Instead, they are intentional about building a blended life upon a foundation of common values, interests, and goals.
This does not mean, of course, that these husbands and wives spend all of their time in each other’s company. Vibrant relationships require breathing space. They need the ebb and flow of independence and togetherness. A marriage, as the union between a man and a woman, can only be as strong as the two people who constitute it. Our purpose here is to underscore the thought that couples who stay together tend to be couples who are able to connect by way of a wealth of shared experiences and passions. There are four critical ingredients to the kind of togetherness that enables a marriage to thrive:
Regularity. Opportunities to enjoy one another’s company must not be few and far between. On the contrary, they have to be part of the fabric of a couple’s life. This is why it’s so important to plan regular outings and date nights and to be intentional about doing whatever it takes – for example, arranging for babysitters or carving time out of busy work schedules – to make sure these engagements are faithfully kept.
Variety. While scheduled times together must be part of a couple’s routine, they should not for this reason be mediocre or boring, nor should they be allowed to fall into a pattern of bland predictability. Even if it means something as simple as eating at a different restaurant or going to a different movie theatre every week, it’s important to spice things up by changing the pattern.
Adventure. Variety in turn introduces a touch of adventure and excitement into the mix. Remember, an outing doesn’t have to be big, dramatic, risky, or outlandish in order to be adventurous. It simply has to include an element of the new, the unusual, or the unexpected. As we’ve already suggested, this can be accomplished in small and subtle ways. The idea is to keep yourselves just a little bit off balance so that you can benefit from the enriching experience of reacting to new things together.
Fun. Finally, when date nights are adventurous and exciting, even in understated ways, they’re also fun. This is essential. If you think that fun is just for kids, think again. Couples who have fun together strengthen the bonds that unite them without even realizing what they’re doing. In a hundred different ways, they create powerful incentives to stick together and keep on coming back for more.
Try This! Make time for fun dates by doing something out of the ordinary! Take this time to focus on one another and take advantage of these dates to keep the romance alive! For some useful date ideas, visit: bit.ly/DateIdeas14. This article was published with permission from Focus on the Family Malaysia. If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources at: www.family.org.my.