A friend recently asked me the following questions:
“What do you do for fun as a couple? What do you and Kristen like to do together?”
I muttered a few lame responses about how we like to read and watch college football (just a few weeks until kickoff!!). And I shared that writing was a fun activity for me and that we both liked to do stuff with our kids.
I didn’t lie, but my answer felt weak to me. Yes, I like to read and write, and yes, we like to do stuff with our kids. And YES, we love to watch college football. But are those activities really FUN?
If I’m honest, at times it feels like we’ve lost the relational intimacy in our marriage. We’ve lost that lovin’ feeling!
After a brief hiatus from my series on marital intimacy, today I resume the series. So far we’ve discussed why couples struggle with intimacy in general, the importance of spiritual intimacy, and introduced the concept of emotional intimacy. Today we discuss relational intimacy.
What is Intimacy?
Marital intimacy can be defined as knowing our spouse and being fully known by them without a fear of rejection. One of the keys to growing in intimacy is to further develop your friendship and companionship by growing your relationship.
I often hear couples say, “We still love each other, but things seem different than when we said “I do.” You might say, as Maverick so famously said, “We’ve lost that lovin’ feeling.”
What happens between the joyful wedding day and the mundane daily existence of married life, filled with bills, diapers, and endless decisions about schedule, laundry, and dinner? Why do so many couples seem so happy on their wedding day and so joyless or bored all the days after?
Much of the problem comes from a lack of romantic pursuit and relational intimacy. One of the areas where couples “lose that loving feeling” is in dating and romance. We need to recapture the fun and enjoyment of marriage. In Ecclesiastes 9:9 Solomon writes, “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun.”
I’ve written several times in the past about the importance of dating your spouse but in this new post I share a few lessons I’m currently learning about dating your spouse. In the next part of the series I’ll share a bunch of fun ideas I recently learned from others.
5 Ways to Help You NOT Lose that Lovin’ Feeling
1. Try something unique or different.
Kristen and I bought tickets for the Dallas Summer Musical series two summers ago. We get tickets for seven different shows every year. Over the last two years we’ve seen Les Miserables, Aladdin, Lion King, Hamilton, and many more. We love having seven scheduled dates on the calendar and it’s definitely different than the usual dinner and a movie.
Question: What have you done for date night that is unique or different?
2. Redefine a date.
We often think of a date exclusively as a date that takes place at night. While that is certainly the most common date for most couples, you have so many other options. Our favorite is the date day. You can read more about date days in my post, “One of the Best Ways to Use a Vacation Day.”
Question: Talk together about some ways you can date and romance each other outside of the typical date night.
3. Do the things you did in the beginning.
When couples date and move towards marriage, they take the time to create fun in their relationship. They try new activities, eat at unique restaurants, and take time to engage each other in conversation. Recapture some of that premarried glory and remember why you got married in the first place!
Question: Think back to when you first started dating. What were some of the fun activities you did together?
4. Fight boredom in marriage.
In his book Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them, Dave Carder shares what couples who have had affairs want other couples to know. Through interviews with couples who’ve had affairs, Carder shares a few consistent patterns seen in unfaithful couples. One of the most common characteristics is that the relationship is marked by boredom and a lack of fun. That scares the you know what out of me. I don’t want our marriage to be boring, and I don’t want Kristen to have to look for fun outside our relationship.
Question: What can you do to create more fun in your marriage so that you and your spouse don’t have to look elsewhere?
5. Learn from others.
Read a book like Fun Loving You, by Ted Cunningham to help you think through ways to grow in relational intimacy. Listen to the podcast episode Is Having Fun in Your Marriage Extra or Essential, by my friend Ted Lowe and MarriedPeople.
Question: Who can you and your spouse learn from when it comes to having a great marriage? Is there a book you can read, podcast to listen to, or a couple you can meet with to learn from?
I need to be careful I don’t paint the wrong picture because it’s not all doom and gloom. Not even close, as our marriage is a great one. But, I do believe we can take some ground in having more fun in our marriage. Fun in marriage helps create the kind of relationship where you can know your spouse, be known by them, and not fear rejection.
What’s fun for you and your significant other? Share your answer(s) below, on Facebook, or on Instagram.