It’s an odd experience, sitting across from your wife, trying to impress her with stories she already knows (which means she knows you’re exaggerating). Kara and I had been married for two years, and I was asking her about things I already knew, like where she grew up and what her hobbies were. Now married, we were having our second first date, and just like our very first first-date, it was a little awkward, but still a ton of fun.
Just a few days earlier Kara and I were discussing our marriage and she mentioned missing the newness that we had while dating and early in marriage. Back then, everything was an adventure because of everything’s novelty, but now it seemed like we were just going along, next to each other but not really engaged with each other. There was a deeper love now, to be sure, but the spice was missing. And that’s when I thought of having another first date. Just like our original first date, it was my job to win her over and I came prepared. I picked her up with flowers in hand, drove around the block to my house (our imagination had to do some work here), and I cooked a recipe that she knew was one of about three meals I can handle. We had a great time!
Kara was on to something when she asked for newness in our marriage. Research indicates that novelty is an important ingredient to marital satisfaction, as are regular date nights. The challenge is keeping them a priority in marriage. All of us are creatures of habit, we tend to get into routines and we can forget about our need to spice things up. We’re more comfortable staying within our daily habits because we know them, they’re not risky. Even though we tend to like routine, we also like adventure, and that’s where the importance of date nights comes in.
Date nights help us get out of the daily grind, they remind us that marriage doesn’t destroy novelty, but instead marriage gives you a companion to face new experiences with. Trying new things stretches us, it helps us to grow, and marriage is all about growing together. Kara and I have found that some of our greatest memories are from activities that we weren’t totally prepared for, like ball room dancing lessons, or an exotic meal. I love new experiences, and so for me this is one of the greatest gifts of marriage. For every outlandish idea I have, I know there will be someone at my side exploring with me!
What are some of the adventures you’ve gone on with your significant other? Do you think marriage helps build novelty, or destroys it?