The enemy of a committed relationship is complacency. The antidote: Dating!
The enemy of a great relationship is complacency. It begins so innocently. You forget how attractive, funny or caring your honey is because you’re together all the time. You get wrapped up in your “stuff” and forget to do the little, day-to-day things that make your sweetheart aware of your love. You forget how good life feels because you picked someone amazing and the lottery win of being picked back. Before you know it, you reach the relationship expiration date— the day one of you wakes up and thinks, “What am I doing here?”
The antidote to complacency is dating. Unfortunately, many couples stop dating once the deal is struck. Continuing to date after marriage or committing to a life partnership, however, is critical to keeping the ooh-la-la factor alive IF you do it right. Here’s how:
Set the stage for a great date long before the date begins. Not every date has to end in sex, but it’s sure nice when it does! After all, you already know you're going home to the same bedroom. As I tell my audiences and the couples I coach, foreplay is all day, everyday. It does not begin when her warm body slides up next to his. It begins at breakfast and continues throughout the day. It’s the small gestures, the acts of kindness, the thoughtful, sweet and loving things you do that warm things up emotionally. You see, for great sex you need to stimulate two vital organs—the brain and the heart. Once that happens, you’re ready for the other kind of foreplay! Oh, and don't forget the good night kiss at the door or a little make-out session in the car. Just because you're crossing the threshold together doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little spice-it-up time before you do.
Dress the part. Flash back time: remember how you used to prepare for a date with each other? Ladies, you thought all day about what to wear, you were flossed and glossed gorgeous, smelled heavenly, and felt sassy. Guys, you were showered and shaved, smelled great, wore nice clothes, and had the car washed. Do it again. Get dressed up for each other! Lookin’ hot casts a magic spell of deliciousness.
Find a quiet space. Dating your mate is so much more than dinner, the same old conversation, and a movie where you can’t talk at all. It’s about being together. You need to turn off the noise so you can turn on one another. Sometimes that means literally going to a quiet place where you can hear each other—an intimate restaurant, a bench by the ocean, or even the back seat of your car. And, it always means turning off the noise in your head and paying attention to your sweetie whether you’re talking ‘til dawn or dancing ‘til dawn.
Leave the grind behind. Nix the crap you usually talk about—this is not the time to talk about your kid’s grades, the jerk at work, or the home repairs that need to be done. This is the time to talk about the stuff you used to talk about when you were first dating. If necessary, plan ahead by making a list of topics. Be an attentive listener. Ask questions. A nod of your head, the touch of your hand, laughter or a smile, show that you are fully engaged and present. The best conversations, the ones where you learn about your sweetheart (and sometimes about yourself), happen only when all the background static is silent.
Remember, this is a date. It’s your time to be fun, relaxed, flirty and sexy with the person you love and adore. Keep it sweet and don’t forget dessert!
Shela Dean is a Relationship Coach, Speaker and Amazon Bestselling Author of Frequent Foreplay Miles, Your Ticket to Total Intimacy. She is also the author of the popular Everyday Foreplay blog. Subscribe today!