The Sweet Christian Bride

Dating for a New Marriage

by admin on February 7, 2013 in Logistics, Relationship with No Comments

At our Sunday morning Young Marrieds’ group, I once heard a couple talk about having ten different marriages. At first I gasped, but as they described their marriages, it began to click. They were married to each other ten different times and not technically, but relationally speaking.

With each transition into a new life stage or into a new season of character development, they had learned how to be married to each other all over again with the new-found challenges or freedoms. And the best part was, they loved it! Their married life together was far from predictable or stale; it was an adventure.

“We got to date each other ten different times!” they said. Sometimes they liked each other and sometimes they didn’t, but each time they were committed to re-learning how to grow with each other, how to communicate with one another, and how to romance each other.

As I’m hearing friends who have had their first child say, “It’s just not the same anymore,” I’ve intentionally tucked this couple’s perspective away in my own marriage tool box for when that life stage comes for me. And though my own marriage duration is still relatively short, I can already see the value of this “new marriage” perspective in my relationship with Chris.

People kept telling Chris and me during our engagement period to remember to set time aside for each other in the midst of the planning. It was invaluable wisdom.

Chris and I were counting down the timeline, feeling the pressure of getting the moving parts to align. It only made sense that we would need to sacrifice our time now, remembering it was just for a season, and wait until the wedding was over to “waste” time together once again.

Even with our families, it seemed like every gathering was focused on the wedding. We all valued efficiency, so we naturally seized every moment we were together as an opportunity to get something done for the wedding.

But the engagement season is the first major opportunity in which couples get to date their significant others all over again. It’s probably the first time that they have worked together on a shared goal of such grand scale, which means they are likely learning each other’s stress languages at the same time that they are dreaming together.

That combination of “firsts” can really throw a couple off. The “I thought you knew me” and “If you really loved me…” phrases start coming out and this happily-ever-after life that both people yearned for is challenged by a season of logistics and compromised expectations.

What we forget is that this person who is getting wrapped up in all our to-do lists is the love of our lives! All of the stressful details are for the purpose of living together forever with him, our best friend. What a joy!

Remembering to date each other in this season of your lives will help preserve your relationship while you are both caught in wedding logistics. It will keep you in the present while you are both concentrating on a future date. And if ugliness does emerge from one of you during the wedding planning, dating each other will help you remember who it is that you have chosen to marry.

Intentionally dating during the wedding planning period is kind of like tithing. People say that they will start tithing when they have more money, but they don’t. When people are faithful in the little, they will be faithful in the big.

Giving time to date your fiancé—without wedding talk—even when you don’t have any extra time to give will build healthy relational patterns for you to fall back on in other “new marriage” seasons of your lives.

Photo ©Kim Hernando, Super Kimagery Photography, featuring Marc and Julie’s wedding

Article was originally published o February 14, 2011.

By Lindsay

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