Even though I've been married for 16+ years now, I'm still dating. That's right... I'm a married man who is committed to dating. Now before there is grave confusion and concern, I'm only interested in dating one woman and that is my wife. We've never done this perfectly, but I am a firm believer that every married couple needs to "date" as life and the kids will run you ragged which in turn can cause a couple to put less than their best effort into their marriage.
That's why I'm so excited about getting away with Susan for three days beginning tomorrow. For both the health and sanity of our marriage, we are dropping our kids off at school and screeching the tires out of the parking lot to head off to Michigan for a quick long weekend with another couple. I recognize that some people may view this as anything but loving behavior towards my children, but let's get honest for a moment...
First, my kids like any one's kids will run you to the point of exhaustion between school, activities, family time, sleepless nights, sickness etc... At some point, a husband and a wife must look at each other and say "I love these kids but we need some us time for the health and sanity of our marriage." It still breaks my heart to leave my kids for a few days as I know they would love to hang out with Susan and I on this road trip, but that doesn't give us the time needed to invest into one another and our marriage.
Secondly, there is coming a day when Susan and I will be emptynesters in the not too distant future. I'm committed to not being one of those couples who look at one another when the noise and dust settle in a quiet empty home wondering who that other person is. I want to spend a lifetime getting to know and love my wife as she is the one I committed myself to until death do us part. Sure the kids will always be a huge part of our lives, but they will one day move on and start their own life with their own spouse and family. When I turn 90 and need someone wiping the drool from my face, I better be sure I've loved my wife to the best of my ability or I'm going to have chapped lips from all the wet drool sitting on my face.
Thirdly, I'm a firm believer that couples who commit to dating are far less likely to stray. (That's a kind word for cheat, affair, adultery etc...) I'm convinced that it would be far harder for me to ever cheat on my wife if I'm still passionately and intentionally pursuing her. One of the things I love when we get away together is that wherever we go we hold hands like we did when dating and there's lots of kissing. There's no kids breaking in or dog to be walked or kids going ewww when we kiss. Just me and my wife strolling together hand in hand and kissing like young lovers the whole way.
Finally, we have learned that it's much easier to love and not grow frustrated with our kids and the overall pace of life if we take time to get away together from it all. Times of refreshment as a married couple is vital to keeping things from spinning out of control within the home.
So I'm glad to still be dating... my wife!!!