Dating your husband or wife will be very different from dating a potential husband or wife. Yet it is just as important. When you were single, dating was a time to get away alone, to talk, laugh, and have fun together. You took time to learn more about each other, about your past and your dreams for the future. You gradually felt at ease with each other.

But, you see, even though you’re married, the two of you still need the same thing. You need to get away alone and continue to talk, laugh, and have fun together. You need to learn more about each other, your past and your dreams for the future. You need to feel at ease with each other as you face new challenges together.

That’s why dating shouldn’t stop with marriage. Too often, married couples get settled, caught up in the routine of jobs, church, parenting, and other commitments. Many couples are so busy that they don’t take time to nurture the foundation of their family – their marriage and their relationship with each other. As we know all to well, when that marriage foundation begins to crumble, everything else comes down with it.

Your marriage is your most important relationship after your relationship with God. Your marriage needs nurturing. Like a plant needs water or a car needs an oil change, your marriage needs consistent attention. It needs care and nurture every day; it needs a special “tune-up” once in a while. You need to work at your marriage.

Guys, you wouldn’t think of ignoring your car for a year at a time, so why do you think your wife can go for days or weeks at a time without attention form you? Women, you wouldn’t think of buying a plant and refusing to water it, so why do you think your husband can go for days or weeks at a time without some of his most important needs being met?

Keeping a marriage together and the romance alive takes time. It means making one’s marriage and spouse a priority and setting aside time for only him or her. In other words, it means planning dates on a regular basis.

5 Unforgettable Dates Wives Plan For Their Husbands

Love Need: Spiritual Intimacy

The Great Outdoors: Get away from it all and experience closeness with God. Enjoy your husband’s favorite outdoor activity such as hiking or fishing.

Love Need: Encouragement and Affirmation

A “Steak” Out: Lavish your husband and treat him to a special dinner at the best steak house around.

Love Need: Friendship

A Play Date: Spend time laughing and just having fun. Play in the waves at the beach. Fly a kite. Go sledding. Just play!

Love Need: Sexual Intimacy

Massage, Massage: Help your husband relax with a massage given by you.

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Love Need: Unconditional Love and Acceptance

Getting Cozy with Coffee: Enjoy a cup of cappuccino and spend time getting to know each other in a quiet coffeehouse.

5 Unforgettable Dates Husbands Plan For Their Wives

Love Need: Friendship

Dating Days: Relive your dating days and do something that you enjoyed doing when you were “just friends.”

Love Need: Encouragement and Affirmation

Picnic With a Twist: A great idea for any time of the year! Set up a picnic in your living room. Light some candles, relax on a blanket, and serve up a simple meal.

Love Need: Spiritual Intimacy

Commit a Kidnapping: Steal your wife away for the weekend and deepen your spiritual relationship. Read the Bible and pray together without the distractions of life.

Love Need: Emotional Intimacy and Communication

A Hot Bath and a Cold Dessert: Pamper your wife by allowing her time alone to relax in a bubble bath. When she’s finished her bath, invite her to join you in the bedroom to share her favorite dessert and spend time talking (really).

Love Need: Unconditional Love and Acceptance

Make a Dream Come True: Go all out and surprise your wife with an activity she’s always dreamed of – like a hot air balloon ride.

Copyright © 2002 Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg, used with permission, published by Tyndale House Publishers. Adapted from 40 Unforgettable Dates with Your Mate

Married nearly 30 years, the parents of two married adult children, and grandparents of two, Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg have a unique blend of insight and wisdom that touches people of all ages. Together with Gary’s 25,000 hours of counseling experience and Barbara’s wise counsel and biblical teaching, they are America’s Family Coaches (AFC) — equipping thousands of families across the nation.