How to Get Away with Dating While You’re Married
Being that we were among the first to get married in our friend group of twentysomethings, there were a lot of questions around how we were going to stay “young hip and in the it crowd”. It is a common misconception that when you marry young you’ve made a mistake, cut your dating years short, and/or aren’t experienced enough in the dating pool to really know what you want/need in a spouse. WRONG! Being married as a twentysomething is like waking up to a different person on frequent enough basis to keep things interesting! Seriously, in your twenties you change so much, you’re growing in new areas, discovering new passions and trying out different life paths so often your Mother worries about asking you, “How’s work?”, because she can’t keep up with the new jobs, career paths, and hobbies! Or maybe that’s just my Mom? *deep interpersonal reflection happening…
Either way when you and your spouse are both going through these changes it makes you feel as if you aren’t the only one. It becomes the normal in your house and we use every new growth as an opportunity to celebrate and date! So when people stigmatize marriage as the prime murder suspect for dating I feel the need to reeducate them. Your married dating life is what you and your spouse make it! Here are some ways Trice and I get away with dating while keeping our budget, friends, time and marriage happy!
We capitalize on new hobbies.
Trice and I are both always starting another side hustle because hobbies are our thing and so is serial entrepreneurship. She recently got obsessed with forging and making knives. Cool, right? So we found a show on the History channel called Forged in Fire and binge watched 2 seasons before catching up to the current season! Staycations are kinda our thing, so these dates were a no brainer for us! Another hobby we just started is kickboxing. We signed up on Groupon for 30 classes for $20! The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays but when we first started Trice almost never made it to both with her work schedule. So a gym date schedule was born! Every Tuesday Trice meets me on the mats to be my sparring partner. This is by far one of our favorite date nights because it allows us to be active together, supports a healthy competitive spirit and we get to try to impress one another with our new moves!
We make new traditions.
Dates don’t always have to involve money, going out somewhere, or even changing your clothes. December 2016 was the beginning of a lifelong tournament of Phase 10 for the Rias-Thompson household. We bought the playing cards on sale for $4 but even at regular prices the cards are super inexpensive. We started a 39 game tournament that turned into a “I lost the tournament, so let’s just keeping playing forever” type of arrangement. At first we would only play at home at our kitchen table, then we realized we could easily pack up the cards and go to a local coffee house or restaurant. We would eat brunch while playing Phase 10 looking and truly feeling like our marriage was the greatest friendship ever made.
We redefine ‘Date Night’.
Our first date was a trip to a car wash and a taco truck in the parking lot of a liquor store. The car wash was closed and the tacos were trash BUT we talked all night about food, music, movies, college and life goals. It was great. Little did we know that that first date would become the foundation of how we would perceive life together years later. Our date nights are almost never at a fancy restaurant and most times casual doesn’t even describe our attire. I mean c’mon we go to White Castle’s every Valentine’s Day in our pjs, we are so chill, we’re penguins. We’ve been on dates in the parking lot of Gordman’s eating Culver’s and Sonic at the same time while watching a tornado form. That same night we had a full blown staycation in our bathroom equipped with a six pack, fluffy stuff, kitten entertainment and snacks because said tornado touched down 10 miles away from our apartment.
Your dating life changes as much as you want it to once you get married but it all begins with your perception of what dating is and what a successful date looks like. For us a successful date is both of us having fun interacting together. ‘Date Night’ while being married is what you and your spouse make it. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, it just takes the two of you wanting to hangout and have fun with one another. We do a great job of not letting others decide what a date looks like for us and it works! So don’t let the societal fear of being “tied down” discourage you from a healthy and active dating life, and that goes for if you’re already married or thinking about taking that next step. *wink,wink