Because Collier and I understand the gold mine we stumbled upon in marriage we’re always looking for ways to get closer and grow and get to know each other more (because newsflash, getting married doesn’t automatically mean you know every last detail about your spouse-shocking, right!?). That being said we decided to make a couple changes in our relationship this last year that in turn completely changed our marriage. That’s a big statement, I know, but I really mean it. Here’s what we did….
1. We made our bedroom a no-phone zone and an all-rest zone.
Let me tell you something. Pillow talk is my favorite kind of talk. The best, sweetest, most random conversations happen right before we fall asleep. For some reason it’s always the time when funny “remember when” memories come to mind and it’s always the time when the slap-happy sets in. At the end of a long day or a long week, this down time is exactly what our souls need. Everything is quiet, the world is asleep, and it’s just the two of us. It’s those moments that I’m always reminded that it’s him and I taking on the world together.
When our phones are bedside, we’re distracted. When our phones are the first and last thing on our minds in a day we’re focused on what’s going on in other people’s lives instead of focusing on our own. We realized we were laying next to each other in complete silence just staring at our phones like zombies until we couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore rather than being together and resting together. We knew this wasn’t good for us individually and definitely not good for our relationship.
So we did something about it. We brought out the OG alarm clock from college. Gasp, I know, you forgot these even exist anymore. We put our chargers in a separate room and we leave our phones there before we shut down for the night. Once they’re on the chargers we forget about them until the next day. This has made our nights and mornings completely different because we’re choosing to set boundaries on flooding our brains with other people’s lives. Aside from creating space to be present together this has helped us create routines before bed as well as when we wake up and stick to them. Everything we have access to in terms of social media is too much to keep up with and keeping phones outside of our bedroom has strengthened us in more ways than we anticipated.
2. We made date nights priority.
You’ve heard the saying, “date your spouse”. I never understood that before I got married. How can you think about anything other than dating each other? How can you think about anything other than the adventures and dinner dates and brunch hangs and the fun things we’re going to do together? Well I quickly realized that one of the incredible things about marriage is having someone to do regular, mundane, day-to-day life with. You have a teammate not only for the exciting things but also for the not so exciting things like laundry and getting the car serviced and real-life adult things. As much as the adventures and quality time together is fun, if we aren’t intentional it can easily take a back seat to life.
Collier and I decided to carve time out every week to date each other. Yes, that means I leave my phone in the car and spend real quality time with Coll. Every date looks different and only follows one requirement- that we spend quality time together talking and getting to know each other. It sounds crazy but getting married doesn’t automatically make you know every single thing about your person. We’re constantly growing and changing and even learning things that have been true about the other forever but we just hadn’t discovered it yet. Some weeks we go all out and do that Tuesday night big but a lot of times we opt for coffee and a walk at our favorite spot near town on a quiet Saturday morning. Making room for dates in your bank account and on your calendar is one of the best, if not the best, investments for your relationship.
What I’m saying is that you don’t have to put pressure on this. Pursue your person and create time to let them know how much you still LIKE them. Loving is the easy part. I promised to love C forever, but to like him 100% of the time!? That’s the real challenge (that’s a blog for another day) and getting that fun time in together every week reminds you of all the things you like about your spouse and keeps the focus where it should be!
These two changes seem small and simple but it's the little things that make up the big things, right?
I always love to hear from you! What practices have you put in place that have changed your relationship? Did anything you read resonate or surprise you?
Until next time,