This episode is all about dating in your marriage. Often times when we get married that's the thing that gets pushed aside because of our busy lives. But it's vitally important if we want to keep our relationship strong and growing.
We'll discuss three key aspects about dating:
We'll also talk about the value of play and the five things it gives you as a couple:
If you want to incorporate dating into your marriage, follow these three steps:
DATING IN MARRIAGE
By Jason & Tori Benham
So we're talking about dating in marriage and, uh, Tori and I like to date, right. That's right. We love dating. Listen, I got three, three points I want to make about dating and then three keys on what we can do to help increase our date life. How about that? Let's hear it. Sound good. Let's start with a joke.
Okay. I like it value added. Okay. So this one is from my sister-in-law Laurie Behnam drum roll, please. This one's great. It's a Bible joke too, which is even better. What kind of man was Boaz before he got married? I have no idea. Ruthless. Oh, okay. Boaz and Ruth Good rule is not. That was great. Okay. Good job, Laurie, do you have another one?
Um, okay. My wife claim, my wife claims that a man in camouflage is really sick. I just don't see it.
I like that one a little better because you find that on your own. I did. Yep. Lori's was much cleaner. Now you told the joke last week. Um, what, what was the will Smith joke? I think you told it last week. Oh yeah. There, there can be a hundred people in a room and 99. Won't slap you. But one. Oh, yeah. That's will Smith.
I like that. Okay. So we talked dating and marriage dating and marriage because I think this is an important topic. I think a lot of times in marriage, you know, we, before we get married, we date, we have this great dating life and then we get engaged and then we say, I do. And once we say I do. You know, maybe dating happens before you have kids, but once you have kids and they get busy, you get soccer and basketball and baseball and all that stuff.
And in church, I mean, God forbid you end up going somewhere where the church has so many programs. You don't have time for each other, but you, you end up so busy that you forget, like, Hey, we need to be dating each other. Yeah. I think, you know, for us and in our relationship, Um, and during our dating years, it was a long-term relationship.
Long-term a long distance relationship. And so our dating, um, times were like kind of epic. Like you were like planning it and the whole time you were. You know, the whole week or the before or months before it was like all we thought about. And so for us, we got married. We're like, oh, there was only one way for us.
And it was down
your dad plummeted. Yeah. Your dad was pretty wise though. He wanted me to move to Torrington and work for a little bit, live somewhere and get into a regular routine with you. And we did that for a few months, but we still like dated all the time. I mean, it was awesome. And I think, you know, looking back, it was just, we were so focused on one another getting to know one another, and then, you know, we got married in life hits and it was kind of like this shift of focus for us more than anything else.
Like you were just, okay, I focused on you. I focused on getting you, pursuing you. And now, now my gaze is somewhere else. It's pursuing a career. Yeah. And, um, so for us it's been just a matter of, are we get, are we going to choose to focus again? Yeah. And I'd really do think, especially in that first year of marriage before you have kids, if you're not dating or if you're, you're doing it sporadically, it's honestly, because of laziness, it's like, you're so busy and then you're both thinking, oh, we should, we should go out.
Uh, but you know what? Let's just stay in order in. And you know, that's a form of. Yeah. You know, but, but going out, getting dressed up every now and then doing stuff, it's good because you did that before marriage. Now, remember the key, if you've listened to our podcast, I forget which one it was, but it was one of the first ones that we did where we talk about how our love had kind of grown a little, not stale, not cold, but just not, you know, fiery hot.
And it was because we just kind of let it get there if you want. To get that love back and to keep your love strong, you got to do the things that you did before you got married in order to stay married and to stay happy and to keep your love burning and hot. And so that's that remember repent, redo, right.
You know, remember what you used to do, repent for not doing anymore and redo the things you did at first. Yeah. So we did that, but. I think one of the most important things that you can do is not let laziness creep in and go, oh yeah, you know, we had this plan, we're going to do it now. Let's just not, let's not go out because you, you honestly can get very lazy, but this the same thing with your own physical body, it's the same thing with your thinking.
You can get lazy and you will in marriage. So there's three things that we want to mention real quick about dating. And then we'll look at each one of these. Okay. You're ready to her. I'm ready. I know you don't know. But I'm going to have you explain all of them, even though you don't know what they are.
I'm on the edge of my seat. Okay. So here, here they are. Uh, dating and marriage dating is about discovery. Dating is about connection and dating is about. Yeah, that's good. Those three things. So it's discovery connection dreaming. Now, if you look at these back before you got married and you dated your spouse, or your soon to be spouse, you did all those things, right.
You were on an endless pursuit for discovery. You were all about connecting and you are all about dreaming. Yeah. So looking at discovery, um, when you think about discovery, it makes me think about how God, um, you've got infinity and intercity E. God is infinity, which is you can't ever get to the limits and God has also eternity.
So like infinity is a microscope. Okay. That no matter how deep down you can get into looking at an organism through a microscope, it just keeps getting greater and greater. There's more complexity, more and more and more powerful. The microscope is the more complexity you see. So you never really get to the bottom of it.
And then eternity is like a telescope it's looking out and no matter how far out we look, there's more galaxies. So we've got microscope and we've got telescope. That's how God is in his nature. We're made in God's image. And if we're made in God's image, we have the same nature inside of us, which means our spouse.
Um, needs to continually look into our life to learn more about us, and we need to continue to look into their lives to learn more about them. So microscopically, we keep digging and digging and learning more and learning more and learning more because it's about discovery telescopic. It's like, there's so much more that we can accomplish together.
And there's so much more in you that God wants to do through you. And those types of things. Like we don't want to limit our spouse. And I think. Puts us in a situation where we can be curious about each other. Yeah. Continue to be curious. So when we go out for dinner, it's like, let's, let's have some deep combo here.
Yeah. You know, no small talk. Let's keep digging. It's so funny you say that because I took Allie out to, um, to ease this amazing sushi place that's um, in Davidson or no Huntersville anyways, for you, local people ease is best sushi around it is. And I took Allie and there was this couple, they were older.
They were like older than us. And they were clearly on the first date. And. Just asking we and Alec, we couldn't get more quiet because we're trying to hear what they were talking about. It was so interesting. I mean, we, at first we were just crushing our sushi and not wanting to talk. And then I'm like, are you listening to this restaurant?
That'd be so paranoid. Sweet. It was like a new day. It wasn't like juicy. It was just like, oh my they're asking so many questions. Yeah. And what in the guy was telling him, like on there, it was clearly their first date because I could tell by the questions and he was even talking about his. Um, mom and dad and their relationship.
And it was, yeah, it was really interesting, but I was like, wow, like they have, sorry, I didn't mean to kick the chair five times. Jason looked at me like shut, shut. Um, but yeah, it was just, it made me think of how inquisitive we are at the beginning of our relationship. We're so curious. And, and then somehow, or other.
Lose that curiosity, if we're not intentional, it's honestly, it's relational laziness. It's the same way that you graduate high school or college at a certain way. You feel really good. And then 20 years later, you're not even close to that. Yeah. There, there comes a point. Now, granted, some people have, you know, sickness, illness, disease, whatever, you know, For most of us during that 20 year period, at some point you made a decision, I'm not going to be as proactive about my health and you get lazy.
And the next thing you know, you're embarrassed to go to your high school reunion. I mean, it can happen to anybody, but it's not just physical, it's mental and it's relational. And we have to make sure that we're not going to let that happen. And so I'll share here in just a little bit three keys that will help you not let that happen.
So dating is about discovery. And dating is also about connection. So there's power and connection. You know, the 10 X factor, Dave, uh, Tori. And I talk a lot about this when we do marriage seminars. When, um, spouses, according to scripture, not just spouses, but two people, according to scripture gives you the 10 X factor.
So one person can put a thousand to flight. According to scripture, two people can put 10,000. Hmm, you would think two people can put 2000 a flight, but it doesn't work like that. It's when you bring an extra person into the mix. It's it's now all of a sudden you've got that hundred times as strong power because two people are involved.
That's God's that's God's way. He created us that way. He does not want us to do it alone. So one person puts 1000 to flight, two people to put 10,000 to fix. Uh, the story of the, I use this in my business training all the time, the Dixie stampede, they have this horse pool and competition at, at some type of rodeo thing.
And the first place horse one year pulled 7,000 pounds. The second place horse pulled 8,000 pounds. So the two owners of those horses got them together and said, Hey, let's see how many pounds they can pull. Together. And they didn't pull 15,000, which would be the summation of those two. They pulled 30,000.
Wow. That's what happens with connection when you weren't connected to somebody in dating is all about reestablishing, that connection, right. And specifically. Uh, the connection of play. Yeah. But just to stop you there, like when you're explaining just the power of two, right. The power of coming together with our strengths, like those two horses did, and then it dealt with it.
It didn't double it, it, yeah. Yeah. However, whatever that is, that's the number that was twice as much. Yeah. I just think it's so important for us to be able to see that in our relationship to see the power of our relationship together, because there are days. There really is not a whole lot of motivation to plan a date or to plan, to be together.
And to be curious about one another or, um, you know, all of those, those things that build a relationship, the motivation leaves and it, but we ha having that vision in front of us and knowing the power. That we have together. It really, it pushes you in ways that we need to be pushed. I know it has for you.
And I like we're constantly like with, without a vision that people perish, we have to constantly keep that vision of the power we have together. So that we will be motivated to do the, to take those steps and to do the things that we don't naturally really want to do. It reminds me of Tory and I took our family out to Connecticut, probably six or eight years ago, um, to her hometown.
And while we were there, Tori had said, Hey, that two hours up the road is Narragansett, Rhode Island. That's where we used to take vacations all the time. As a family, let's go back there and all. All of us were like, yeah, that'd be great. Well, we, we had like a four or five day trip planned, so we thought on the last day we'll do that.
Well, we got to the last day. Me and Tory, including the kids were all like, ah, I don't want to drive two hours there, two hours back. I don't want to mess with all that. Yeah. Let's just stay here so much easier. But then Tori and I talked and we're like, let's just power through it and let's do it, you know?
And we went ahead and did it, and that was one of the best vacation memories of our. Right. You know, so, and there was just so much conflict. Like there was, everybody was like, I don't want to go. And there was so much opposition that you just want to play it. You're like, I forget it. Yeah. It's the same thing with, with dating and marriage.
It's like you don't. Okay. So I don't want to go and spend the money and put a suit on and go to some candlelight white table. Dinner, you know, event or whatever, but you know what, in all honesty, it's going to make a memory and it's going to keep you guys going. That's what it's going to do. But it's that connection.
I like to think about it in terms of, um, being playful, right? Like dating and marriage. Isn't just going out somewhere. It's also being playful with each other because that's what you need to do when you dated. And now studies have shown like 500. That happened when you're playful with your spouse, um, it brings deeper connection.
It brings positive emotions. It brings deeper and better relational satisfaction. So couples who are playful together, feel more satisfied in their relationship. There's better communication when they're playful and better problem solving. And all of that is science back to research studies that are. So it's that playfulness life was really not meant to be all that serious.
Like we make it way too serious, I think sometimes. Yeah. And I like how it talks about the positive emotions Tori and I were just doing. Uh, test, um, on my blood sugar, this is weeks ago and I was doing this blood sugar test. And we were talking to this doctor, a guy, or I forget, not a doctor, but what a longevity guy.
And he was talking about what breeds cancer inside of people. And he said, three things have to be existent, uh, parasites, which everybody has parasites, bacteria. And negative emotion. When those three things are in your body, in a particular place in your body, you will get cancer and it will grow that negative emotion.
So when, when that study comes out and says, playing with your spouse, just being playful, fosters, positive emotions, come on, you're helping your spouse stay away from cancer. So be playful. So dating is about discovery. It's about connection and it's also about dreaming. Can I tell you something that I want to start doing with you?
But I think would foster this playfulness, this podcast, or this is it. I want to start playing tennis or some racket sport, because I told you this a couple of weeks ago that, um, in brain science, they're seeing that, that people who play racket sports are much healthier and live longer because. Something with the left brain, right.
Brain going back and forth. And the coordination that you use during, when you're playing racket sports. Yeah. It's real. They're seeing that it's a really, really healthy for you. And so now that we're getting older, I think we need to pick up on a racket sport. Okay. Racket, sports, uh, pickle ball. I just got to pick a ball net from Marshall's for like 20 bucks.
Yeah. But tour, I got ACL problems. I don't cut right or left. Do you want negative emotions or not? Okay. Sorry about that. Okay. We'll do some racquetball or tennis, whatever, something with a racket. Yeah. Um, I, you know, I I'm from Texas and we don't really play sports like that. We do football, basketball, baseball, that's it?
You know, so anyway, so dating is about discovery. It's about connection and it's also about dreaming. Tori actually alluded to this earlier without a vision people perish. When you just think back to when you guys dated, or even when you dated another person, you know, before you guys met each other before you got married or whatever, when you dated somebody.
You dated them because you did have a vision for your relationship. I mean, at least a little one, it's like, I'm not going to go out with this person. If I can't see myself with this person, if I'm not attracted to them or whatever. So there is a little bit of, I've got a little bit of vision here, so let's see if that vision will grow and blossom.
If you didn't have a vision, you would never go out with the person. And then let's say you, you went out with somebody two or three or four. And then you're like, ah, not really interested. Well, what that's really saying is you lost a vision for you two together, so you knew, uh, I can't be with this person.
So you lost vision for it. And bam, you're out of the situation. You're out of the relationship now, before marriage, you needed a vision in order to date. So it's like, oh man, that person's good looking. I think I want to go out with that person. You ask them out. So you needed a vision for the two of you together, even if it was just a small little.
In order for you guys to date now, after marriage, you need to date in order to have vision. I like that. So you have to keep dating each other to keep your vision alive. Right? Uh, when we get into our three keys, I want to share with you we'll, we'll talk a little bit more, but talking about having a vision for your relationship and the importance of keeping that out front, we even did a whole podcast on that.
But when it comes to dating, thinking about the stuff that you think would be really be fun to do the stuff that you talked about while you were dating, that you would do, uh, in marriage. Now, what we're saying is activate on that. Just activate go out to that dinner. If you thought of a progressive mystery dinner date would be really fun and you've.
Well planet. Yeah. It's going to take some time. Yeah. You know, you're going to have to think about that. It's going to take energy, even if you're exhausted, you know, to plan something like that and you have to pay for it, but just go do it, you know, keep that vision out front. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I remember when you, when the kids were really little and you were traveling a lot, right?
Life was kind of crazy. Um, we were super intentional about Friday night date night, like we did not miss, and I don't think I could have missed or lose my mind. And it was, it's like this hopeful thing that your constant I was constantly looking forward to. And I look back and I'm so thankful that we were able to do that and that we did do that.
And it just kind of CA kept me hopeful throughout the week. Okay. This is really hard. This is super intense, but Friday's coming three kids under the age of four. That's what life was like. And then for four kids under the age of, yeah, a little more. Yeah. We're a little gap there, but yeah. So, um, yeah, I just think that having that hope.
That we're going to do something even for us now. It's like, okay, what, what's our big trip this year going to be? Or, you know, it's changed a little bit. As our kids have gotten older, we can actually do like one big trip a year. Um, you know, we're kind of thinking about where we want to go for a hike.
That's our next. Thing that we want it. You and I are have been thinking about this week where we're going to go for a hike. It's just fun to have something to look forward to together and to constantly be hopeful and dreaming that's. Those are bonding agents of relationships. So those three things, dating's about discovery.
It's about connection. It's about dreaming. And now let me give you three quick keys before we let you go on what you can do today to incorporate better dating in your marriage. Okay. Create a dating system. You're all about the system. You got to have a system look in our business. We call system solutions for people, problems, figure out where you're having problems with people and wrap a system around it.
So if you're having problems with dating, you got to put a system around it. So what's your system going to be? Well, our systems. I mean also all good systems are simple. Anyway, every week we're going to go on a date period. Now, like Tori said, it used to be just Friday night. Now it's not necessarily Friday night because our kids can handle themselves.
Now what we're going to do at least one dinner, get out of the house kind of thing for date. Um, then typically quarterly, we'll do something a little more. Like we'll go somewhere or something like that. But then annually, we're always going to be going overnight for either anniversary or something like that.
Now, when our kids were doing. It wasn't quite as easy, right? For the whole annual thing going overnight a few days. But fortunately for us, we live in Charlotte. So we're less than two hours from the blue Ridge Parkway. And that's one of my favorite things to do is go out on the blue Ridge Parkway and find a trailer, find some little bed and breakfast and stay in it or whatever.
So that's a big thing for us, but so you're going to create a dating system, but number two is you're going to set goals. So I talk about big goals and small goals. We'll talk big goals, big goals for a second, because this is one thing that's really helped me in Tori a lot. Uh, how we, we, I remember Tori and I watching, um, uh, what was the movie?
Uh, Notting hill. Yes. Nodding nodding. Yes. Well, it's with Julie Robertson, Hugh Hugh Hugh grant, and there their data. It's just a cute little movie, a romantic, a romcom, and the, the, the little Chateau. Um, flat apartment that they've got right in Notting hill had this crazy blue door and we're like, yeah, one day we'll go to London.
You know, we'll go to London, we'll hang out. You know, it'll be so fun. Maybe we'll go take a picture in front of the blue door. You know, that was just kind of a thing. And then one day before we started having kids, we activated on that and we're like, let's just do it. Let's just go. It was the same thing.
I always thought it would be fun. And I told Tori to have dinner in the. Right, but that's big, you know, like let's just go do that. Let's just go activate on it. So we did it, you know, or fettuccine and Florence or pizza in PISA, Italy, you know, those are big goals. So have something that you would consider big.
I mean, it could just be going to the beach and learning how to surf together, something like that, some big goal, but then having a lot of little small ones, like for instance, if you guys like watching diners drive-ins and dives together, Then make it a goal where you're going to go around and have dinner together in those little places.
And you're going to eat the same thing that guy for Yeti ate. Right. You know, like I can find out what your PA are you guys passionate about food? Are you passionate about, everybody's passionate about food, right? You should be. Yeah. Everyone should be passionate about food, but yeah, you and I are both big foodies.
So we love to dream about the next place that we want. The next fun thing that we want to do for food Tories, a big. So if you know, she's big. And, uh, if we, if we see some little town, we did this once we were driving out somewhere and I just said, you know, let's just wander off the highway for a little bit.
We don't really do that a whole lot. And we did, we were on our way to South Carolina. We wandered off the highway. 10 or 15 miles and found this tiny little town and then drove right up to this quaint little hole in the wall. Dive of a place that had the best little T oh my goodness. It was like a, it was like a, just a tea shop.
I think it had like China, all the, like really pretty China and. Local honey. Oh my goodness. Yeah. But, but we love finding little gems like that. So it's it's so you're, you're not only creating a dating system, which is, which is how often are we going to date? When are we going to go out? What are we going to do?
How long are we going to be out? Who's going to be a babysitter. You got to have that system in place and be willing to pay money for it. Okay. You know, don't don't think, oh, I don't want to spend the money. Just stop. If you don't have the money, go to a park, walk around, but just get out, get outside your house.
Um, and then, so you're gonna create a dating system. Number two, you're going to set goals and number three, during your dating time, you're going to talk about things that matter. You're actually talk deep. Yup. Now listen to this, a little forensic here. Great minds. Talk about ideas, mediocre minds. Talk about things, small minds.
Talk about people. Yeah. Now look at with your spouse. If they're going through something relationally with somebody or struggling something, you guys gotta be able to talk about it. So you have to have your person to talk about things you have to have. And, and you're going to, you're going to talk about that, but just make sure that you're not just talking about people.
You need to elevate it and talk about some things, you know, there's some things that we need, like, well, we need around the house kind of thing, whatever. And then ideas and dreams and stuff like that. And what is the Lord speaking to you about and all this kind of stuff. And when you start elevating your conversation from just people and things, getting into ideas and dreams, you're going to find a much deeper connection with your spouse when you're dating.
Right. You agree? Totally agree. So something forced to close this out. Would you rather hit me? Would you rather touch your grandpa's sweaty armpit or rub your grandma's feet after a long day in the sun? Ooh, sickening. This is disgusting, but I'll go to the grammar route. Grandpa's seem alarmed or grandma's just let me touch grandma's feet.
I'd rather touch grandma and grandpa. That's really weird. Somebody could take that little line and really, yeah, let's go with grandma's feet. Grandma's feet. I like it. All right. All right. Dating and marriage go date your spouse. If you're a dude, listen to this. Ask your wife. If you're a woman listening to this, tell your husband to ask you out on a date or chauvinistic.
Is that like misogynist? All these words like the husband has to ask? No, come on. Let's be chivalrous. Oh, you want the guy to ask? Yeah. Yeah. The plan, the plan, the date. Don't make the girl plan at all. Yeah. But, you know, she can have some good ideas to do it together. Dream together. Yes. Well, thank you for listening.
Don't forget to rate, review, subscribe. If you think somebody needs to hear this, send it to them. But if you don't, don't in the meantime, we'll see you next week.