If you’re dating or contemplating dating again, you may be reading this section with the desire to glean tips that will help you with that process. If you’ve been married for years, you may be skimming through this section to get on to the information that applies to you. You may erroneously think that you’re “beyond the dating stage” and may be rushing forward to find the marriage parts. But dating itself is a key building block for any relationship or marriage. In fact, when a couple gets into trouble, they have often forgotten to woo each other. They have forgotten how to date. It’s easy to forget when there are bills to be paid and children to be fed or when you’re busy trying to make your relationship “go somewhere.”
The two of us are on a succession of dates. They have already lasted 30 years and we expect a lifetime of them. Sometimes we stop what we’re doing when one or the other of us will say, “Want to take a date with me out to the mailbox?” Then we slip on our shoes and go out our front door. The screen door makes a creaking salute, and we often hold hands as we head out into our driveway, our feet crunching on the gravel. It’s a time to feel the air and smell the greenery and see the sun slanting through the trees. Or perhaps it’s a time to slide over the snow and watch the bare branches clatter in the wind. But it’s always a time just for us. Getting the mail is an excuse to be together.
Of course we don’t actually need an excuse since we live and work together, but we make one anyway. We have dates while doing the dishes and others while making a trip to the grocery store. We have a library date when we go together to pick out books on CD to listen to during the hour-long ride to New York City where we work. And occasionally over the years, we’ve even had a date in the emergency room as one or the other of us needed medical attention. It’s all an intimate adventure if you’re there for it.