10 Reasons Why We Stop Dating (And The Toll It Takes On Our Marriage).

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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Once upon a time, we put the entire world on pause to spend time with that special someone. Then, we got married and un-paused the world. What ever happened to those long lost dates and why did they stop, or drastically reduce, after we got married?

It happens to the best of us. Even the celebrity couple, who everyone was dotting over, when you were in college. Remember them? We kept every restaurant, near campus, in business late into the night because we couldn’t get enough of each other, and entire days revolved around seeing that special girl or boy.

Your dating life with your spouse might have still be in tact a year or two after marriage, but then something changed. Life took over and gradually the reasons for not going on dates anymore, started to pile up…

  1. We’re busy.
  2. We’re tired.
  3. Our kids have too much going on.
  4. Work is demanding.
  5. We’ve lost touch.
  6. We forgot what got us here.
  7. We’re bored.
  8. We have other priorities.
  9. We’ve lost that feeling.
  10. We don’t have the money to go on dates.

I get it. Really, I do. In our family, life gets real, and that can happen faster than fast! However, left unchecked for months, or years, and you could find yourself waking up next to the person you once skipped a college class, or ditched friends, to spend time with, and not really know them anymore.

Not dating is not the sole cause of this. Somewhere along the road of marriage we develop amnesia. We forget about the foundation our marriage is actually built on- Communication, alignment, commonality, and partnership.

I wonder…what happened? Did we stop caring? Fall out of love? Make other things a higher priority? Maybe you need something more to fix your marital problems, like counseling, and that’s okay. It’s never a bad thing to raise a flag of surrender and seek help. It shows incredible strength, in fact. But maybe something as simple as starting to date, be alone together, and really talk to your spouse, will help?

No More Excuses.

Let’s just call that list above what it is- a bunch of excuses! I’ve made many of them. I admit it. Trust me, I’ve got more fingers pointing back at me than I’m pointing at anyone else. However, that’s not good enough! As far as I’m concerned, none of the reasons above really hold any weight. Why? Well, for starters, we make time for, and invest in, what’s most important to us. There was a day when going on dates, to spend time with the woman or the man you loved and wanted to spend the rest of your life with, was top priority. Really, what changed? (I want you to ask yourself that question).

You can’t even claim lack of money as your reason. After all, in college you were but a vapor away from being homeless you were so poor, and you still went on dates. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

‘We’ Before ‘Them.’

One of the biggest excuses, that most married couples use (we have too), is children. We live in an era where it’s socially acceptable to sign our kids up for every extra-curricular activity under the sun. What comes along with this is massive parental involvement. I understand this. My children are involved in a few extra things. And, we are involved parents. This is good thing. But when it comes to our relationships as a married couples, there’s something important we need to remember: Before there was a “them,” there was an “us.”

Think about this with me: your children are important. They are top priority, in fact. They need consistent love, encouragement, and involvement from both parents. However, this in no way means you must sacrifice your relationship as a couple. In fact, this will eventually harm your children. If their parent’s relationship is falling apart, their security and confidence will fall apart.

By all means, involve your children in extra-curricular activities like sports or theater. It builds character and confidence. And, by all means, be involved in their lives, and these activities as much as you can. This is good parenting. But, do not sacrifice your marriage relationship for your children. Intentionally carve out time to be with your first love. Make this a priority and make sure your children know how important it is to you.

Finding That Lovin’ Feeling.

I’ve heard it from many married couples over the past 18 years. They’ve lost that loving feeling they once had for one another. Maybe this describes you. If it does, there are 2 things I want you to know:

  1. Your feelings will change. The infatuation that you first had for your spouse, before they were your spouse, will change. They should change into a deep love and respect for one another, as opposed to just infatuation. So, the feeling you first had should go away. It should turn into something stronger. That something stronger is what sustains your marriage for life.
  2. You can create new feelings. I believe dating is the answer. It’s not the end-all. Like I said earlier, there’s still communication, and partnership, and that may need something more than dating to fix. But committing yourself to intentionally getting out of the house, and away from the kids, each month will certainly help. The more time you spend together will help you forge new, deep loving feelings for your spouse. Our marriage is living proof of this. We love to date. It’s been a huge value for our entire 16 year marriage and it’s had a big part in keeping us strong.

The Starting Point.

There’s no magic formula for beginning to date again, just like there wasn’t a magic formula back when you first met one another. You just…did it! You need to just do it now. That’s your starting point. You can do this pretty inexpensively and creatively too. We do not necessarily do big elaborate dates. We’ll go out to dinner, see a movie, or hit a cocktail lounge for a drink every now and then, but mostly, we just spend time out together. Sometimes we go to coffee shops or for a walk in the park.

The point is, you need to start. The toll on your marriage relationship is too great not to. The toll on your children is just as great. For your family’s sake, intentionally carve out time to do this each month. Call up a babysitter or farm the kids out to their grandparents or a neighbor, and get out on the town!

If you’re looking for a great dating resource for marriage, check out my friend Jackie Bledsoe’s FREE eBook, Date Night In A Box. You’ll find practical, and fun, ideas that are easy to put together and inexpensive. Click here for details!

What is stopping you and your spouse from dating more often?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.