quality time

He Fell Asleep On Our Date and It's Okay

You know how they say opposites attract? It’s true.

I only realized how different my husband and I were from each other when we got married. His idea of quality time is chilling at home eating takeout together and having a deep conversation about life. He wakes up at 3am to take prayer walks and work on his business. Every day he has a schedule that he sticks to no matter what. And he doesn’t watch movies. He rather read a self-help book any day of the week. He’s a geek about basketball though. Mercy, that man will read articles, listen to Colin Cowherd’s radio show, and listen to Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless argue ALL MORNING LONG.

I like to sleep until I feel like I’m done resting. My idea of quality time is getting dressed up and going salsa dancing (still trying to convince him to do that though). I like having a schedule too, but mine is a lot more flexible, depending on how I feel that day. I LOVE movies. I read articles about movies. I watch analysis videos on YouTube about my favorite shows and movies. You can call me somewhat of a TV nerd. Oh, and novels. I will stay up until 3am to finish reading a novel because I simply cannot sleep if I don’t know how the book ends.

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Earlier this year I felt like we had gotten to the point where we were in a romantic rut. Our schedules were so busy that our relationship felt more like a business partnership than a marriage. It just seemed like we were in constant survival mode, and whatever energy was left, we would use it to have conversations about stuff that wasn’t related to the kids or our bills.

I didn’t like where we were headed.

So I came up with this fancy idea of having a jar where we each drop in things we like to do, or places we’d like to go, or things we’d like to have. Then we could just pick out a slip of paper the other put in and figure out something nice to do for them based on the idea they put in.

Yeah…so that hasn’t happened yet. We’re still building up to that. BUT. We were talking one day about the Avengers movies and realized that we both thought they were AMAZING and fun to watch. So we decided to make it our thing to go see Marvel movies whenever they come out.

When “Spiderman: Homecoming” came out, we were like two teenagers in the movie theater, giggling at the funny parts, whispering “Oh Shoot!” at the edge-of-your seat parts, and shaking our heads as Peter Parker made one dumb decision after another. Afterwards we sat in the car and talked about the deep life lessons we had gotten from the movie. Did I mention we’d also gone to dinner and I got a dozen freshly-baked, pecan-chocolate chip cookies?

It was a perfect day.

Fast forward a few months later when “Thor: Ragnarok” came out; we went out to dinner, then to see the movie. I was spellbound. It was the perfect mix of action, comedy, and heart. When it came to the scene where Thor almost knocked himself unconscious trying to escape from his prison, I glanced over at Jono to see if he was enjoying it as much as I was.

He had fallen asleep. His head was cocked at an angle that let me know he fell asleep without meaning to. His mouth had fallen open and I could hear soft snores.

For a split-second I thought about waking him up. He was missing the movie and this was supposed to be our date night. 

I stopped myself just as I was about to shake him awake. Not only did he look adorable, but he was trying. He knew how much I look forward to our date nights and how much I love movies. He was trying. So I cut him some slack and turned back to the movie.

He woke up a few minutes later and apologized for falling asleep. “It’s okay,” I whispered. “It’s the thought that counts.”

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The lesson I learned from that situation is that my husband and I don’t have to share all our interests. We don’t have to like all the same things. Some things you like, your spouse may not have faintest interest in. And that’s okay. The most important thing is to find that one thing that you guys both enjoy and do it together. That will bring you closer to each other than trying to force one another to like the same things and drag each other to events you won’t enjoy.

At the same time though, it is important to try different things together. I never cared about sports until I met my husband. Once he took his time to explain things related to basketball to me, I found myself actually watching games with him. I took it as personally as he did when LBJ lost to Dallas that first championship round. I even started watching First Take on ESPN with him and we would have whole conversations about the topics they were discussing on the show. It surprised me that something that I had zero interest in before was becoming a shared interest between us.

So COMPROMISE is the take-away word here. Meet each other halfway. Try something the other other likes; you may be surprised that you start to like it too. But if you don’t that’s okay. Try something else until you guys find something that works for you.

And honestly, when you’ve been married for a while, your interests may shift. Each of you will grow and change as time goes on. The important thing to do is to make sure you have a common thread that keep you close to each other. It will vary from couple to couple, and don’t feel bad if your idea of a good time is radically different from other couples you know.

Preserving your unity is the top priority. Till next time,

Take care!

Kay G

P.S. Check out this date night recipe book! I love cooking and it's nice to have the house to ourselves and whip something up together ;-)

 

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My Marriage Had Become Stale and I Didn't Even Realize It

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast by my favorite motivational speaker as I was driving to work. One of the points he made was about how a lot of married couples put so much money into their businesses and “the grind” but aren’t willing to put the same amount of money into their marriages.

As I reflected on my own marriage, I came to a scary realization: my husband and I have spent A LOT of money on growing our business, personal development, and even electronic devices, but not even a fraction of that amount on our own marriage. It was really sobering. I realized that we hardly ever put any real effort into planning special moments for one another aside from the yearly stuff: birthdays, anniversaries, etc. When I got to work I texted my husband about the podcast. He was listening to it too and thought it was amazing, but I guess the marriage part hadn’t hit him as hard as it hit me. “We need to have a conversation about this,” I wrote.

Later on that evening we both talked about the fact that we had gotten so comfortable with each other that we had started taking each other for granted. Our friendship was such an open, honest one that I guess we had started settling for a good friendship and slowly stopped putting effort into the romance and spark of our marriage. Instead of being proactive about keeping the spark going in our marriage I began resorting to reading romance novels and watching romantic movies. I was content watching fictional characters enjoy the romance I was too lazy to create in my own life. Pretty pathetic eh?

To be honest, we had these conversations before, but when I stopped to think about how much money we were putting into everything EXCEPT our marriage, it made me realize that even though others may see me as a sort of relationship “expert,” my marriage is just as vulnerable as anyone else’s.

The truth of the matter is, it’s easy to fall into a rut. When both spouses are busy with the demands of a nine to five career and kids-not to mention extra stuff like school or starting a business-it’s very easy to put your marriage on the backburner. Paying bills, spending time with your kids, and ensuring financial stability for the future are all very important things. But the most important thing is your spouse. After all, your kids will hurt just as much if you and your spouse grow apart and decide to get divorced. Launching a business successfully won’t have as much meaning if you lose your spouse along the way.

So how can we make sure that we invest in our marriages and keep that spark going between us and our spouses? I found that the answer is simple: be intentional. Applying it is a whole other thing though. What does being intentional about keeping our marriages healthy and happy look like?

Close your eyes and imagine your wedding. How much time did you invest in planning for it? How much money did you invest into making that day beautiful and special? Now open your eyes and commit yourself to putting just as much money and time into romancing your spouse. Here are some suggestions:

1.  Keep a wish list. Have a box in the house dedicated to this. You and your spouse can put slips of paper where you write down things you enjoy doing, places you’d like to visit, or a meal you’d like to try. Every month, you can pick something from the box to do together, or plan for each other.

2. Schedule quality time. Have a shared calendar on your phones where you schedule your date nights and other special times together.

3. Plan ahead. Once that date is on the calendar, make sure you plan everything else around it, including work stuff. Nothing is more important than your spouse. So act like it. Planning ahead will ensure that you don’t put each other on the backburner anymore.

There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, but by doing these things we’re helping make our marriage a HEALTHY one, and that’s what we hope you all strive for as well.

Till next time!

Kay Gus

P.S. We get REALLY transparent in our e-book “Love Me This Way.” Download your FREE copy by clicking here if you want to know what it really takes to love your partner.

P.P.S If you already have the e-book, we wrote a follow-up 7-day devotional to help you put the principles from the e-book into practice. Whether you’re single or already in a relationship, this guide will help you dig deep into yourself and put in the work you need to have healthier relationships. Click here to check out "Working On ME."