Think back to the week before a first date.
You meet this woman and she seems incredible. Beautiful blue eyes, sparkling smile, soft inviting voice and totally out of your league, but she said yes. She wants to have dinner with you and you know it has to be perfect. Now you start the preparation for this big first date.
What do you wear?
Where should you take her?
How many more workouts do I need so I look good?
Should I get a haircut?
I hope I have a good razor blade because I have to look sharp or maybe I should go a little rugged.
What should we talk about? I want to keep her engaged, but don’t want to ask all the generic questions.
It is now the night of the fated first date. You put on a great outfit and then change three more times. You look in the mirror about ten times before you walk out the door. You apply the cologne while you get dressed and then once more before you walk out the door. Brush your teeth very thoroughly. You pop about five breath mints because clearly one isn’t enough for tonight even though you just brushed your teeth. You look around to make sure the car is clean and take out the crazy hardcore CD you had in the player and put on some smooth sounds. Everything is ready. Wait, you need to check your face one more time to make sure you didn’t miss any spots shaving. Now all is perfect. You drive up to her place, get out of the car, tuck in your shirt again, suck in the gut, take a deep breath and begin…
That is an exhilarating moment, isn’t it?
When we think about how much time and energy we put into our hygiene and appearance for a date, it is almost shocking, but still refreshing.
Yet, for many in the “comfort” of marriage, the idea of fitness, nutrition, wellness and excitement takes a back seat to routine, laziness and lack of “caring” about one self.
Why does that happen?
Let us look at a few possibilities:
- Security – You are keenly aware that you will have that person to come home to every day for the rest of your life. There is no cat and mouse chase so you can put the racing shoes away knowing you will catch her every night.
- Many marriages fall into a pattern of routine. You come home from work the same time, watch the same weekly shows, order in the same food and even have the same intimacy patterns.
- Marriage becomes more of a partnership with responsibility taking over the power of adventure. Budgets are more important, planning families and maintaining a higher sense of responsibility are the key prerogatives.
- “It is supposed to be this way” – As you get older, a majority have a perception that we should be married, living in the suburbs, two children, two dogs, a white picket fence, dual income and dinner on the table at six every night.
- It is easy. Having a set pattern of living is easy and comforting. Life is hard enough, so why not create certain elements that are constant that will always be there for you.
- It is no longer about you. We believe and I do not disagree, that marriage is a partnership of shared interests and responsibilities. That makes us busier, maybe even too busy to go to the gym, cook a little healthier or run instead of watching television. Think about it. When you first met your husband or wife, you wanted to look good for them. The same principle still applies.
- You stop pursuing your dreams. This one is critical. Life becomes more focused on survival than ambition. Many dreams take risk and marriage has a way of minimizing risk. The paycheck will always win out over the dream adventure.
This is a wake up call to all the couples stuck in a rut. We are all getting older one day at a time. As a curious youth, our energy level and ambition was infinite. The world was anything we wanted it to be. As we bloomed into sexual aware and passionate teenagers and adults, that curiosity took on new meaning as we dove into the forest in the pursuit of the almighty attraction. Most importantly, we never settled.
Somewhere along the line, we all became aging turtles that no longer looked back and remembered that time long ago.
It is time to change and find the long lost roots of ambition and excitement.
Look in the mirror. Are you happy where you are? Do you want to change? Do you want to dream? Do you want to be physically and mentally fit, challenging and pushing yourself to be a better you? I have to believe more of us feel that way and are just afraid of the effort and the risk.
Life is a gift.
It is filled with uncertainty and even a great deal of pain and suffering. Yet, it is also filled with magic and reward.
Remember these few things:
- Remember why you fell in love
- Remember what it was about him/her that made you have butterflies inside
- Remember how much effort you put in to impress this person
- Remember how much you wanted to be the best person in the world for them
- Remember the ache you had when they weren’t around
- Remember the exhilaration you felt with each kiss and touch of their skin
- Remember that desire to be romantic and spontaneous
Find that again. Find that and you will find a new love each and every day of your marriage.