Tips For Dating While Single & Dating While Married

This is post three of Last Marriages Dating Series. On the first day we discussed the fact that you may not be as ready for a long term relationship as you think. Yesterday we discussed that authenticity may be the only thing you actually need to look for while dating. Today's post is a bit more fun! I asked members of our Last Marriages [CONNECTED] group for dating advice and I asked followers on our Instagram. Sit back and enjoy :)

For The Singles:

"Stop looking at every guy or girl you meet through a 'potential' spouse lens. See them as friends first. It will be more fulfilling in the end regardless of how the relationship proceeds." 
- Emily

"Use what you learned from previous relationships and don't settle. I feel like it's so easy to feel like you HAVE to have that next relationship since you aren't use to being alone. But, if something feels off or not 100% don't force it. There is no shame in dating around after a break-up or divorce." 
- Ashley

"I always hear from singles that they can't find someone interested in them so they go to Tinder or bars. WRONG. Volunteer in your community, serve at church, go to a conference or on a missions trip, try a new gym or workout class, join a small group, etc. There are many ways to expand you circle outside of alcohol and apps.You just have to get up and get moving." 

"I know that we have all heard this advice before, but its true: you usually find love when you aren't looking! Focus on the advantages of the time you have when single to explore the world around you. Be selfish because it will be a lot harder to do after tying the knot. See this time as a luxury...not a curse." 
- Angie

"Don't take things too seriously too quickly. Have fun and get to know each other really well before getting really serious." 
- Sandy

"Do your best not to compare each relationship you are in to an ex. If you can't help but do that then you may not be over the relationship yet."

For the Long Haulers:

"It's so important to understand what season you are in. You may not be able to wine + dine while the kids are young or go on vacations alone like you did while dating and that's okay. It most likely won't be that way forever. As the kids become more independent your marriage will get to experience those types of connections again." 
- Emily

"LAUGH A LOT. With each other and at each other. One of the things that drew me to my husband is that he can always make me laugh so hard that I feel my bladder might burst! It makes all the bad days better and reminds me not to take everything so seriously."
- Heather

"Consider scheduling sex. It sounds unromantic and unnatural, but after a few times you will start to look forward to it. I can honestly say that part of why my first marriage struggled was because I didn't take our sex life seriously."
- Sara 

"We started 'yes' days with our kids after reading the book Yes Day! a few years ago. My husband and I were in a rough patch. I placed a lot of blame on him, but I realized we just didn't know each other like we used to. We could either see that as an end or a chance to grow. We chose growth! We decided to each plan our own 'yes day'. Those days had enlightened us as parents so we figured it couldn't hurt as spouses. I've learned a ton about my husband and it took the pressure off of the redundant 'what do you want to do' cycle of questions that's so easy for married couples to get stuck in."
- Kim 

You guys made my heart burst with these suggestions! The wisdom and love that my readers choose to pour back into one another never ceases to amaze me. 

Believe it or not, I get a lot of slack because "dating" is in the blog's core values. I've been told it isn't necessary to schedule time for one another and that it ruins spontaneity. I beg to differ. Actions speak louder than words...and scheduling time for the people you love should never be seen as anything but positive.

I noticed that a common theme among these tips is not to take one another too seriously. I posted this in the group...but, for those not in it I thought I would tell this story. At some point in our marriage there was a day when Doug randomly said, "I feel like we never laugh together anymore." As an enneatype 7, I took this very personally, haha! But, he was right. 
Somewhere in the midst of goal chasing, kid raising, and diaper changing we had stopped laughing together. It was sad. But, like most things in was fixable. 

If you are in a similar situation where the fun feels gone then I encourage you to take some advice from those above -- Find a way to bring the laughter back.

I loved all of the tips that were submitted! Doug and I are each planning a "yes day" which I'm excited for. Have you used any of the advice above? What tips do you have?

-- Cayla 

Get to know me here


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