Dating for Life

August 26, 2009 at 9:05 am 26 comments

I very rarely get junk email. I don’t know if the marketers know I’m cheap and the triple x website owners know I’m prude but they all stay away from me. So it’s a rare occasion when I sign on to my Hotmail account and see “Junk (1)” on the front page. Every now and then there will be something that isn’t actually junk but somehow got caught by the spam blockers. I thought this might be the case a couple days ago when I signed in. But no. Junk. An email from eHarmony encouraging me to view my matches for free. Um, wrong answer.

Now let me go ahead and get this out there. I don’t think there is anything wrong with eHarmony. I don’t judge anyone for joining. I actually think it could be a really great way to meet people, specifically if you’re new to an area. However, if I were single, I’m not sure that I would join because I am way too afraid of rejection to throw myself out there like that on the internet. (Coming from a blogger, that sentence is quite ironic.) Who knows though, it’s moot. The point is this- why would they send it to me? I’m pretty certain they don’t want me to join.

My message to eHarmony is this: You’re barking up the wrong tree. I’m not interested in your match making. I’ve got a man!

Stephen and I have often wondered aloud if eHarmony would hook us up if we joined. Do they think we are good for each other? Do they think we should meet and date and connect on all 29 levels?

I read a post yesterday from a blog I read. It was about her and her husband going out to dinner and seeing a middle aged couple at the next table. She said that they were both reading their own books and not speaking to each other. Unless this was some game of theirs, this is sad. Occasionally Stephen and I will go out to dinner and not say much. Either because we are tired, we are stuffing our faces with chips and green sauce, or we are both using all of our concentration and energy on eavesdropping on the table next to us so we could talk about it the second we get in the car. But we both have so many thoughts and opinions that we can’t keep quiet for an entire dinner. Most of the time, we’ve been talking so much that Stephen hasn’t even read the menu by the time the waiter comes to take our order.

Reading that post reminded me of some truly invaluable advice that we got from the pastor at our old church in Austin. The advice was to the men.

“Men. You did not date your wife so that you could marry her. You married your wife so that you could date her.”

Reread that and think about it. Stephen often sums it up as, “Marry to date. Not date to marry.” I very rarely come to you with a lesson or a message. We all have our opinions on many subjects and we are all entitled to them. But this! This is important. This is necessary. This will ruin your marriage if you ignore it.

Men, pursue your woman. Flirt with her, flatter her, love on her, consider her feelings the way you did when you were trying so desperately to get her to fall for you. Women, look good for your man. Compliment him, hug on him, take an interest in his interests the way you did when you wanted him to think you were the perfect girl. This. is. important.

I love my husband. I knew I loved him pretty quickly after meeting him. I actually told him I wanted to be “just friends” for at least a month before dating because I knew there was something special about him. I knew that once we were together, we wouldn’t ever break up. I knew he was the one guy that would come into my life and be there forever. And I wasn’t quite sure I was ready for that. I’m not sure why I thought that I would be ready for it in a month, but whatever. We say stupid things when boys are involved.

So anyways, I told him that I wanted to be friends for a while. He laughed. He said okay but we both knew he was just humoring me. We continued to see each other almost daily. He came to my apartment to watch the Astros in the playoffs. He didn’t care much about baseball. If you know me, you should know that should be a deal breaker. But it wasn’t. You want to know why? Because he made an effort. He watched the games anyways and he took an interest in what was important to me. Never, ever underestimate the power in that. And vice versa. There is almost nothing in this world that I hate more than dancing. But he invited me to Mexican themed semi-formal where I feared there would be people I don’t know and lots of dancing. I went. And later that night, as we walked through the streets of downtown Austin, I told him I was ready to make our relationship official.

If Stephen hadn’t pursued me and insisted on seeing me, that may not have happened. (I have no doubt that we’d be together now, God clearly made us for each other… but it may not have been as quick.) Fun things happen when you date. Romantic things happen. You fall in love and get butterflies and feel special.

So my question is this: Why would this end when you’re married? Yes, I know things come up. We’re tired, busy, stressed, poor, bored, annoyed, etc, etc. I get that. I say those things too. And by no means am I tell you that Stephen and I have this dating thing down. We don’t. But we both know how important it is and we both try! And besides, why wouldn’t I want to date him? Just look at him!

Stephen Cruise


Entry filed under: Chelsea, Marriage, Stephen. Tags: , , , .

Bless My Heart An Emotional Journey I Wasn’t Prepared to Take

26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jimbo  |  August 26, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Well done Chelsea…well done.

  • 2. Ginger  |  August 26, 2009 at 10:56 am

    I am jealous that you can get pictures of your man. Maybe I should explain that I’m taking the pictures so I can compliment him or something…

    Very cute blog today!

  • 3. Caroline  |  August 26, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I like the quote, “You did not date your wife to marry her. You married her to date her.” Great post!!

  • 4. Darla  |  August 26, 2009 at 11:19 am


  • 5. Samantha  |  August 26, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Right on, sister! Great advice. I’ve only been married for three months, but this is something my hubby and I do try to do as often as possible. And hopefully, we always will.

  • 6. DebbieQ  |  August 26, 2009 at 11:44 am

    That was excellent! And if I had boys I would be keeping this post to show them.

  • 7. molly  |  August 26, 2009 at 11:47 am

    perfect post.
    john and I still date—and I’m convinced it’s a huge part of our marriage.
    my dad still calls my mom and asks her, formally, on dates. I think that’s adorable.

  • 8. osarah  |  August 26, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I love this post. John and I frequently talk about the marry to date not date to marry belief (and wholeheartedly agree with you). Thank you Austin Stone! 🙂

    Also, your story about wanting to be friends for a month because you knew there was something special about Stephen gave me the chills. It’s so sweet. We love you guys!

  • 9. Lyndsey  |  August 26, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    You’re so smart 😉

  • 10. Ashley  |  August 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    The Boyfriend and I listen to other tables together too! I always laugh and say people probably think we don’t like each other because we don’t spend the entire time talking… sometimes other people are just way too entertaining to ignore…

  • 11. mom  |  August 26, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    How oh how did we raise such a smart girl???? Your marriage will be that much stronger because you BOTH are committed to this one very important issue – dating and making your spouse feel special. Keep it up – it does get a bit harder as time goes on – but YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

  • 12. Mandy L  |  August 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I am in total agreement. Married date nights rock! I just wish Joey and I could have more of them.

  • 13. Kathleen  |  August 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Great advice, and I’m happy to say that my husband is GREAT at pursuing me and making me feel special. He had to really persevere to get me, too!

    I don’t necessarily think the story of the older couple reading at dinner is sad, though. My husband and I both read a lot and sometimes it’s so soothing to just be quiet in each other’s company. It’s comfortable. So I hope that’s what was going on there, and not a marriage turned stale.

  • 14. Lindsey  |  August 26, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    What a fabulous post, loved it!!

  • 15. Sarah  |  August 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Great post! You are so right about pursuing women. You should never stop woo-ing your partner!

    Glad to know I am not the only one who wonder if eHarmony would have selected the same matchI selected for myself!

  • 16. smile steady  |  August 26, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Yay! Great post!

    And I love the saying. I read it to Hubby as soon as I got your comment last night!

  • 17. Aunt Bonnie  |  August 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Yes, I have basically been telling my children that very thing all thier lives. However, I didn’t have such a catchy phrase as you have. They seem to have gotten the message, regardless:) Please remember this when you have kids! It’s gets a bit harder then because you are both involved with raising them. Don’t ever forget how important “date night” is.

  • 18. Alma  |  August 26, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Love the post and love the pic of Stephen!

  • 19. Rachel  |  August 26, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Loved the post… And I second Aunt Bonnie about throwing kids in the mix. We’re trying to get that down. 🙂

  • 20. The Husband  |  August 26, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Yeah, I think I actually laughed a little when you told me about waiting a month because I knew I wanted you and wouldn’t let a month get in the way.

    Also, I hope we always get a date night. If not once a week, then once every other week. It also helps to have both sets of parents in the same city for kid watchin!

  • 21. Kelly  |  August 26, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Great post! It’s been 9 years for me and I think I’m starting to get the hang of this dating thing. 🙂

  • 22. Autumn  |  August 27, 2009 at 8:27 am

    What a great post! Your husband is blessed to have you and you are blessed to have him!

  • 23. Sara  |  August 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Great post! I think I might cry!

  • 24. Cio  |  August 28, 2009 at 8:46 am

    My parents have been married for 33 years now. My dad still takes me mom out on a date, every Friday. : )

    I think it’s the sweetest thing ever.

    Marry to date…that’s brilliant.

  • 25. Debbie  |  September 2, 2009 at 9:40 am

    love the post. love the quote. so perfectly true! 🙂

  • 26. Amy  |  September 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Your husband reminds me of Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables! 🙂
    (That’s a good thing by the way!)

    Cute blog! 🙂

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