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Marriage vs. Dating

“You know, I guess it’s just tough to feel romantic when your wife is busy smelling your pits.”

No joking, that was one of the last phrases I heard this evening before coming downstairs to write. Situations like these must only happen to old married couples. Can you imagine a teen in this situation? They’d be mortified:

Mom: So Billy, how was the movie with Sally?
Billy: Ummm … I don’t really want to talk about it.
Mom: Huh? What happened? Was it just a bad movie? Sally’s such a nice girl.
Billy: Look, I don’t even know! We didn’t watch the whole thing … Sally’s a freak. She insisted on smelling my armpits before I put my arm around her. Next Friday I think I’ll just chat with FoxyLady23 on MySpace instead.

becca's armpit smells like birthday cake!
(thanks to jen dunlap for the “Becca’s armpit smells like birthday cake” picture)

How does something go from being mortifying to commonplace? Aging and marriage I guess. What’s bad is that I’m not even old, and have only been married 5 years. What will our conversations be like in another 5 years? Right now, I cringe at the thought … which is why we’ve decided to change the status of our relationship. No, we’re not going to move to a couples colony in Montana, but from now on we’re going to be “married and exclusively dating” instead of just “married”.

Our theory is that by labeling our relationship as “married and exclusively dating”, we’ll ward off all the side effects of becoming old married couples while retaining the benefits of both dating and marriage. It’s our shield against boredom, long nights in front of the TV, body odor checks, dutch ovens, four o’clock dinners, and medical background trivia. OK, so maybe guarding against these hallmarks of marriage is futile, but at least we can try.

Am I alone on this one, or do these things happen to all married couples?

7 Responses to “Marriage vs. Dating”

  1. on 09 Dec 2006 at 9:52 am Nessa

    It’s called comfort. I think it’s one of the best parts of being married. You don’t have to tip toe around what the other person is thinking about you. You know they won’t be talking to another girl next Saturday just because you did something weird.

  2. on 11 Dec 2006 at 4:26 pm Matt

    You are so correct. Dating is more important for married couples than it is for single. Keep dating and keep falling in love.

    Actually, I have written quite a bit on the subject at

  3. on 11 Dec 2006 at 8:31 pm Jo

    Better yet, sleep in separate bedrooms. There’s a couple who slept not just in different rooms but different houses, that makes dating time even more exciting.

  4. on 12 Dec 2006 at 1:04 am logoâ„¢

    I LOVE
    “married and exclusively dating”
    its sounds so racy!

  5. on 12 Dec 2006 at 8:58 pm stjarna67

    Isn’t this just called ‘open marriage?’ Are their boundaries set with what you can do with the other person you are “dating?” I think it’s dangerous ground for most, if not all relationships. It’s certainly not for everybody. It is a lot to deal with it. If it works for you and your spouse, more power to you.

    Anyway, the concept of dating isn’t all that appealing anymore. I was very adventurous and ended up going on many dates……under various, and often spontaneous circumstances. It was a little fun, but I reached a point where I wanted something long-term.

    The good news is that I still go on dates, but with my wife. It’s still fun…and we have been married nearly 10 years. There is a comfortability there, but it is a trade-off. Being around someone who knows you and accepts you for who you are makes a big difference. I don’t think we, as humans, were designed to have the ‘butterflies in the stomach’ feeling all the time. Any relationship, in time, can become more ember, less flame. I think it just means that you have to ‘tend the fire’ to keep things going. We have our own ways to explore that, but I just can’t go posting anonymously over the Internet…..for us, it works.

    To each, his own of course.


  6. on 20 Jan 2008 at 10:30 am usher

    You know they won’t be talking to another girl next Saturday just because you did something weird.

  7. on 05 Feb 2009 at 7:05 am koko

    i love armpit smells to women only

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