The dating couples are animated. They’re looking at each other, leaning into the conversation, laughing, asking questions, and telling stories.
The married couples? Well that’s another story. The married couples are not animated. In fact, they’re close to comatose. They’re not looking at each other. They’re looking at the people in the restaurant, the TV, their cell phones, the floor, the ceiling. It’s like watching boys and girls at an elementary school dance. Girls are on one side of the gym, guys are on the other side of the gym, and both are hoping the other will make the first move.
Isn’t it funny that when we’re dating we try hard to make the first move, but after we’ve been married for a while we expect the other person to make the first move. Years of marriage should make us more confident and secure in making the first move, not less. So what happens to us.
I’m not sure there’s a definitive answer for why we stop making the first move, but some possible reasons might be:
- We get too comfortable. Let’s be honest. It’s easy to get lazy and not work at the relationship as hard as we used to. It’s just easier to let the other person make the first move.
- We get too uncomfortable. The longer you’re married, the more your spouse really knows you and the more vulnerable you are to them. The very intimacy that drew you to our spouse can now make you uncomfortable with them.
- We get too scared. I can hear some thinking, “Why should I be scared of someone I love and want to spend the rest of my life with?” Because that person, more than any other person in the world, has the power to lift you up or level you. They’re the person with which you least want to strikeout, and if you don’t make the first move you won’t run the risk of striking out.
These three things are part of any good relationship. Still you need to fight them by intentionally making the first moves. Here are some examples of making the first move:
- Be the first to give a compliment. Husbands and wives should be very generous in complimenting each other. It may not fit your personality or your love language. It may even sound cheesy to you. Do it anyway. It’s one of the easiest ways to keep your attitude right and your marriage out of divorce court.
- Be the first to offer to help with something. Guys, we probably need to work on this more than our wives do. Often, what our wives need help with is “not our thing.” Offer to help anyway. Don’t wait to be asked. Just roll up your sleeves and say, “How can I help you.”
- Be the first to plan and schedule a date night. Again…probably something we guys need to work on more than our wives. Planning a date night is not saying, “You want to go do something?” It’s surprising them by scheduling the night, getting the sitter, and making the reservations. Be as intentional about this as you were when you were dating.
- Be the first to initiate sex. Ok. This is one wives probably need to work on more than husbands. I’m not saying wive should always be the initiators, but they usually need to initiate more than they do. Why? Because this affirms a husband and give him the confidence that you desire him in that way and you’re not just conceding to something you could do without. Wives, think of it this way…how would you feel if the only time your husband told you “I love you” was when you had to ask for it? Now you get the idea.
- Be the first to show gratitude. This is like being the first to give a compliment. It’s something we both need but often fail to give. When’s the last time you said something like, “Thank you for cooking this meal.” “Thank you for taking care of the yard.” Thank you for providing for me and the kids.” “Thank you for working so hard to make our home look great.” There are a million things for which you can show gratitude. Don’t just say “Thanks.” Say, “Thank you for ______________.” Be specific.
- Be the first to break the awkward silence. Yes, awkward silence is not just for blind dates. Awkward silence can plague a marriage…especially if a couple has not been working on the relationship. Don’t let those times discourage you or keep you stuck. Take a cue from the movie Jerry Maguire. Say something like, “Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds?” “Did you know bees and dogs can smell fear?” Come up with your own silence breakers. “Did you know there’s no one else I’d rather be here with than you?” “Did you know there’s a butterfly rancher in North Dakota?” “Did you know I’m not wearing any underwear?” Ok, we’ll stop there, but you get the idea.
There are many other ways you can make the first move in marriage. It doesn’t have to be a chore or duty. Make it a game to see who can beat the other to the first move. It’s one of the best way to build love and respect in your marriage. Ok…it’s your move.
Help some couple out. Leave a comment and share some ways we can make the first move in marriage.
Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg