Married? Date Anyway.

Marriage getting stale? Is all you ever talk about work, money and kids? Ditch the same old thing and start dating again.

All of these reasons extol the virtue of dating your spouse. But, alas, life sets in. With limited resources and even more limited time, how can you make dating your spouse a reality? Relationship experts recommend scheduling a set time and day each week for your date. Juggling the logistics of court schedules, your work schedule and the kids' activities is hard enough. With rotating shifts and all the other fun law enforcement officer stuff, having a set schedule may not be possible to keep. But, LEO spouses adapt and overcome. Have an alternative time and date set as well. It may take two or three tries and each week may come with a new hurdle, but scheduling this time and making it a priority shows your commitment to your marriage. That's just as important as grocery shopping, shooting practice or PTO meetings.

Once you are dating, activities should allow for time to communicate. In "How to Date Your Spouse," Anne Baugh recommends you alternate between activity and non-activity dates. Activity dates are meant for fun but don't allow for much chatting. Non-activity dates allow you to reconnect with your spouse and ask and answer, "What's new?" She explains dates don't have to be expensive. The idea is spending time on each other, not money. A dollar movie or a picnic can be an inexpensive way. Further, she says, "Enlist your family." Including the children in your planning lets them see your commitment to each other and creates a foundation for their future relationships. Often children see the stressful, unhappy communication between you. Including them in the positive encourages a balanced perspective. My personal favorite piece of advice Baugh gives: "Enjoy your time together. Kiss and hold hands. Park in a romantic spot and make out like teenagers. Put a little sizzle back in the union. Have fun with it and you will find yourself connecting just like brand new lovers."

With the new year right around the corner, starting a positive tradition within your marriage is a worthy goal. Agreeing to date your spouse and scheduling the time can ring in 2008. It could also ring in a new evolution for your marriage; a sexy and bonding evolution. Change can be good.

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