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Dating WHILE MARRIED?!


In Episode 012 of The Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott discuss dating while you are married and how it impacts your marriage.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclosed the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts and I'm here with my husband,

Rich:

What's going on? It's your boy Rich, and today we are going to talk about dating while married. That's right. We try to help you out keep the fire lit, or reignited if it already went out.

Nik:

Keep it litty in the city y'all. Right at the beginning of every episode, we have to let our listeners know that we are not licensed, trained or professionally paid counselors, or therapists. We like to use Naked Proverbs as our platform to share our stories, our advice and our experience over the course of our marriage. If you haven't already, make sure you follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever platform you listen to your podcasts on. And if you like, what you are hearing what you have heard and what you are about to hear, make sure that you show us your love and support by giving us a five-star rating on iTunes. Y'all, that doesn't cost you anything, but just a little bit of time.

Rich:

As always, thank you to our listeners. We appreciate the fact that y'all tune in Week after week and listen to us as we talk. Man, living through a remodel is not no joke.

Nik:

It sure isn't. So, we've been in our house. For what

Rich:

10 years?

Nik:

No, it hasn't...it's been 13 years. Yeah. We've been in our house for 13 years and we haven't updated a single thing since we've been here. That's not true. You're right.

Rich:

I updated the door handles.

Nik:

Yep.

Rich:

I've updated the light

Nik:

You did.

Rich:

We've updated our appliances at least once

Nik:

For sure.

Rich:

Washer and dryer at least twice

Nik:

Yep, you did the floor.

Rich:

Jesus, I did the floor. So, don't act like I haven't updated anything.

Nik:

Okay, we've done a little bit. We. We. We. Are one. We've done some updating a little bit of updating but nothing as major as what we're doing now. I don't know if you all listened to the episode a few weeks ago, where my husband so cavalierly made a joke about me burning the kitchen when I said that I've never burned no chicken,

Rich:

But she burned the kitchen, y'all.

Nik:

And that's exactly how the conversation went. Well, if you haven't listened to the episode, go back and listen to it. Because we did have a small kitchen fire over the summer, and we are now in the midst of getting our house done. And it's a hot ass mess.

Rich:

But it's gonna be beautiful. Because I don't know if you notice, if you watch the video out clips and things, last week's video was actually in a different room. And if you notice right now, there's no couch behind us. If you're watching on the video part, you're not listening because it's the podcast you can't see. But know there's also video parts. But anyway, that's part of why, you know, you see us hopping around in our house, you're like, Ooh, that looks a little bit different. Something's different. Something's off. I don't know what it is. It's because literally there was a point where we had couches in the kitchen. We have dust everywhere,

Nik:

Plastic all over the place. It looked like it looked like a quarantined building. And we couldn't, like we had no floor we were walking around on sub floor with nails poking up out of the wood. It has been horrible. Our kitchen obviously is not functioning. No counters, no cabinets. The contractors...can we talk about the contractors?

Rich:

Girl, that's a whole nother story and a whole nother conversation because the word contractors just pisses me off from the one that's supposed to be doing my yard to the one that has been halfway doing my kitchen contractors.

Nik:

They

Rich:

suck. Is that what you're gonna say?

Nik:

I wasn't going to say that.

Rich:

You should.

Nik:

You know, you've heard the stories if you're a homeowner. You've heard the stories about contractors never ever ever finishing a project on their timeline or not starting on time and all of that is true. I think my biggest gripe about contractors is they help themselves to your house and I just don't understand. I was upstairs because clearly there was sub floor and everything downstairs, so I wasn't downstairs, monitoring and standing over them, making sure that they ain't, you know, aren't scratching whatever doing whatever. I hear the vacuum cleaner. And I'm like, that's nice. They're vacuuming up their mess,

Rich:

Dirt and nails and dust and ceiling material and stuff that doesn't go in my vacuum.

Nik:

Exactly. So, I come out of my room. And these fools are using my vacuum cleaner to vacuum up their mess.

Rich:

Not no shop vac.

Nik:

First of all, who did you ask? Second of all, what makes you think that you can use my vacuum cleaner to pick up all your dog on construction particles off my floor? Like that's my biggest gripe about contractors, the timeline and stuff, you know, shit happens.

Rich:

Time is money, and I'm giving you my money. So, I expect you to abide by the time we agreed upon. I have issues with that. Like, I cannot stand when people are not respectful of my time. Whoo. Y'all don't even understand.

Nik:

That's true.

Rich:

It frustrates me.

Nik:

You do get annoyed when it comes to that I'm a little bit more flexible and patient in that in that way.

Rich:

I told my wife when I was a child, I remember telling my father this, he was showing me how to change oil in a car. Because, you know, I got a man's man kind of Daddy, right? He taught me how to do everything. And

Nik:

Like he literally builds buildings from scratch.

Rich:

He built a shed that could actually be a house for my little brother in the backyard, right? But uh, he was showing me how to change oil. And I told him I remember this conversation like I can see me in the in the driveway when I said it, Daddy, I'm gonna make enough money so that I never have to do this. I will pay somebody to do it for me. And I'm gonna be honest with y'all. That is how I live my life. If there's something I don't want to do, then I have no problem paying someone a fair wage to do it for me. But my expectation is, is the fact that I'm paying you is that you are going to get it done in a timely manner in the agreed upon manner and timeline that we set. So, for me when that doesn't happen, it's very frustrating, because I work in a customer service industry. And I feel like at the end of the day, people hire me to do a job. So, if I'm not going to do that job, they don't want to hear all my excuses about well, my daughter had track practice, so I wasn't able to get over and get ABC and D done or whatever. Well, I picked up too many clients, so I can't get you taken care of because I chose to take on more than I can handle. Nobody cares about that. I wrote you check get it done. Now what question do you have?

Nik:

My husband's a little bourgie y'all.

Rich:

You call it what you want? Your kitchen done ain't it? Almost. Your floors'll be done. Right

Nik:

They're beautiful, too.

Rich:

So, don't be mad that I'm bourgie. Be happy I get it done. Even if I am writing a check.

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Rich:

I believe it's extremely important, but not everybody believes that taking time to date your spouse is important.

Nik:

It's absolutely important and it's so important that I know that there's some studies and some research that really justify and quantify how important it is that you should continue to date while you're married.

Rich:

Those studies actually say that it improves your marriage. So, different ways that it can improve your marriage, it's a great way for you to reconnect. If you aren't connected, you can create new experiences together. And they say, new experiences bind you together even stronger, or even just a great opportunity to get to know each other more. Because reality is, everybody is changing and evolving in a marriage, right? So, if you aren't dating your spouse, there's a strong possibility that you don't even know what their likes and dislikes are.

Nik:

I don't know if dating your spouse is really too broad of a topic. Because when you say date, a lot of people think about it, like we went somewhere. And we sat at a table together or we sat next to each other at a movie and so we went on a date. I think dating is less of the time that you take out to spend together and more about what it is that you're doing with your time.

Rich:

So, quality?

Nik:

Yes. And I really am trying to say and get to the point of connection like, what does that mean? What are you doing when you're sitting across the table from each other? What are you doing when you're going on these dates, because I think that's where it makes the difference, just setting up a time to go and do something together. That's not going to change the quality of your marriage.

Rich:

And I think that's a great point. Because I know that even we and I know this is hard for you listeners to believe. But yes, Rich and Nik have fallen into ruts before. And it was easy to say, Hey, we're going on date night, and we'd go to the movies. So, you sit quietly next to each other for two, two and a half hours, however long that movie is. Maybe you have dinner before maybe you don't. But it's always this, oh, we gotta hurry up and get back home. Because we have kids or because we have work tomorrow or because I'm tired, or all the many excuses that can be made. And so, it wasn't quality, it was just a matter of we were together.

Nik:

It can't just be a check the box type of thing. It can't be just something that you do on autopilot like okay, today's date night. And that's not to say that you shouldn't schedule date night because I absolutely think you should schedule date night.

Rich:

Definitely.

Nik:

But if it becomes so routine and mundane and it's not something that you're excited and looking forward to, then there's something wrong. I hope I'm making sense.

Rich:

You're making sense to me. Because you have to think about this. If date night is just another thing on your calendar, just another thing for you to do, then you're missing the real point of date night. Because as you mentioned earlier date night is an opportunity to connect. And I think that's what's missing in so many marriages. I remember a while ago, there was a study that said that most marriages actually fall apart after the kids leave. And what that study was mentioning was that the kids are the main focus of your family dynamics. Running to practice running them to school, running them to Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or whatever that looks like. And to the point that when the kids are gone, the husband and wife don't have a relationship, they don't have a foundation or anything to stand on, because their entire marriage, if you want to call it that has been focused on raising their children. So, I think that when we sit here and we talk about date night, it's very important to understand that what we're really saying is you have to carve out time to connect with one another. And date night is an easy way to do that.

Nik:

So, then, I guess the question is, and maybe some of our listeners might have this question also, is, how do you connect? If it's not taking the time out to actually get in the car and drive somewhere together? What do we need to do or what have we done to ensure that we are connected?

Rich:

It's easy like you said earlier to think date night is night, because it's called date night. It's easy to think that date night is this list of things you can go do so you can go to the movies or you can go have dinner or you can go play, putt putt or whatever that looks like whatever your date night is right? But reality is for us date night has been date day it's been date night, it's been date, midday, it's been all these different times of day, even if it's something as simple as you both work. But you say hey, you know what, I'm gonna meet you for lunch. And then it's not just meeting but what do you do with that time? And, you know, during those times, sometimes it's some deep conversations for us about our future, about our current situations, whether it be you know, I don't know whatever the situation is, but you have to have real conversations. I think. And that's hard to do when your date night is always consistent of something that prevents you from being able to even speak to one another.

Nik:

Right. Yeah, I think the connecting pieces really, really important. And it doesn't always have to be flowers and candy. That is a time to really communicate with your spouse. So, connecting and communicating, I think are two big things that should happen. Now, if you're at a movie, obviously, you can't talk during the movie

Rich:

You can hold hands.

Nik:

And that's a form of connection. And that is definitely a form of connection. Just being intimate without being sexual with your spouse is a way of connecting. A lot of the movie theaters now around us have those big reclining seats that you can lift the arm up and you can kind of get cozy and cuddle up next to your spouse. So, those are ways to connect. But it's also finding out what makes you spouse tick. What are those things that your spouse likes because we are changing, we are growing and the things that I liked to do when I was 20- how old was I when I married you? 23

Rich:

You was a baby.

Nik:

When I was 23. When I married you, they're not the same things that I like to do now. I mean, you know, I like to...I still like to sleep that's been consistent my whole life. I'm a homebody. So, for me, I like those stay at home dates much, much more than I like. I mean, I do like to get dressed up too. So, maybe I'll start getting dressed up to come and sit down. That was tangential.

Rich:

I don't even know what that means.

Nik:

It was kind of off. You know sidebar. sidetrack.

Rich:

Is that what tangential means?

Nik:

Tangential. It was a tangent. Like I took a tangent because I was talking about connecting with your spouse. And then I'd started talking about myself

Rich:

I thought that was an orange.

Nik:

That's tangerine.

Rich:

Oh. It's very similar, though. Tan...

Nik:

Tangerine. I guess a tangerine is kind of a tangent of an actual orange.

Rich:

Ooh, look at how you brought that together. Something you mentioned earlier is the physical connection piece. And I think for a lot of people, they all have this mindset that date night has to end in sex. And I would say that's not always true. If your only reason for taking your spouse on a date is because you want it to end in sex, then you're missing the whole point. Now, there's nothing wrong with sex. I think you should have it every day all the time. I mean, it's great, right? But reality is, is if that's all you see, your spouse as, and you're not taking it to that next level of really becoming intimate and getting to know them, then you're really missing out on who your spouse really is. And it kind of goes back to what I said earlier about how it can improve your marriage because you're getting to know each other. And just because you've been married for 10 years, five years, 20 years, 30 years, doesn't mean that you know everything there is to know about your spouse.

Nik:

No. Cause a lot of times spouses will get in a rut, use that word earlier. And I really like that word. They'll get in a rut where they feel like I've known my husband, personally, I've known my husband since he was 18 years old. And now he's much older than 18. And I've watched him grow and evolve into the man that he is today, and I could be so cocky and confident in myself and think, well, I've known him since he was 18. So, I know everything there is to know about him. Now, are there certain personality traits that have been consistent throughout our marriage absolutely, but that doesn't mean that he hasn't changed in the way that he thinks about a certain topic. And that's a great opportunity for conversation at date night. I know recently, when we were at our last date night. Or, one of our recent date nights. Our conversation has revolved around our children lately, because we are on the verge of becoming empty nesters. And what we don't want is to become one of those many people who, as you mentioned earlier, get to the end of this road, and then look at each other. Like, Who the hell are you? I don't even like you. First of all, I don't even love you anymore. And why are we still together? So, a lot of our conversation has been revolving around the kids and our individual ideas and opinions about what we think should happen next with our kids or how we're going to approach a certain conversation with our kids because at this age, let me tell you all these children think that they're smarter than you and that they can outsmart you. If you don't have a strategy, how to approach certain conversations, like what college they should go to, then you're going to find yourself at odds with your spouse. Because let's be clear, one spouse is a little bit more, usually one spouse is closer to the kid than the other. And what you don't want is that kid to come in between you and your spouse at this very critical time in your marriage.

Rich:

And the other thing is, I mean, during our date days, you know, we recently had one we, you know, went to lunch, and, you know, we were just having great conversation and laughing and enjoying ourselves. It's also what do our plans look like after the kids? So, while we're talking about our kids, we also take time to talk about well, what are your dreams? What are your goals, not what are our goals together? But individually? What do you see yourself doing next? Where do you want to go? Because we're going to have more free time, or we're going to have you know, we're not running kids to track practice and to games and to work and to wherever else they need to go. But now we're able to have that time, whether it be for our own individual growth, or growth together. So, having those conversations proactively can prevent issues later on. Because maybe in my mind, I'm thinking, Oh, the kids are gone. Now we just walk around the house naked and watching movies on the couch all day. And maybe your idea is, ooh, the kids are gone. Now I can go and volunteer or I can go and start this thing that I've put on the back burner for the last 18 years. So, to me, it's very important that you're having conversations about what does the next phase of your life look like? And for us, that phase is yes, empty nesters. But maybe the next phase is we want to have children, or our children are about to start school. So, what does that look like? And I think it's very important to have those conversations prior to them happening.

Nik:

Conversation, connection, and I think a third piece that's very, very, very important when we're talking about dating. And staying in, in the loop, if you will with your spouse is to visualize. Visualization is such a powerful mechanism that I know I utilize in my life in a lot of ways. And a lot of people utilize it in their lives in other ways, except when it comes to their marriage. Like they'll visualize themselves having a certain position in their job, or they'll visualize themselves driving a certain car or living in a certain community. But I also think it's important to visualize what you and your spouse are going to be doing. What does it look like, where are you going to be what are you going to be wearing? Just take some time to really visualize what that looks like. So, you can connect in that way. And I think that the conversations that you have can really help to shape what that visualization looks like.

Rich:

Honestly, we've had date nights, sitting in bed, early in the morning, where we're having great conversation and just sharing dreams and hopes and current events with each other catching up, because I mentioned it earlier, there are a lot of obstacles that you have to overcome to find those moments together. And if you have children, then the honest truth is there an obstacle you have to overcome?

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

If you work, either one of you or both of you, then your work schedules they may be opposites. You know, I've had friends who one spouse worked in the morning and one spouse worked in the evenings, so they have to overcome that obstacle. Maybe you're just tired. You know if you are that mom, or that dad that's at home with the kids all day. You don't feel like date night you feel like look it’s your turn with the kids here? Leave me alone. I'm going upstairs to have a bubble bath.

Nik:

But you're not babysitting your children.

Rich:

No, you're not.

Nik:

Okay.

Rich:

Or maybe honestly, you've lost that motivation. You know, maybe you guys are going through a hard spot in your marriage and you're not motivated to find time for one another. So, whatever the obstacle is, you have to identify what it is, and be willing to be honest about it, and then figure out how you're going to overcome it. So, with being tired, you know, by scheduling date night, that's a great way to overcome being tired because you can prepare for that. You can know that, hey, you know what, every other Saturday or every other Sunday night or whatever day of the week works best for you might be Wednesday, you know, it may not be on the weekend, by knowing and being able to plan for it, then you can prepare for it. When it comes to kids, you can make the excuse of we have kids, or you can understand that kids are a part of your family, but it's not the entire family. And if you want them to see a happy, flourishing marriage then you have to make time for each other.

Nik:

When we're saying schedule, date night and I'm going to speak for you Rich, so

Rich:

Feel free.

Nik:

Okay, thanks. When we say scheduled date night, we are not saying eliminate any and all possibilities for spontaneity. Because spontaneity will add to that connection piece that we are talking about. And it will also add to the experiences, right? Sharing those new experiences. So, your spouse walks in and decides that you want to go downtown and stay in bar hop all night. Be open to those spontaneous, those spontaneous ideas and not sit here and say, well, it's not date night, date night was yesterday.

Rich:

Because you don't want to just create something else on the to do list. So, you do want to make sure that you keep some spontaneity in there. It's important. So, what are some ideas for date night? I mean, you know, we keep talking about date, night, date, day, date lunch, whatever. But what are some ideas or what are some things that we've done?

Nik:

I mean, we've done a lot. We like to eat.

Rich:

I love to eat.

Nik:

So, we go to different restaurants. We have a favorite restaurant here in town that we go to a lot.

Rich:

They know me by name.

Nik:

They know us by name. We've gone to the movies; we've done mini golf. We've taken trips together. We've gotten hotels away for a day or a night. We've sat on the couch and watched the movies, wine and cheese night is really big. Yeah, that's big with us. What else have we done?

Rich:

We've gone and we did the paint by number thing. I don't like it because I'm a perfectionist. And so, when my painting doesn't look like the one on the wall, it's not fun.

Nik:

You're talking about the sip and paint.

Rich:

Yes. Yeah, I said paint by numbers, but there's no numbers. Yeah, yeah. We've done sip and paint. We've done like you said, even just date night at home. One thing that we used to do when our children were younger, because we couldn't get out to go do this is for Valentine's we would pick a meal, one that really just stands out for me. And I don't know if it was our first one. Or if it's just one that stands out, was we decided to make lamb. Remember that?

Nik:

Yeah, I do. We used Rachael Ray's recipe.

Rich:

Rachael Ray, it wasn't a good recipe. I'm keeping a real girl. It was bad.

Nik:

It was all bad. But I remember that night very clearly like you do not just because the lamp turned out terrible. I mean, that's part of the reason. But we set up the house very romantically. We had candles everywhere and rose petals and the kids were asleep because they were younger. So, they went to bed early back then, and they asleep. So, we waited until the kids were asleep. And then we had our date night we cook the meal together. We sat we talked, we laughed

Rich:

at our horrible cooking. Because I think so often it's easy to get stuck on, we can't afford to go out, or we have children, so we don't have time to go out. And like I said earlier, those are obstacles that you have to be willing to overcome. So, for us, we overcame the fact that we didn't have a lot of money, because we didn't. We overcame the fact that our kids were extremely young. Possibly toddlers at the time. I think...they weren't old enough to stay home by themselves

Nik:

and they weren't old enough to stay up past eight o'clock.

Rich:

Right. So, knowing that we planned for that, and here it is we're talking easily 10-15 years ago, and we're still talking about it. So, that date night was a very memorable night, even though it wasn't us at the Ritz Carlton and eating at our favorite restaurant with steaks and all these great things, but it's something that is memorable to us. And it's something that we connect on, even years later that experience. So, to me, when I think of date ideas, I think of what are the things that might push you a little out of your comfort zone. Because for me cooking is outside of my comfort zone. Like I don't have a lot of confidence when it comes to cooking, because I'm not a great cook. But it was something that I was willing to take that risk with you. Speaking of cooking, we took a cooking class, it was really fun. We should actually talk those recipes and make some of those at some point when we get the kitchen running again.

Nik:

Sure.

Rich:

But I mean, you know, it is just being willing, like I said, to go out of your comfort zone and know that you're taking this journey with your spouse with the person that you can truly be vulnerable with. And I think that's really what date night all is about is experiencing new things enjoying one another and being able to talk about it and laugh about it and bring back these warm feelings years later, all from some random thing you did one night years ago.

Nik:

We are talking a lot about how great date night is and all the fun you can have. But the truth is, is that sometimes date night can end up not so fun. And I can recall very recently, probably in the last few weeks, we went on a date night. And it was a spontaneous one actually, we decided that we were going to go to eat, actually we didn't eat we went to the bar, and

Rich:

Oh yeah.

Nik:

And then we went to the movies afterwards. And while we were at the bar, we were having a conversation was a great conversation. But then I got my feelings about something that you said, and I literally didn't speak to you for the rest of the night.

Rich:

Y'all. I didn't let that stop me from watching the movie. I don't let that stop me from...I think it did stop me from getting popcorn, which is kind of messed up because I like to eat popcorn when I go to the movies, y'all. But you know what? That's a great point you bring up.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

Because if we're sitting here saying that you need to connect and talk honest, you have to be real. There may be sometimes that date night goes left. And that's okay. Because reality is if you're not having those conversations, then what's happening is you're just pushing it down, and you're putting it on the back burner. And if you've ever put anything on the back burner, things in the back burner get forgotten about. And next thing you know, you've got a pot boiling over and you don't even know what's going on. It's three weeks later, a month later, a year later, you're bringing up something that your spouse is like what? Because you didn't address it. So, date night is important because it allows you to have those opportunities to address some things. Now, that shouldn't be your goal is to end every date night you know with your spouse is not speaking to you. But. It's okay if that happens. Don't think that your date night went bad all because your spouse isn't talking to you at the end of date night.

Nik:

I mean, because I was not talking.

Rich:

And I didn't get no lovin that night either.

Nik:

You sho didn't. Thank you so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages. date your spouses and indulge in them on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever platform you are listening on and tune in next week. We'll talk to y'all next time.

Rich:

Peace.

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