Dating the One You Married
Series of Articles


Willard F. Harley, Jr.

One of the questions that I am often asked is, why is dating so important after marriage? It is usually in response to reading about one of my basic rules for marriage, the Policy of Undivided Attention. That rule requires spouses to spend a minimum of fifteen hours each week meeting each otherís needs for affection, sexual fulfillment, intimate conversation, and recreational companionship.

Thatís usually what couples do when they date prior to their marriage. Those dates create the feeling of romantic love that convinces them that they should spend their lives together. But once married, what they did on dates usually comes to an end, and along with it goes their feeling of romantic love for each other.

So, Iím writing this series of articles to help couples understand why dating is so important in marriage, and how they can do it when their responsibilities and distractions make it seem impossible.

I begin with a couple that were very close, but not quite, in love with each other. It almost seemed unrealistic in the way that they were able to follow my plan to the letter. But that's because they liked each other before seeing me. Following my plan to help them recapture their passion was very easy for them.

The next couple I introduce don't like each other. So, following my plan was not as easy as it was for the first couple. But by eliminating the Love Buster, Independent Behavior, they were able to eventually follow my dating plan, and their romantic love was restored.

The third couple represent the couples I'm most likely to counsel. They hate each other. There was nothing easy about the way that they first eliminate the Love Busters, Selfish Demands, Disrespectful Judgments, and Angry Outbursts. And it wasn't easy for them to learn what to do on a date. But when this couple, and couples like them, followed the plan, their romantic love was eventually restored and their marriage was saved.

I've added a fourth couple to this series that differ from the third couple in a very important way: They never did love each other. They married to have children. But even this couple, with their commitment to save their marriage for the sake of their children, found romantic love for each other for the first time. And their love for each other made them much better parents than they ever would have been without it.

I encourage you to follow the plan that I describe in this series. Let me know if you are able to follow it without the help of a counselor to hold you accountable.

Dating the One You Married
Part 1
How Is Romantic Love Created and Destroyed

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