I have a confession to make. I’m dating someone. The most important part? It’s my husband.

Before we got married, our life was full of dates. From creative go carting to trips to a local amusement park to even dates at the organic supermarket; Jonathan always made me feel like a princess. I even remember one day, standing in line at the checkout, when we must have been eyeing each other less than modestly, an older woman turned to us and said, “You know, I remember being like that. Young and in love.”

I blushed, but I never forgot what she said. Going on dates, and feeling cared for and loved experientially, made us closer in our relationship and gave us the ability to always feel like things were fresh – nothing ever got stale. Waiting in line for roller coaster after roller coaster let us learn each other’s limits about fun, to question each other’s limits, and to explore one another’s interests.

So why does dating take a back seat when marriage becomes the status quo? Convenience, I think. If you don’t live together before marriage (or even if you do), you rely on those dates to spend quality time together. Once you’re married, it’s easier to make “quality time” spent in front of a weekly television show than to shlep out to a restaurant after a long day at work. But when quality time is spent looking at a screen, you don’t get the “facetime” you need to keep your relationship fresh.

So the other night, when Jonathan asked me if I wanted to go get waffles just because it was a Tuesday, I jumped at the opportunity. Our lifestyle (and budget) doesn’t allow us to go on dates very often, so when we do, we make sure that we’re the only people on our dates (read: no cell phones). We’ve also had to make a major attitude switch when it comes to dating each other – to see the mundane tasks that we have no choice but to accomplish as dates, rather than just as errands. And while I wouldn’t put the super market at the top of the list of our favorite places to ‘date’ one another anymore, it makes each outing fun if we go into it with the attitude of quality time rather than just rushing to complete the task.

Before we got married, a lot of people recommended that we set aside one night a week to focus just on each other; our date night. Since that never worked with our busy schedules, we decided to make it once per month. And come hell or high water, there’s nothing that gets in the way of our monthly date night, (although, if we get a few more dates in the process, we certainly don’t complain) and we’ve gotten pretty creative with the places we’ll go.

As long as we’re dating each other and not our television premieres, we’re doing the right thing – focusing on our relationship, on continually getting to know each other, and on keeping everything in our relationship as fresh and new as possible.