Dates with your wife are crucial to the health of your marriage. (Getty Images )

Dating your wife is an important part of keeping the fire going and staying connected. The times my wife and I struggled on dates occurred when we showed up without having spent much time together, let alone connecting, all week.

We began spending more time together throughout the week—quantity time. More time to talk, to interact, to share experiences. When we did this over the course of the days leading to our dates, then we didn't feel like strangers trying to catch up on our date nights. We just enjoyed the romantic dates and one another.

Below are some of the simple things we did that you can do as well.

1. Prayer tag. Praying with and for one another is a great way to connect intimately. Sometimes schedules can be the thing that makes it hard. If you seem to be crossing paths, try this. Leave sticky notes of prayers or prayer requests for your spouse in areas they'll see them.

To help with this, we bought a small item that means something to us and leave it in or near something we've been praying about for our spouse. For example, my wife works out, so I pray and leave the item in her gym bag. She'll then leave it on near my laptop in my home office. You'll be apart, but still connected.

2. Couch time. Sit down on the couch and spend 15-30 minutes in each other's arms. You can talk, or you can just sit there and enjoy the embrace. This is great for those who have the love language of quality time or physical touch.

3. Exercise videos. We've trained for a 5k together, but one of the simplest things we did was do some workout videos together. Very little prep and very little pressure. Something we could do in the morning or late at night whenever we wanted.

4. Watch your show. Although we're not big TV watchers, we have found some shows we really enjoy and decided to watch together each week. We found this gave us some entertainment and additional conversation to add to all of the serious life and family talk we seemed to be having.

5. Go to bed at the same time. Laying down in bed and talking is a great way to connect and stay connected. At one point, I was the early one to bed and early to rise person, while she was the night owl, late sleeper. Then it flipped. in both seasons, we were missing each other. Then we intentionally began going to bed at the same time. This was another interaction and consistent experience we had.

All of these ideas helped our overall relationship: emotional, spiritual and physical.

Jackie Bledsoe is an author, blogger, and speaker, but first and foremost a husband and father of three, who helps men better lead and love the ones who matter most.

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