newport beach couples beach photo

As we say goodbye to summer, I wanted to share the second set of photos we snapped at the beach in July with Abbi (first post with her photos here). We had so much fun capturing one of our favorite parts of summer – actually being able to get in the ocean (it’s typically freeeeezzzzing out here)!  I know when we’re in San Francisco next year it will be so fun to have these photos to remember how fun our five years in Southern California were. Not going to lie… I don’t think I’ll be ready to say goodbye to OC in May but I’m grateful to have several more months to soak it in!

Today I thought we could chat about dating your spouse.  You’ve heard people say to “date your husband” before, right? When I first heard someone call their husband their boyfriend I thought, that is so simple yet a genius way to remind yourself to keep it light and fun.

I wanted to share five of our favorite ways to revisit that “young love” feeling in a relationship. I think even if you’ve been dating for a while or if you live with your significant other, it can be easy to forget some of those initial things that drew you together in the early days.

And of course I’m not saying I’m a relationship expert, but these are some of the things we actively try to do, especially when life gets busy and we slip into just going through the motions.

pink one piece swimsuitbeach couples photosfeet in the sand

1.  Make plans.

Christian one time told me that the best part of a vacation was looking forward to the trip beforehand. I had never really thought of it like that, but I completely understood what he was talking about.  I think it’s the same with a date night. It might even just be cooking dinner at home and eating outside on the patio under bistro lights with candles and music while the kids are asleep.  But set a date and time so you can look forward to it during the week, dedicate some alone time, plan what you’re going to wear, which brings me to…

2.  Dress up.

This is actually another one of Christian’s requests – ha! When we would go on dates earlier in our relationship, we always dressed up for each other and of course over the years there is a little less effort when you see each other every day vs. just a few times a week. Just the act of getting ready and knowing it was done for each other (not for a wedding, girls night, church, etc.). It just shows that little bit of extra time and thought, wanting to look our best for each other.

3.  Hold hands.

I mean… what’s better than walking around before or after dinner holding hands? Perusing windows, people watching. Something so simple, yet can evoke those early warm and fuzzies.

4.  Try something new together.

This is my favorite! I LOVE trying new things with C. Sometimes this involves traveling somewhere new that we’ve never been. Other times it’s making a list of things we want to do – ice skate together, take a cooking class, see an outdoor movie, go to a concert. It’s easy to get in a routine (and I love staying in and watching movies with takeout too, don’t get me wrong), but trying something new together can stir up those fresh, new feelings of excitement and fun.

5.  Give compliments.

I tend to compliment C on the same things, and he knows some of the things I love most about him… but who doesn’t like a compliment? Whether it’s on appearance or personality, a little reminder is nice to hear.

peixoto flamingo swimsuitperfect beach hatpink one piece swimsuitsunkissed summer skinorange county couples sessionagolde cutoff shortsbackless one piece swimsuitnewport coast californianewport beach coupleagolde cutoff shortsrunning from the waveskathleen and christian barnes

Photos by Abbi Cooley

swimsuit (50% off! Size up if you’re a long torso girl), also love it in black and white | denim shorts (run TTS), also have and love these, similar look for less here | hat | similar swim trunks here and want to buy C these

Thanks so much for reading and if you have any suggestions on this topic of keeping it fresh – I’d love to hear!  I think we all have so much to learn from each other when we take the time to open up. Appreciate you guys – XO –

36 Comments|See Comments

36 thoughts on “5 Ideas for Dating Your Spouse

  1. I could not love these photos more!! HOLY SMOKES you guys keep it spicy! Some of my favorite dates with my boyfriend are taking a class or being competitive with each other ( we recently got really into tennis). I love seeing him in that mode!
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

  2. Couple goals for real!! You guys are just the cutest together & such a wonderful couple! I agree with all these tips & one my favorite things to do with my husband is something new together!! xo, Biana

  3. Kat! I absolutely love this post. It’s such a great reminder to take that extra time and not get too “lazy” with our spouses. I love no. 3 – it’s the smallest thing, but there’s just a ‘lil something about holding hands that is still SO romantic. Great points on keeping it fresh, girlfriend! And these photos – Wow, they are absolutely beautiful. You can really feel the love between you and C!! Xx, Amanda

  4. Oh my gosh! Obsessed with these! My husband and I struggle with this because we juggle so much, but I agree with every single point. The little things matter so much!


    The Glitter Gospel

    1. Truth be told, we don’t have kids yet so date nights are definitely easier but I hope we’ll have a nice foundation before kids come in the picture –

  5. You guys are the cutest and sweetest! I love these tips on how you keep your marriage life fresh and fun. I think it’s important to take the time to date your spouse and let them know you still have the hots for them.


  6. As a fellow married gal, I love this SO much! Beautiful couple and wonderful advice to remember.

  7. This is one of my ALL TIME favorite posts of yours! Pure bliss and happiness is total inspiration and I love the refreshing outlook on dating your significant other 🙂 you have a heart of gold Kathleen!

  8. These pictures are SO GOOD!

    I completely agree on holding hands. My bf and I recently went on a double date with my bestie and her longtime bf, and it made me smile when I saw them holding hands while walking ahead of us. It’s the simple things!

  9. I really enjoyed this post. I love the relationship you two have together, and you inspire me to live the best life with my husband. Some of our most memorable moments are date nights with just the two of us.

  10. I absolutely love this! When I was a young Mom many of my friends stopped dating their husbands. It’s easy to do. I belonged to a Mom group called MOPS. I started speaking at different MOPS groups all over California on this topic. My hubs and I will be married 26 years in a few weeks and we still go on dates and we laugh and have fun with each other every day! Your pictures are HOT!

    1. I love this Suezi! I think it’s more easy than not to forget some of these things but a reminder is always nice to hear. Sounds like YOU have the right idea. 26 years – congratulations!!

  11. Love this. You guys seem like a great couple!!! Random question, what was the song called that you played when sharing this post on your insta stories? I love it and can’t think of the name of it.

    Thank you!!

  12. first off, i just snapped these to all my gals saying #GOALS.. seriously bless C for not only doing this but clearly being into it!! These ideas are so great will 100% do them when i have a man hahah

    1. Haha aw thanks! To be fair, this was the weekend before my birthday so he was mostly like, “I guess I don’t really have a choice do I?” Ha!

  13. Girlllll…. This post is so hot!!! I love your ideas! Especially the one about dressing up. Because we get in the routine of just wearing the same comfy clothes around each other that its nice when you walk out, and your hubby says, “whoaaaaaaaaaaaa!” lol It gets him EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!!! 🙂 Happy Friday!

  14. Love this post! It’s so true that we need to continue dating our partners, regardless of how long you’ve been together. I’ve been with my partner for 10 years and we make sure to go out once a week or once every two weeks so that we can dress up and enjoy each other’s company in a new atmosphere like trying a new restaurant or going to a drive-in movie theatre in a different city etc.


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