One of my biggest goals this year, focusing on being intentional, has been to plan regular date nights every week. We'd fallen into a rut with date night and because our busy schedules don't allow for date night on the same day every week, we never really knew which night was date night and which night was just us hanging out like normal. With a baby on the way, I knew that we needed to make date nights special, so I created our 2015 Date Night Bucket List. We haven't tackled anything on the list yet (don't worry, it will happen this month) but we've been having a lot of fun with our dates so far this year! After two months of weekly date nights, I decided that we needed some rules, so I created the ones below and asked Joe for his input a well. These guidelines will help us be even more intentional with our date nights and make them more meaningful to our marriage!
Planned and Purposeful
One of the things that we've always had a problem with and that I feel contributed to our date night rut is the fact that most weeks, our date nights were spontaneous. And by spontaneous I mean that we usually decided the day of that we were going to have a date and then when we both were home from work, we'd sit around and decide what to do. This usually ended with us getting fast food or takeout and watching something from Redbox or Netflix.
At the beginning of this year, I took the time to map out who is in charge of date night every week this year, paying attention to whose year it is to plan things like Valentine's Day and our anniversary and when our birthdays fall. To help Joe out, I put a recurring event on Google calendar to pop up on Sunday night of his weeks so that he remembers that it's his week to plan and can get something put together and let me know which night to set aside for time with him.
Getting out of our dinner and a movie routine is important to me this year, especially with the baby coming because I know that will be our automatic go to if we don't come up with something better to do. Finding creative and budget friendly date night activities, even if it's just finding a way to spice up our normal routine on nights when we're really too tired to do much else. I've had a lot of fun finding new things for us to do and I have date ideas planned out through when the baby comes because I've had so many ideas from things that I've heard about from other people. Some of our date nights are featured here on the blog, and most others I'll share on Instagram.
No Unnecessary Technology
With the research that I've been doing for school and both of our love languages being quality time, this is a rule that I feel very strongly about. With Joe's position at work, he has to be able to respond to texts and answer phone calls after work hours, so leaving our phones in the other room or at home is not always possible. We also include technology in our date night activities sometimes if we're watching a movie, browsing YouTube, etc. I just don't want to become that couple who goes to dinner together and then sits across the table from each other doing their own thing on their phones.
What rules do/would you have for date night? I'd love to hear about them and why!!