Date night is defined as "a prearranged occasion on which an established couple, especially one with children, go for a night out together." I believe that date night is an important ritual for couples, no matter their stage in life. Date night doesn't always have to mean getting a babysitter and/or spending a few hours away from home and a lot of money. A date night should include lots of talking and laughter and should create more memories for your marriage. Date night should be time when you reconnect as a couple and fall in love all over again.
Leaving your little ones home while you go on a date can be difficult. Making the night more fun for them could make things just a little bit easier for you. If you aren't worrying about the kids back at home, you will be able to enjoy the time that you have together on your date.
Since becoming parents, we have had to get creative with our nightly activities, especially if we want to make the time that we have together count. You know that we set aside time for date night once a week, sometimes we get without the kids and other times we stay home to do something after they are both in bed. I know how much of a challenge it can be to come up with things to do at home that aren't just getting takeout or making a treat and curling up on the couch to watch tv, as nice as those things are.
Date night and quality time are so important to a marriage. When you work to make your dates more of what you want them to be, they will come easily and it won't feel like a challenge to make them happen. The ideas for what to do while you're together will flow freely, you'll know where to look for all of the fun events and you'll never run out of things to make date night exciting. Even if you're on a budget, have kids that you can't leave, or feel like you're never home at the same time, you can make date night a habit. If it's important to you, you will make it happen.
When Joe and I first started dating, we would go on long, late night walks together whenever the weather permitted. We continued the tradition into our married life and made it even more of a priority after we added Howie, our dog, to our family and needed to make sure he got out of the apartment for exercise and energy release.
At this current stage of our lives, late night walks aren't an option because we have two young children who are in bed by 8pm. We put our kiddos in the stroller, the dog on his leash and go on a walk after dinner most nights, but it's just not the same as going out on our own. There is something about the quiet and cool night air that makes our conversation flow freely and contributes to a deeper connection in our relationship.
Just a couple of months ago we discovered a solution to our obstacle...marriage.
I've heard from many couples that their current circumstances make it difficult to find time for a weekly or even monthly date night together. In my research while I was writing my date night book, I found that couples of every stage benefited from regular quality time and monthly date nights. So, just for you, the couple with the busy schedule, I have three tips that have helped us and that I know will help you to make date night happen more on a more regular basis in your marriage.
It's May, and that means National Date Your Mate Month is here!!! Over the last couple of years, this holiday has become one of my favorites, maybe even more than Christmas, and that's saying a lot.Dating your spouse shouldn't happen only during your weekly date nights. You should be making it a priority to date your mate on a daily basis. Your efforts don't have to be large ones, but they should be intentional. Find ways to date your spouse often this month and make it a lifestyle change that lasts well past the holiday!
The more you and your spouse work to make date night a priority, the more easily ideas for what to do on those dates will come to you and the more of a habit date night will become. Date night will no longer be something that you do each week because you know it's important for your marriage. Date night will become something that you both look forward to with excitement each week, whether you have a set plan or not. Make your marriage more of a priority by making date night a priority! No matter what your life stage looks like, you and your spouse won't ever regret setting aside that time to focus on each other.
Date night doesn't always have to be exciting and adventurous. There was nothing glamorous about our date this past weekend, but we accomplished something together, ended the night with some quality time together and we won't have to spend as much time cleaning every night each week to catch up, so we'll be able to spend more time together after the kids go to bed in future weeks.You might be surprised by how much fun you have cleaning your house for date night! Whether you tackle getting caught up on the daily cleaning, focus on deep cleaning one room or work on getting rid of the things in your house that you don't need anymore, you'll feel accomplished when you're done.
Do you sometimes feel like the love in your marriage has gone into hibernation? Like it's dormant and not really everything that it was in the earlier days of your relationship? Spring is the perfect time to revive your love and breathe life into your marriage again! This winter has felt especially long for us as we've adjusted to life with two kids under two years old and tried to keep them both healthy. We haven't gone on very many outings and we went almost two months without a kid free date. I'm really looking forward to more time outside, fun adventures, and more time with my husband and our little family. I thought I'd share five things that I plan on doing now that the weather has warmed up. These activities are fun to do with your family but can add some variety and excitement into your marriage if you participate in them, just the two of you.
It is our goal to be intentional about making time to work on our marriage every single day. That being said, at the end of each day, you'll usually find us curled up together in bed, watching our current Netflix binge. After we've finished our work day, cleaned up the kitchen and the kids are in bed, we're usually both exhausted. Some nights, we love to sit back and relax and when we do, we love having a show to watch together. Looking back on the shows that Joe and I have watched together and taking some suggestions from other couples, I put together a master list you can refer to the next time you're looking for something good to watch together. I added a few of these to our queue as well! Whether you're looking to just watch and episode or two or binge watch and entire season (or more), I'm certain you'll find something on this list that you haven't seen yet and will love!
Your kids and time together as a family is important. But without your marriage, you wouldn't have that family. Your marriage is the foundation that your family was built upon and in order to keep it strong, you have to make time to give it your full attention. It's hard with young children to justify spending time away and/or paying for someone to watch your kids. I've heard it said many times though that the investment you make in the time you spend together is a lot less expensive than a divorce and a lot more fun!
One of my favorite memories growing up was decorating sugar cookies with my siblings and taking them to friends and neighbors. It's something that I've been looking forward to doing with my kids for as long as I can remember. This activity was so fun, a great way to serve those around us and provided us with a few days worth of activities!
Last Valentines day, I overheard a few coworkers expressing their dislike of the holiday. They felt that it was a day that is commercialized and just to get spouses to buy gifts for each other. I've heard other people suggest that they don't need a special day to let their husband/wife know that they love them. My personal opinion is that Valentines day is an opportunity to shower your lover with extra attention and that if you put some thought into your gift, it can be meaningful and memorable rather than just out of obligation.
We don't spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter, it's just not our thing. For those of you who are in the same boat as us when it comes to winter and cold temperatures, I hope you'll have fun and enjoy winter with these indoor date night ideas! Maybe one day we'll discover some winter hobbies that we love, but until then, we'll stay inside where it's warm and enjoy these activities together for date night!
One of my favorite things about date night at home is that it's relaxed and we have the potential to really connect and have fun together. So often we resort to ordering takeout and getting a movie from Redbox, but the more that we spend date night at home, the more I've tried to think outside the box and find something new to do together. Rather than just sitting down to eat, I thought it might be fun to prepare a meal together. We'd get to work together as a team and enjoy the results of our hard work. This meal was simple but felt fancier than our every day dinner. And Joe said that it tasted "excellent".
Just as date night is important for your marriage and one on one time with your children is important for your parenting relationship, regular family time is important too! Spending time together as a family builds memories and strengthens relationships. In addition to making date night a priority, I try to make family time a priority as well.
For the last few years, we've put together a bucket list at the beginning of every year. This bucket list is different than what you'd normally picture when you think of a bucket list. Our bucket list is filled with things that we want to do for date night in the coming year. Obviously, there are a lot of things that a couple can do together on date night, so how do you determine which activities to include on your bucket list? It's your list, so you are ultimately the ones who get to determine what to include on it. But if you're wondering where to start, I've got a few ideas to get you started. These are the things that we think about when putting together our bucket list each year.