When I talk to other couples about date night, something that I hear often is, “We haven’t been on a date in a while” followed by “With our schedules/kids/budget/etc. it just hasn’t been possible to get out of the house together.” I often have to keep myself calm during those interactions because I tend to want to turn Leslie Knope and excitedly yell that they don’t have to leave the house to make date night happen! Date night isn’t defined as time outside your house together, it’s any intentional time that you spend doing something outside of your normal routine together, with the goal of having fun and reconnecting as a couple.
With two toddlers, busy schedules and a tight budget, we’ve come to rely on at home date nights a lot over the last few years. Some of our best date night memories have come from date nights at home! We still love getting out whenever we can, usually a couple of times a month, but we don’t wait for those opportunities to date each other. Embracing at home date nights has allowed us to make date night happen on a more regular basis. Some days we grab lunch takeout and cuddle up together to watch a movie while the kids are napping. Other nights we play a game or do something else that we enjoy doing together after the kids are in bed.
The Benefit of Date Nights at Home
Just as there are benefits to getting out of the house together, we have found that there are benefits to staying at home for date night! At home date nights are nicer to our budget. We don’t have to pay for a babysitter and a lot of the activities that we do cost us nothing or can be tacked onto our regular grocery budget. At home date nights are perfect for busy work weeks. Joe and I both work closely with other people in our jobs, and that can be socially exhausting. Some weeks we need that time at home rather than going out and mingling with people even more. At home date nights can be spontaneous. We used to be able to go out for ice cream, or take a late night walk whenever we wanted to. With kids, our date nights require a bit more planning ahead because we need to make sure the babysitter is lined up and know what we’re doing and how long we’ll be gone. I love deciding on a whim to climb out onto our roof and watch the stars together or make our favorite dessert and just sit and talk. It’s not the same as our spontaneous date nights used to be, but we love them just the same.
We are able to make our time at home together just as beneficial as a date night out but following the guidelines that we’ve set for date night. Our phones and computers get set aside, I forget about my to do list, we talk to connect, and we focus on having fun together. Finding ways to date each other within our own home has helped to make that space even more fun for us to be in. We don’t just have great relationship memories from places around town, we have memories of moments when we’ve had fun connecting on a deeper level with each other, the same way we did in the early days of of our relationship. Home isn’t just a place where we live; It’s a place where we learn, love and laugh together.
My goal this year is to share more at home date night ideas here on the blog to give you ideas of what to do together for date night on the weeks that you aren’t able to get out of the house. I want to help you make date night a priority, no matter your circumstances and whether or not your current situation provides you with the opportunity to get out together, without kids, on a regular basis. We love being able to date each other during the week or on a whim, without having to schedule with a babysitter, leave our kids, or spend a lot of money. That time that we spend dating each other daily has made our marriage stronger and I know that it will do the same for you!
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography