What girl doesn’t want to get all dressed up and have a night on the town with her sweetie? Putting your relationship with your spouse first is a smart investment in your marriage. Date nights keep it fun.
This is Day 3 of our 31 Things Every Working Mom Needs series. To read all the posts in order, visit the introduction post to see the outline for the whole series.
Every week, on Thursday night, my husband and I get out of the house and go somewhere alone for dinner. It might be fast food, it might be a nice steak restaurant. It’s important for us to spend time alone without the kids. We try not to talk about kids, bills, or household problems.
We originally picked that day (instead of a weekend) when my son started playing football and my daughter spent the night with my mother-in-law, so childcare wouldn’t be an issue. Several years later, we just stuck with it. It’s also nice so that if my husband or I want to go out with friends or to another event on Friday or Saturday night, it’s not an issue.
We laugh, joke, listen to music, enjoy a good meal, and appreciate each other’s company. It’s a non-negotiable that we both have grown to look forward to each week. The only thing that keeps us in the house is childcare falling through or a snowstorm!
5 Ways to Make Date Night Your Favorite Night of the Week
1. Understand the Importance of Date Night for Married Couples
Marriage is hard work. It’s a good idea to make a conscious effort to create positive memories to offset those trying times that WILL come. It’s also an investment in your sanity. You need to enjoy each other’s company. Especially, when you’re not tired (like you are at the END of the night after you’ve put everyone in bed).
2. Decide How Often to Have Date Night and Stick to It
As you can tell, I’m a big fan of weekly date nights, since that’s what my husband and I go do. But, if you can’t, that’s fine.
Do it bi-weekly or monthly. Just be consistent and intentional. I wouldn’t suggest reducing it to a quarterly event. I think that’s just too long to wait to get out of the house, alone, and invest time into your relationship. If childcare or money is an issue, stick with me! I’ve got more suggestions.
3. Budget for Date Night
Put it in your budget. Whether your budget allows for a nice steak house dinner or a simple cup of coffee, as long as it happens, it’s okay. Putting this line item in your budget also indicates your seriousness and commitment to making this happen.
If you have a challenge in finding childcare, you could swap with friends, ask the grandparents, or simply have a lunch date which might not require child care, at all.
I’m so thankful that my oldest can make it for a couple of hours with my youngest. When that wasn’t the case, we relied on Grandma or scheduled it around planned activities the kids were already attending.
Bottom line – Get out AT LEAST once a month. Even if it’s only McDonald’s cheeseburgers…it’s still a date!
4. Make It Easy To Figure Out Where To Go
If you think making a decision will be too hard, make it ritual to go to the same restaurant. You can overcome the monotony by making it a rule to always order different things.
Or, you could do like we do and go to a different restaurant most weeks. The only exception is if there’s special we want to take advantage of or have coupons.
When you need a free date, just host date night at home. Get the kids out of the house, hire an in-home babysitter (who keeps the kids on a different floor of the house, etc.), and have dinner (just the two of you) at home.
5. Try Out These Date Night Conversation Starters
First, you might want to decide on some basic rules:
No cell phones allowed (unless you’re playing a game together).
No talking about the kids.
Look at each other.
Here are a few of my favorite conversation starters:
- What is one area of communication that I am very good at, and one area I really need to work on?
- One thing I really enjoy doing with you is _______________. What is one thing you really enjoy doing with me?
- When have you felt most loved by me?
- What is your first memory of me?
- How can we make our marriage “affair-proof?”
You can find more conversation starters to keep date night interesting here.
We all need time away from the kids to recharge and remember those carefree days BC (Before Children).
I know many couples who have been married for 15 years or more. Some say their secret is putting each other first. A former pastor shared how he and his wife faithfully spent time away from their five children for weekly date nights, monthly weekends away, and quarterly vacations.
If they can do it with five children (who were all under 15), that should be an encouragement to the rest of us.
- 10+ Ways to Take Your Outfit from Day to Night
- 5 Ways to Keep the Spark Alive
- 10 Proven Tips on Actually Creating Intimacy in Your Relationship
What’s your favorite Date Night with your spouse?