Last night I got to go out on a date with my favorite person – Ty! It was so great to just have some time together. It was simple. We went to dinner at a great Mexican place (our favorite), and then we went to see a movie.
This is one of the most important things that Ty and I do in our marriage.
Why dates are important
Here’s the thing about our life – it’s full. It’s not uncommon to hear “Wait, you were all the way in (insert anywhere) today?” or “When did you see (insert name)?” in our house. We each have very different days.
Ty and I are a great team. He’s my partner in all things. One of the ways that our team works so well is that we each have a very specific role that support the other’s role. I stay at home to support Ty in running our small business. He works to support me in staying home with our kids full-time.
Even though that is one of the reasons that we thrive, it is also one of the reasons that we get bogged down. During our week, we don’t see much of each other, and we devote our free time to spending time with our kids together, so we don’t get much time just the two of us.
That’s why we make date nights a priority in our full lives. We’re okay with the daily grind side by side, as long as that doesn’t continue for too long and we get a chance to see each other face to face.
There’s a secret about marriage that you didn’t really understand when you were just dating.
When you get married, dates become so much more critical than they were before you got married. Staying connected gets harder and harder as time goes on.
The same is exponentially truer after you have children. Life gets that much busier, and you have that many more things to distract you from each other.
How to make dates a regular event
For us, date night is a sacred ritual. We don’t have it planned for every Friday like some couples. But we do make sure that we take the opportunity to go out frequently – usually every couple of weeks or so.
You don’t have to go out every week to maintain consistency. Sometimes that’s what it takes, though. Decide on something that is feasible and fits the needs of your family.
It could be that once a month is exactly what you need. You could decide that Tuesday night is the best night for you to get away, so pick a Tuesday every month to go somewhere. Maybe every other Sunday afternoon is a good time to sneak away for a while.
Leaving your kids for a date night is often a very difficult thing to do logistically.
We are very lucky that we have both sets of our parents here. They are both available frequently to take our kids so that we can get some good time together.
If you can’t afford a babysitter or don’t have someone to regularly take your kids, consider offering a swap to a friend – you will take their kids for a date night and they can take yours the next time. It’s a win-win!
What to do on a date
When it comes down to it, a majority of our dates are pretty much just dinner and a movie.
We love to eat well on date night. Our goal is to find delicious food and stuff ourselves. Plus, sitting at a table for a while is just what we need. We get to finally stop and really see and hear each other.
This is such an important and special time for us. When we make this regular time together, we get to spend so much more concentrated conversation on things that really matter to us than we do in the passing moments during our daily lives – dreams, problems, plans, hurts.
One of our favorite things to do has always been to go to the movies. Remember yesterday when I said I love a good story? We both like almost any kind of movie, so there’s almost always something we’d like to see (we skip horror, because…yuck.).
You don’t have to do extravagant dinners or movies to have a great date.
What do you two love to do together (watch birds, weave baskets)? Do it!
- Take a class together. There are cooking classes and demonstrations (date night bonus: dinner!) available all over the place.
- Search Groupon or a similar site. (date night bonus: not only will you get deals and coupons, you’ll get ideas!)
- Try an art walk. Spend the night strolling hand in hand, offering your obviously educated opinions about art! (date night bonus: it’s free!)
- Stay in – rent a movie or play a game. While you can do this after the kids go to bed, let’s be honest – you get a lot more awake time together if you send the kids to someone else’s house for a while. You could even pick them up when you’re done! (date night bonus: you can stay in your sweats!)
- For more inspiration and tons (and I mean TONS) of ideas, sign up at Dating Divas. You won’t regret it!
No matter what you do or how you do it, I hope that you will make time together a priority. It’s so important to get outside of your normal and concentrate on each other.