Ok, you have been married 5 years or maybe 25 years. Is it really necessary to go to all the trouble to have a date night? I say YES, YES, YES. You may be thinking, but that is for before you get married, when you are getting to know someone better or wooing your sweetheart. Of course it does fit during those times. But don’t we want to continue to know and understand our partner as they grow and develop? Plus courting behavior will keep your connection strong and vibrant. Let’s look at some more reasons why we may want to consider having DATE NIGHTS.
WHY HAVE A DATE NIGHT?
- First of all it is a message we send to each other that we love and want to stay connected with each other. Plus, it shows we value spending one on one time with our partner and that they are worth the effort of planning and executing doing some fun, enjoyable things together.
- Our worlds are crazy busy and without planned one on one time, it may not happen. Sometimes I hear the objection of doing a planned activity, voicing that aren’t spontaneous outings better. I do agree spontaneous outings and times together are magical and I think important. But, I also know realistically with heavy work schedules, children’s events, community or church involvement, etc., the chances of the spontaneous outings are harder to come by. They can and still should be a part of dates I think. But if you have a planned, set time you go out together, it is more likely to happen if you are as busy as most couples and families are today. So by all means do both if you can, but for a “sure deal” consider scheduling a weekly date night.
- A DATE NIGHT gives you an opportunity to stay connected on a level past “Who is picking up the children?” or “How was your day?” These are important conversations. But to really have time to “be with” each other and converse at a deeper level, a time just for one on one focus of one another is so helpful.
- It is a good model for our children. We are teaching our children what to do to stay connected and nurture a relationship. Whatever we present to our children can affect how they will interact as a couple. They may not say, “I am so happy you are going out tonight.” but as they develop their own future relationships they will have learned that this is one of the ways couples care and stay connected with one another. This is how they show their love and commitment.
BASIC THINGS TO CONSIDER IN REGARD TO DATE NIGHTS
- First of all, a date night can be a date day or date lunch or date breakfast, etc. They do not have to be at night. Do what works for you.
- If possible do put in place a regular set time. This will keep you more on track with this kind of structure. On the other hand, if this is not possible then consider planning a month out with times that you know will work in your schedule. Do what you need to do to create this special time. Sometimes it means getting creative. It may be a lunch date at the park during your work day.
- Find a babysitter you REALLY like and trust if you have children. This will allow you to fully enjoy your date night.
- Try to schedule enough time to really relax and enjoy yourselves. On the other hand, if you have young children and feel uncomfortable being gone for too long, then take the time you do feel comfortable with and enjoy it.
- Planning for your date night can be done in a couple different ways. 1. You can do a joint, collaborative planning. 2. You can take turns planning them. 3. Or a mix of the previous suggestions. You can talk about it and see what fits you as a couple. One of the keys is trying to incorporate things you both enjoy doing. This can be things you both enjoy doing or it can be a taking turns in some kind of fashion as to including individual interests. Of course if one of you really hates doing a particular something, it may or may not be something you put on the date night list
- Think outside of the “dinner and a movie” box. This is not to say that you may not enjoy this and want to do this. Sometimes it is a relaxing, comfort date. This is just a suggestion to consider broadening your activity palette. This keeps things lively and fun. You might brainstorm together every so often, a list of things you might like to do together. You can keep this list handy as you schedule in your date nights.
- Consider using your date night to develop some new joint interests. This might be cooking classes or hiking or biking, etc.
- Make it a TECHNOLOGY or SCREEN FREE date night. Basically, this would be choosing not to engage in using cell phones or other technology devices while you are on your date. This would include no texting. The problem is that when we are on our phone or texting, etc, we are not really present or there for our partner. And that is really the purpose of a date night. So screened devices and being on a date are a bit at odds with each other. There are exceptions. Some folks have jobs in which they are on call and have no choice. If this can be kept to the minimum this can help.
- If you cannot do your date night, if at all possible reschedule for another day or night that week. This keeps the commitment to each other to have this time together on a regular basis.
Date, Play, Enjoy this wonderful life together. ♥♥