Hello! I am Cassie of Mason Jars & Peanut Butter and I’m excited to be posting for Erika today. I wanted to share a topic with you that my husband and I have found to be so important in our short time time together…
My husband and I have officially been married for one year. We have had an entire year of living together and being able to do every part of life…together. It’s been an incredible first year, too. We have really enjoyed every part of it.
One thing we have especially learned over this first year is how to do date nights. Date nights are different when you are married – you’re always together and sometimes it is easy to get into the swing of things and forget to go on dates. And when life gets really busy, it’s hard to find time to remember to date each other. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to speak to a lot of wise couples before getting married, so we knew how important it was to have a regular date night.
Date nights have been an incredible part of our first year of marriage. We have really been able to stop our busy lives and remind ourselves how much we love each other. It is also one of the best places for us to really be heard and known.
We don’t want date nights to ever stop. No matter how busy we get or how many kids we throw in the mix. Besides our faith, our marriage needs to be number one in our lives. Our spouse needs to come before every friend, family member, and yes, even our kids.
Have you and your loved one gotten out of the date night routine? Need to figure out to how make it work with a busy or crazy schedule? Here are ten things that have made all the difference in our date nights:
1. Remember. Remind yourself why date nights are important. Remind yourself how much you loved your spouse on your wedding day and how much more you do now. Remember how important dating your spouse is and how important your marriage is. This will help you make date nights a priority each week.
2. Choose Your Consistency. I am a huge advocate for once-a-week date nights. Really, we should be spending this precious time with our spouses as much as we can, but when life happens, sometimes once a week is just too much for some couples. In that case, will it be every other week? Once a month? I wouldn’t suggest anything less than once a month. Even that seems like too long in between each date.
3. Pick a night. If you have consistent schedules, pick one night out of the week that will be dedicated to date night. If your schedule varies each week, choose the night for that week that you will go on your date at the beginning of each week and make sure to put it on the calendar. This will help avoid over-scheduling. If we don’t plan which night we are going to go on a date, the end of the week will most likely come up faster than we thought and we will realize we never made time for a date. Plus, this gives you something to look forward to during the week. Sometimes the anticipation is all we need to get us through the tough weeks.
4. Commit. Commit to your date nights. If you get invited somewhere on your date night, say no because you are busy. Remember, your date night is just as important as whatever meeting, party, or other invitation you may receive. If something comes up that you just can’t miss that falls on the same day as your date night, make sure to reschedule your date night at the time you RSVP for that other important event. Do NOT say that you will just do it “another night.” More than likely, you will forget, and date night won’t happen. It’s just how we humans work.
5. Discuss Expectations. For some couples, a date night means a night out of the house, to some, it just means doing something without the kids. Some weeks may have been long and hard and all your spouse wants is a relaxing evening with you; sometimes it may have been slow and stale and they want to do something fun and active. Make sure you know how your spouse is feeling that week so that no one is disappointed. Remember, you and your spouse want to feel known after each date, so make sure you don’t plan the big scavenger on the most exhausting week of your spouse’s life.
6. Be Creative. I don’t know who told us that date night has to be dinner and a movie every time, but we need to get that out of our heads. There are SO many more fun things to do than simply going out to dinner or catching the newest movie, so switch it up sometimes and keep it fresh!
7. Take Turns. Sometimes planning a creative date night can be stressful to plan each week. It can become more of a burden than something fun and exciting, so take turns planning it. If you only have to plan it every other week, it will make you that much more excited and creative. Trust me on this one; don’t put all the planning on your shoulders. And if your spouse is not a planner, tell them that at the least, they get to pick the restaurant that week.
8. Be Intentional. If the goal is for our spouse to feel loved and known by the end of each date night, how can we make sure that happens? This varies for each person – know how your spouse feels loved, and then work from there. My husband and I have chosen three questions to always ask each other on date night. That way, by the end of the evening, we know that the other has been heard, known, and loved.
9. Mentally Prepare. If you’ve had a long day at work, a rough day with the kids, or just have a lot on your mind, try your best to let all of that stress go for the evening. Spend the hour or so before your date night mentally preparing for your spouse. Problems will still be there when you get back from the evening and there is no reason to stress over them while you are out. This can put a huge damper on the night and really ruin the date for your spouse. Remember, date night is for you to reconnect with the love of your life, not to worry about other things in life (including your kids!).
10. Budget. Date night doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are plenty of date nights that can be really cheap or even free. Even if you have kids, you can have a date night at home once the kids are asleep to avoid paying for a sitter. Don’t let finances be a reason for not having a date night. Create a budget for date nights and stick to that budget each month. And if you can, it’s totally ok to splurge every once in a while. Remember, your marriage is the biggest and most important investment you have, so don’t be frugal with it.
I hope these tips help you make your date nights more special than ever before.
I hope you and your spouse feel known and loved deeper than imaginable.
I hope after 5 years, 10 years, and even 60 years down the road, you and your spouse have become even more in love than you were on your wedding day.
Happy Date Nights!