As some of you may have seen a couple of weeks ago, my hubby and I had the awesome experience of going on a date night to PRAISE Fest up in BC! It was filled with great music and conversation with people, and we even got to stay the night up there for a whole night away. It was a wonderful time for us to reconnect and have some fun!
But I know for some people, date nights can be a point of stress. Why are date nights important? How do we make date nights happen with kids at home? What if we can’t get a babysitter? What do we even do?!
Here are a few of my thoughts.
I believe that date nights are extremely important, especially if you are parents of littles. When you have little kids at home, often you are so busy meeting their needs that you forget how much nourishment your marriage relationship needs as well. And not only that, but you are setting a priceless example to your children of what a healthy relationship should look like when you take that time together and invest in it. When they grow and enter into their marriages, they will have seen the priority that you put on each other!
But I understand that this is not always easy (really, I do!) because of time conflicts, busyness, or lack of childcare. For an affordable childcare option, I would highly suggest joining a moms group, because as you make friends with other moms, you can find people that you trust and work towards sharing date nights! Another option for if you’re involved in a local church would be to contact your church office and see if there are any students who are working to raise money for summer mission trips or camps. A lot of times they will have a list of students or some ideas of people you can contact. There are definitely ways to find help if you’re wanting a way to get out for an evening!
But sometimes, it’s the issue of just not knowing what to do! So I’ve put together a list of some of our personal favourite date night ideas, some for times when it can be just the two of us and some for when the kiddos are still home.
Night-Out Date Nights:
1) Dinner Out (The Classic!)
Okay, this tried and true one might sound a little boring out the gate, but there are definitely ways to make this a little more fun and a good way to connect. Take the time to get yourself ready (even if it’s just an extra two minutes to put on some mascara!) or maybe wear something that feels a little fancier. Choose a restaurant that allows for connection (AKA no TV’s playing football) and maybe sit differently than you normally would, like if you usually sit across from each other, sit next to each other! Make an effort to throw some physical connection in there, even if it’s just holding hands. Maybe even bring a list of fun date night questions that you can ask each other. There’s never a time to stop learning about your spouse!
2) Adventure Outside
In all honesty, my hubby and I are not the most adventurous people. We do love to be outside, but you’re unlikely to find us hiking or white water rafting. One thing that we really enjoy is canoeing. We live close to a river that is calm during the summer and is absolutely lovely to go out to on a summer afternoon. But whatever you do, make an effort to connect with each other and nature, just enjoying the scenery and each other’s company. It doesn’t have to look the same for everyone!
3) Live Music
This one is my personal favourites. I’m a pretty big fan of all things music, so any chance that we have to go see someone in concert, we take advantage of. This is one that can easily be tailored to your taste. You could go see something big in an arena or something cozier in a coffeehouse. Whatever the two of you like, check it out! And don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and see something new!
Night-In Date Nights:
1) Dinner In
One of my favourite things to do on a night when we’re desperate for a date but can’t make it out of the house is to host a little dinner date for us right at home. Usually how we make this work is that one of us will work on getting the kids fed something on the easy side and into bed while the other will work on dinner for the two of us. Once the kiddos are down, we get to sit down at the table and have dinner together. Light some candles, pull out the fancy glasses, and pretend you’re in your favourite restaurant! And utilize some of the same tips from the dinner out suggestions; make it feel like you’re really on a date!
2) Find a New Show
Something that we have found to be really fun is to find a new TV show that we can watch together. There’s something about following the plot of a show together that brings a bit of togetherness for us. Plus, it’s prime opportunity for some snuggle time on the couch! There have even been times that we’ve pulled out our hide-a-bed in our couch and gotten pillows and blankets and snacks, making it a whole fun ordeal. It brings us together for an hour or two, and doesn’t hold the expectation that we have to spend time in deep conversation either. Bonus: Try out a show that he really likes that might not exactly be what you’d pick. There’s something fun and sweet about watching the look on his face during all the scenes that he loves!
3) Play a Game
This is one that we do a lot. We figured out that sometimes the best way to have a conversation is to make sure we have something to do while we’re talking. So we started playing games! It works wonderfully for us because it allows for easy conversation but gives us something to do, and we figured out that we got so much more talking done and it felt effortless! Some of our favourites include classics like Monopoly, Pinochle, Cribbage, and Yahtzee, as well as newer ones like Settlers of Catan. Whatever you play, just enjoy each other and have fun; a little healthy competition may bring some fun into your marriage too!
Whatever you end up doing, whether it’s something at home or out and about, what matters most is being with each other. Keep your focus on the time you’re spending together and see the kind of fun you can have!
What about you? What are some of your favourite date nights, either at home or on the go? Tell us your thoughts!