You began your relationship by dating. You had dinners, you went mini-golfing, you kissed in the back of the movie theater, it was so much fun and you looked forward to every one! Are you still dating?
Most likely you’re married if you’re reading this, but I mean are you still dating your spouse? Or was your wedding the signal for all that to end?
Take a look at some of these marriage stereotypes we’ve run across:
“Enjoy it while it lasts”
“Marriage is where romance goes to die”
“Once you’re married your sex life goes down the toilet”
“Married couples are boring”
Is this what you want your marriage to look like? Why do we find it so hard to continue dating our partner once we get married?
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been in these situations…
- You circle date night on the calendar and when that day rolls around you look at each other and go back and forth saying “what do you want to do? I dunno what do you want to do?” You then ultimately decide to watch tv because neither of you can choose.
- Now that you have kids, date nights are few and far between because you can’t afford - or find - a weekly babysitter.
- Sometimes it’s just easier to plan a bigger outing for a few months from now than put the time into planning something every week.
- Are you living for an empty nest? Being a chauffeur for hockey games, dance classes and school plays has left you with minimal time. Kid’s stuff comes first right?
- You prefer to live spontaneously and say yes to whatever idea sounds best at the time.
- Life is hectic and you’re tired.
…Or maybe you’re like Jake and I and can raise your hand for almost every one of those excuses (our babe is a little too young to be in activities yet!). This is exactly how we decided this topic was too important not to talk about. We had to work through all of it and still occasionally prefer an early bed time to anything else.
Let’s be real. It’s probably not that you don’t want to spend time with your spouse, life has just gotten in the way. Those stereotypes I mentioned earlier? Yeah, they definitely came from real marriage trends…which is exactly what we are trying to protect against!
So let’s remind ourselves of a few good reasons to put date night back on the calendar and keep it there!
Makes your priorities understood
Where you spend your time is where your heart is. Look at your calendar and see what you are truly prioritizing. Don’t tell your partner they are the most important person in your life and then spend more time with your friends. That message is incongruous. You can’t have intimacy with someone you barely see or talk to.
Planning for and then respecting your time together protects from interruptions like working late, mindlessly scrolling on your phone, kids, and other good but less important opportunities.
It’s going to foster a closer friendship with your spouse
Again, where you spend your time is where your heart is. Having a regular date night will refresh your relationship by consistently having fun together. It can also help you feel safe and comfortable to have good communication practices.
Easier time engaging in sexual intimacy
The more often you engage in activities and conversations that connect the two of you, the easier it will be for both partners to say yes to each other’s desires. Even though men have a more physiological need for sex, it’s been proven that sex is better for everyone when there is an emotional connection.
Your kids will have a healthy model for their own marriages
I agree that we want to teach our kids to be kind, successful and respectful adults, but what ultimately happens to our kids? They move out and have lives of their own! And what are you left with? A spouse you haven’t really connected with in 18 years? I hope not - but it’s not uncommon. Many middle age divorces happen for that exact reason. It is entirely possible to prioritize your marriage AND raise beautifully kind and successful kiddos! Don’t wait!
Does this sound like something you've been craving? Just a little more connection, a little more conversation and a little more fun! You can have it, you just gotta…(pause for dramatic effect and obvious conclusion!)
Don’t feel overwhelmed! Date nights don’t have to be fancy or cost a dime! Don’t let the word “date” make you think it needs to be a big gesture like you maybe did while you were dating. Some of my favorite date nights have been hanging out at home cuddling while watching a movie. (FREE minus the Netflix subscription)
Between the two of you, establish frequency, budget, and who will be in charge of planning the night. Take turns! You could go big once a month, quarter or year, and do simple dates at home the rest of the time…you can really get creative and tailor it to your personalities and preferences here!
Resist regularly including other people. Occasionally you could use your time for a double date, but going to a concert with a group of people misses the mark…the point is focusing on time together.
It’s our whole mission to see your marriage succeed! So we created this fun date night activity that helps you plan your date nights for the rest of the year!
Our 52 Weeks of Date Nights Planner Guide is perfect to help you schedule your dates ahead of time. This resource will help you plan one date night for every week of the year! (We recommend a weekly date night, but you can of course tailor the frequency to your lifestyle) And you can use the method we share over and over again every year going forward.
This is a totally FREE tool. It’s not behind a paywall and you don’t need to give us your email address. That is how passionate we are that you start connecting weekly and stick to it!
We’re here for you!
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know a few of your favorite date nights. We may include your ideas in future posts to encourage others!