\ ˈdāt ˈnīt \
noun : a night that every couple needs, yet rarely prioritizes.
Honestly, let’s talk. How often do you have a date night? Weekly? Monthly? Once a year? Never? We tend to prioritize everything else in our lives over our relationship with our partner. No, this conversation is not just for married folk. Date nights are important for everyone and here’s why: it is time for you to connect interrupted, share what’s going on, what your goals and dreams are and more. That might sound cheesy, but stay with me a minute.
Let’s take Mike and I for example. Some people might say, you guys work together, you get alone time all the time. Well that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, we do work together, but we work on different things within the church context. Actually, while I sit here typing this, I’m in my office, he’s in the other room working at the dining room table, 90s alternative is playing on our google home and Delaney is barking at the wind outside. We started our day like this around 9AM, said hi to each other around noon and we’ll stay like this til about 5:30PM when I start making dinner and he goes to play basketball. We’ll then collapse on the couch around 8:30, watch a show or two before falling asleep on the couch and dragging our butts to bed. SO yeah, we’re TOTALLY connecting, right?? WRONG. Oh also, I didn’t include the boys needing help during school hours and then help studying after their “day” ends. Oh and laundry and cleaning too?? Where do I get more hours in the day??
This is a typical day for most couples, especially in the midst of COVID when a large percentage of Americans are working from home. So do you see why date nights are important? Where does our relationship come into play during days like this? Where’s the love? The affection? Cue a date night!
Now, I don’t care what your date night looks like, but I do have two rules for it: It cannot just be going to the movies. It cannot be bingeing Netflix. Why? There’s no conversation there. There’s no interaction at all. If you want to see a movie, go to dinner or happy hour beforehand. If you want to chill at home, have a charcuterie board and some wine together first. On a budget? Go for a long walk together without your phones. Have young kids? Get a sitter or start your date night after bedtime, although I highly recommend the sitter so you can avoid just crashing once they go to bed bc little ones don’t sleep much and I know how that is.
I have two more rules for your date night: no talking about the kids or work. This one is hard y’all, believe me, but what it does is it inspires conversation about each other and you as a couple. What has inspired you lately? What’s keeping you up at night? What are you bored of? What’s something new you’d like to try? If you could go on vacation anywhere right now, where would it be and how do we make it happen? These are questions that help to build your relationship with your partner bc that should never stop. People change and when we choose to grow together is when relationships grow and flourish. These are the questions that you don’t have the space to ask in between work, kids and everything else that happens in a day.
Last thing: Dress up for your date night! When was the last time you got dressed up? Remember your first date? I’m sure you changed at least three times or bought a new outfit for it. Dressing up can help you feel good about yourself bc we’re all living in leggings lately, am I right?? When you’re feelin’ yourself, your partner is sure to notice and then…. well you can decide where the night takes you 😉
Mike and I used to do date nights twice a month and honestly, we’ve kinda slacked on that since COVID. Our charcuterie board nights at home are distracted most times by many things, mainly our phones. We recently decided enough was enough. We’re prioritizing our date nights and planning them ahead of time. Every other Friday night when the boys aren’t home are our date nights and on the Fridays they are, we’ll at least sneak in a long, unplugged walk together.
So, when is your next date night? Put it in your calendar now and I promise you, you’ll start to get excited for each one. Prioritize your spouse and your relationship bc when all is said and done, kids leave and the two of you are left sitting there looking at each other either thinking, “Who is this person?” or “I’m so excited to keep doing this on our own now!” You get to choose which one it’ll be.
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