One of the things I look forward to every week is date night with my husband. All week, we go to work in similar jobs, come home, eat dinner, collaborate on work matters, spend time with our dogs, catching up on social media, maybe watch a show we both enjoy (or sports), and go to bed. We may be doing all of these things at once while we’re at home.
We committed early on in our marriage to make sure we went out on a date at least a couple of times per month. We committed to an evening where we’d try to set aside work issues and the stresses of life and just spend time with one another. I feel that our weekly date nights contribute to the good relationship we have with one another. While we’re not perfect by any means, I’m proud of the fact that we don’t fight or have shouting matches when we don’t see eye to eye and never have escalated a disagreement to that point in our almost 4 years of marriage. We communicate with each other very openly and honestly, and we try to resolve issues before they grow into something much bigger and uglier.
I believe our date night helps with that.
Our weekly date night is fairly simple and is pretty repetitive:
- We usually pick Friday evening for our date night (great way to end a stressful week of teaching teenagers).
- We go out to eat so I’m off the hook with cooking for both of us for one evening.
- We grab our favorite dark chocolate bars on the way home and maybe some nice cheese to pair with it–depending on how we feel or if we’re really working on losing weight, there may be a bottle of red wine added to the mix. We don’t eat dessert throughout the week, so the chocolate bar is a special treat.
- We come home, relax with the dogs and chinchilla, catch up on tv (thanks to our DVR), and put on a movie we’re both interested in watching.
Most date nights follow these steps, and we’re okay with that. We try not to talk about work or things that are stressing us out and just enjoy each other’s company. We put the phones away during dinner and give each other our (mostly) undivided attention. We’re not there on a date with the other person’s phone, so phones remain in pockets until we leave the restaurant.
Sometimes we change up the restaurant we eat at, sometimes we swap the chocolate for a slice of low-carb cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, sometimes we binge-watch House of Cards instead of a movie, sometimes we geek out on political stuff, and sometimes we just spend some time in the same room while working on things we enjoy. All of those work for us. They may not work for everybody, and I get that.
In this fast-paced world of ours, it’s important to take time to slow down and appreciate what you have. That’s why I believe it’s important to take some time to date your spouse. You don’t have to go all-out and go to a nice dinner and a movie (even though that sounds fun!) or spend hours together if you don’t have that amount of time. Just set aside some time that’s just for the two of you. Talk to one another, enjoy each other’s company, and take some time to remember why you two are together in the first place.
I challenge you to take your spouse out on a date this week. If you’re short on time, go to Starbucks and just talk. Put the smartphones away and just talk to one another. Ask them about their week, their job, and if there’s anything new in their life. Tell jokes, laugh, smile, and enjoy one another.
If you have kids, put them to bed early and spend some time together while they’re asleep. Get a sitter if you can and go out. Put on some fancy clothes and enjoy yourselves. Dance in the kitchen. Try something new together. Go for a drive. Try a new restaurant you’ve heard about. Go get ice cream. Go for a walk around the block. Watch a sunset.
Just slow down and enjoy the company of the person you said you’d spend the rest of your life with.
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