Not what do to on a date night per se, but the importance of them and in general, making time for your marriage. Everyone has a different connection with their spouse and different things that make them tick, so while I can’t really give advice on the topic, I can tell you what is working for us right now, 13 years of marriage in and with kids ages 11 and 8.
Let me go ahead and get this out of the way- we kind of suck at date nights right now. I have a friend that has a standing date night every week with her husband. Isn’t that amazing? It’s something I’d love to implement, but it’s not really in the cards for us right now because of kid sports and adult bed times. Explanation: I can’t get home from Kaitlyn’s soccer at 7:15 and go change to go out. I mean, I guess I could, but I’d be calculating my bedtime the whole time. Getting up early and having full days means that by the time 8:00 rolls around, I’m mentally done for the day.
I do love breakfast dates. Mornings are when I shine- fresh, alert, chatty, all the things. A couple weeks ago we had blood work appts at the same time (romantic, no?) and went to get breakfast together afterwards. It was wonderful to have time just the two of us to talk about all the life things over a buzz off coffee and tea. But, we don’t get to do that all that often either.
Still, despite not rocking the date nights, I still feel very connected to David. I don’t have anything to compare it to, but our communication feels solid. In this season of life, making time for our marriage looks like this:
- Daily workouts – we’ve worked out together for years now and it’s a highlight of both our days, mostly because it’s time for just the two of us. We start with a 30 minute walk and use it as a time to debrief each other on the happenings of the day, the latest with the kids, upcoming plans, anything going on in our heads or bodies.
- Prioritizing time together – Relaxing together in the evenings while the kids play upstairs, sipping coffee on the porch in the mornings, and reserving time on the weekends just for being together as a family.
- Inside jokes – Laughing together breeds connection.
- Doing little things for each other to make the other’s life easier – I get up to make the coffee and his breakfast even on the early mornings. He takes out the trash. I take care of Finley every morning; he takes her out and puts her in the crate at night.
- Saying thank you – Notice the things that the other person is doing. Being appreciated feels good and a simple “thank you; I noticed” pays dividends.
- Dream together – Gosh this lights us up. Talking about what we’re working towards and how we will get there is so exciting and really bonds us.
Communication, mutual respect, and doing little things to help each other keeps our marriage strong. Do I wish we had a little more time for date nights, weekends away, and romance? Absolutely. I look forward to reviving that in a different season of life, but right now working towards our collective dreams, staying connected in the little ways through the hustle and bustle of our days, and always turning towards each other to solve problems is keeping us connected.
For more on this topic, check out:
Also, I just wrote this whole post then went to ask David his thoughts on our marriage. I asked him what he thought we did well, and he said “we talk a lot.” I asked what we needed to do better and he said “standing date nights.” So, sigh, maybe I need to get over my 9:00 bedtime and create a standing date night 😂
If you’re married, I’m curious- what season of marriage are you in? What keeps you connected? Has it changed over time? What are your strengths? What are your struggles?