Before I was married, I heard married couples talk about “date night.” Usually these couples had small children in the house and it was more of an “escape night” than a date night. So now as a married person, I have to think about things like, is dating my spouse important? How can keep the romance alive? And other such issues.
When Carl and I were married without children, we did go on dates. Not just, “let's grab dinner.” But intentional nights that we spent together catching up on each other's lives. Even though we live together, we miss moments in each other's days. We aren't together 24/7, so we need time to catch up. Even now, with a child, we make time to spend together. Sometimes it's an at home date night after JL goes to bed. Other times like today, it's a spur of the moment breakfast date at a new cafe in town followed by a trip to Target.
What is so important about these moments? As a woman, I have a need to feel connected to my man. I don't like it when we are running around like crazy always going in two different directions. So a meal together or even running errands together is a chance for us to be together without our cell phones blowing up or the laundry staring us in the face. It's time for us to concentrate on each other. It's time for us to remember who we married and continue to get to know each other better.
In the past I have feared losing touch with my husband…especially after throwing kids into the mix. I don't want to send our kids off to college and then look at each other and think, “Who are you?” But I know, now that I have a child, that continuing to know your spouse while you raise a child doesn't happen accidentally. That is why I love date nights.
Here's the thing. Dates don't have to happen at night. Dates don't have to be expensive. And dates don't have to be elaborate.
Without having family close by, we can't always hire a sitter for a date. So sometimes, our dates mean putting JL in the stroller and walking around the park for an hour. Sometimes our dates are to the grocery store. Sometimes our dates are to McDonalds for ice cream. And sometimes our dates on our deck after JL falls asleep. You can be creative with your dates. Just keep in mind the point of having a date is to get to know your spouse better. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it does need to be intentional.
I have found that when we have a date night where we intentionally focus on each other, then the next few days we communicate better. Once we get on the same page, it is much easier to stay on the same page.
What do you think? How have date nights influenced your marriage? What is one of the best dates you have been on? What are some of the benefits of dating your spouse?