I went on a date with my husband last night and it really got me thinking about our date nights and why they are important. It’s the thing that keeps us together. I was going through my daily memories on Facebook not long ago and I found a picture of me with Nathan. He had posted it and tagged me in it. The caption was, we’ve had such a busy week and conflicting schedules that our date night is a trip to the grocery store. Since then, I’ve come to enjoy those trips because it is time together. It honestly made me appreciate something that simple and mundane. It also reminded me that it is important to date my husband.
Dating is spending quality time together. It isn’t what you do, it’s who you’re with. It builds that connection. It’s the funny memories of being goofy in the store. I have a picture of me squatting over a giant poop emoji pillow one day. Nathan, I’ve got one where he’s holding a stuffed monkey and it appears to be strangling him while he looks panicked. Those are the simple moments that make me laugh and all we had to do was go to the store. It is making a fun time out of something mundane and typical. We get to be goofy together. Don’t be afraid to be silly together and just laugh.
Dating allows us to reconnect. Sometimes we just get busy. Schedules conflict, life happens. That is what I call it. Life happens. With being so busy, it sometimes feels like we become roommates instead of a couple who are married. The term two ships passing in the night suddenly not only makes sense, but is a perfect description for our relationship. Nobody wants to have this happen. It’s making each other feel important and like we really are connected. Dating not only allows us to reconnect, but the opportunity to focus specifically on each other.
Dating shows each of us that we are still a high priority to the other one. When life happens it is so easy to feel like we don’t matter. We’re just sort of there and part of the scenery. Enough so that it can seriously make you wonder why you’re there. Like, I wonder what things would look like without me here. Would it even matter or would anyone notice? I don’t want to ever feel like that, and I certainly don’t want my husband to feel like that. So our date nights show each other that we care. That we want to be a part of each other’s lives. Everybody wants to feel loved and wanted, and this is an excellent way to show it.
Dating your spouse should be done intentionally. Blocking out a time frame once a week, or however often you do it, for your spouse and time with them. My husband’s work schedule varies, so our date night isn’t a set day each week. Sometimes it is once a week, sometimes it is a couple days out of a week. But whatever day(s) it is, we make sure we are taking time to do something together.
Sometimes on his day off, he wants to just sleep in and catch up. That is perfectly understandable and I try to accommodate that. Other days, I’ll ask him to get up at a certain time and thoroughly plan something out. Plans are good because I like schedules and it keeps everyone on the same page and we start the day on the right foot, so to speak. I read somewhere the greatest term that applies to this: if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. I love this. Because it is so true. If we don’t plan out a time to dedicate to our spouse, we are going to fail at it. It’s honestly just that simple.
Dates don’t need to be elaborate or expensive. Last week we went out to dinner and it was fairly expensive, we had steak dinners at one of our favorite restaurants. We also went to the mall and went shopping. Yes, that one was a bit spendy overall. But it was fun too. I got exercise that I desperately needed. I’d sunburnt the top of my feet the week before, so I couldn’t put on shoes and actually exercise all week. So walking around the mall was amazing for me. Nathan plays Pokemon on his phone. While we were out, he was able to go catch some new ones he didn’t have as well. It worked out beautifully for both of us.
He also had the following day off. We planned to stay home and make dinner together. It was equally amazing and far less expensive. I love making dinners with my husband. It’s a chance to work together to create something wonderful. This is the time we put down our phones and iPads and really just hang out together. We get to talk about the house and things we want to do, ideas we’ve come up with for decorating or something we don’t like and want to change/replace. Sometimes it is even cleaning together or moving furniture around.
Dates can be as simple as a picnic in the park, or going for a walk together. Sometimes it is as simple as making a grocery list and then going to the store together. Listening to music and having a conversation about it while in the car. It can seriously be anything you want it to be. I think far too many people think date nights should be elaborate and expensive and that is the only way to show someone you care. This can lead to less date nights because we’re all adults and we have to pay bills. I think this is a big mistake in terms of relationships. Don’t sacrifice date nights just because you don’t have $200 to drop on a date each week. It’s not about the money. We all tend to forget that at times.
Take time for things each of you enjoy. Yesterday as we were walking around downtown, I noticed some little shops that were resale and antique shops. That isn’t Nathan’s thing by any near means. He wouldn’t go into those on his own. But, he was willing to indulge going in with me. He plays Pokemon, as I said. I don’t. I wouldn’t play it on my own, but when he hands me his phone and asks if I want to catch one, sure! I’m all about it.
Sometimes I ask questions just to learn about it and he’s happy to teach me. Both of these are things we wouldn’t do without each other if we were on our own. When we do them together, and are willing to indulge the other one, it makes it that much more special. Because it shows each of us that we care enough about the other one to be willing to do something we would not do on our own.
Make a game of dates. Who can come up with the most creative date night for the least amount of money? Or, who can come up with the most creative date night within a one mile radius to the house? Where can we go within walking distance? Make it fun and creative. Challenge yourselves! I love competitions with my husband, and this is an excellent way to do it. Or, create a set of dice with corresponding things to go with the numbers. One roll for activity, one for the type of food, one for distance away, or whatever else you want to do. Make it yours. Use things you both enjoy and have fun with it. This is fantastic if you are feeling indecisive or can’t agree on something.
Think back to when you first started dating your spouse… what did you do? You spent time together, you made memories, you made each other laugh and feel important. Just because you got married doesn’t meant that ends. Date nights are great ways to do these things and keep that spark alive or the flame burning. Far too many people allow it to end and things get boring. Life becomes dull and each of us becomes part of the scenery. Keep life interesting.