Married Life

Date Your Spouse

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.

38 Comments

  • Meagan

    Absolutely love it! My husband and I have been married for 8 years after dating for four (high school sweethearts) and he is still my very favorite person to be around! I totally relate to the grocery store date night! Sometimes life gets in the way but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the time you get to be together!

  • Holly

    Such important reminders to keep dating no matter how long you’ve been together. Kids often take our focus so sometimes you need to just schedule it in to make sure it happens.

  • Sandra Riguzzi

    This is a great post and these are all great ideas. Dating is so important to keep a marriage fresh…it is so hard when life gets crazy. I write about that to in an anniversary post – I am going to try your game idea!

  • Candi Randolph

    I agree that setting aside the time to spend with one another is so important to keeping a marriage healthy and strong. It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it is just the two of you spending time together.

  • Melody

    What a great post! I love that you’ve not only explained the importance of dating our spouses, but also added so many possibilities what what we can do together. You’re so right that it’s the time spent together intentionally that makes the difference.

  • Live Learn Better

    As a parent to young kids, date nights is very rare these days. But we consciously plan to take time and hang out with each other as a matter of priority.
    The cares of this life could draw couples apart if care is not taken.

  • Sarah

    Dating my husband has been a huge part of our marriage. In the early days, before kids, it was so nice to be able to spend time out of our home doing something simple. We never had a lot of money but, like you said, just walking around the mall can be a great time together!

  • Life Travel Soul

    Oh yes… dating your spouse is really important. I totally agree that dating helps you reconnect with each other. We love going out during the weekend and check out the local bars and restos. Yesterday, we went to the tulip festival and spent only a few bucks for food. We had a fun time listening to the free concert. You’re absolutely right! It doesn’t have to be expensive to have a great time with your honey.

  • Despite Pain

    What a lovely post and I really enjoyed seeing your photos. You and Nathan look so happy in them all. You are right about the money aspect. You don’t have to spend lots (or any!) money to spend time together, having fun and enjoying each other’s company. It was our 27th wedding anniversary yesterday. Last night we had a lovely homecooked dinner and watched a movie together.

  • Leslie Sepanski

    I love all of these ideas! Definitely something we are trying to improve with our crazy schedules. I do agree that it is so important to make this a priority in our relationship. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Angie

    I completely agree! It’s so important to make time for each other. My husband and I are going on 13 years and some of our dates are simply watching a movie together after the kids are down for the night. Making the time is all it takes!

  • Sushmita

    Wonderful pics! And I can not agree more. I just got married after a courtship of roughly 2 years. We always have it on our priority to spend quality time together – doing what we both like – without any distractions. I so hope that we can be ;like you guys after 10 years!

  • daphne takahashi

    Great post filled with great advices! Totally agree when you say that we need to date our spouse to show that even if life gets hectic, our spouse is still of high priority to us! We need to constantly work in our relationship as a couple to make it stronger, beautiful post!

  • Lyosha

    This is such a nice post! You are such a sweet couple!
    I try going on dates with my husband as often as I can too. We try being creative and finding new ways to explore. For example we had a year of on-going dates when we chose a restaurant each month (I look the odd numbers) and we ate the same dessert in there. We made a chart out of it with various nominations: 1) absolute best carrot cake 2) most delicious and affordable carrot cake 3) the most stylishly served carrot cake. It was so much fun for both of us. And having a dessert once a month is not that expensive even if you pick a fancy place. Like sweet stuff is normally the cheapest there.

  • Luna S

    This is a wonderful post! I think it is important to take time out of your busy work/life schedule to spend some one on one time with your spouse, it really does help keep the relationship alive.

  • Vicki Patton

    This post is such a good reminder! Since we have had our first child, who is two now, we barely have time to ourselves. We do hang out and talk but it would be soooo nice to setup a date night even if it’s at home. I completely agree that we still need to date our spouse.

  • Sara Green

    It’s so important to keep the relationship a priority. But, that can be really difficult due to the chaos of life. I love how you explain that dates don’t need to be elaborate gesture. It really is the small things.

  • Debra Roberts

    My husband and I had a date day today with lunch and a trip to REI for backpacking supplies. Then we salient the evening going through a few years of photos and choosing our favorites too make a book. It’s the little things that make it fun and satisfying.

  • Scott J DeNicola

    At this point in our life with how crazy it is my wife and I go for twice a month. Even if its just dinner and a movie or just a walk around town in the summer.

    It’s so important to spend time together to just exist with each other and talk. We also try to talk about things other than our kids.

    Great reminder.

  • Luna S

    This is so sweet, I think that spending quality time alone with your spouse is quite important in a relationship. Covid has been making it harder to plan date night things!

  • Stephanie S

    This is so important in marriages. My husband, and I make sure to take some time just for the two of us. We just started our adventures with Home Chef Express. We pick up a new meal when we do our grocery shopping, and a bottle of wine. We cook together, eat, and later relax with our glass of wine. Lately it has been so nice to just let everything go, and enjoy! Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. 🙂

  • Stella

    I love these personal examples of date ideas. I agree with you, it is time spent together, who and not what that matters. My husband and I used to hire a babysitter and go for breakfast almost every Saturday morning. It was our thing, we’d talk, sometimes we’d even discuss finances. But it was or time together and I really looked forward to it. We don’t live that lifestyle anymore and the kids are bigger and sometimes we forget to make that time. Thank you for the reminder. And I love the pictures!

  • Nicole Anderson - Camping for Women

    You have shared such an important message here for couples everywhere. It is so important to not let the magic die and to consciously make time together to do things ‘on a date’. You rightfully make the point that this is not about the expense, it is about quality time together irrespective of whatever it is you plan to do. It is clear you and Nathan are definitely making it work for the long term and it was great to read this and see images of you both together.

  • Melanie williams

    Aw I LOVE this post. Agree with you completely by dating you are spending top quality tip together…my and my husband have been together 20 years and always have date nights x

  • Thuy-Linh Phan

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for over 4 years. Because of the shutdown/pandemic we were limited in places to go out so we did date nights at home. When things normalized I’d love to go out on more intentional dates together.

  • Nkem

    This is such a lovely post and aligns really well with the jazz music I’m listening to right now. Dating is about cultivating a connection and bonding. I love what you wrote about showing each other you remain a high priority to each other when you intentionally date and care for each other. We are all somehow just looking to be seen.

  • Kat

    This is so important, and I love how you’ve described how simple, necessary activities can be made into something fun that you and your partner look forward to. It’s so true that dates don’t have to be expensive to be fun – in fact, the traditional dinner dates can get a little stale after a while. Doing outdoor activities together sounds like much more fun to me!

  • Britt K

    I love this! My husband and I do our best to enjoy at least one date night each week. Sometimes we go out somewhere nice like visiting a local brewery or going out for dinner. However, there are many weeks that date night is just walking the dogs to the local Tim Hortons and enjoying a coffee together or watching a movie together in the back yard. As you said, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing as long as we’re enjoying that time together.

  • Smita

    My hubby is my best friend and we do practically everything together – especially these days ‘coz of the lockdowns. We love each others’ company whether it’s on walks/ hikes, dinners or just grocery shopping, I cherish all of it!

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