We know that having a good marriage or dating relationship takes work, but it’s worth the effort. We also know that being intentional about spending time together is a vital part of having a strong relationship. And the best advice for getting that time is to plan regular date nights.
Here is some of the best advice I could share so you can have a great date night.
1. Try something new. Whether your relationship has fallen into a monotonous routine or not, it’s easy—and important—to try new things. Is there a new restaurant or coffee shop you drive by every week you’ve been wanting to try? Has your spouse mentioned something they’ve been wanting to do lately? Give it a try—even if it’s a bust, at least you get to experience something new with your favorite person.
Bonus tip: Trying something new doesn’t have to be limited to the things you do; it can be when you have a date, too. Instead of dinner and a movie, maybe you could try brunch and a walk.
2. Take turns planning. One person doesn’t always need to be responsible for choosing a restaurant, activity, or babysitter. You don’t need to be a master planner with a color-coordinated spreadsheet to do this well, either. Find which aspects of the date night you enjoy most, and divide responsibilities. Sharing the duties of date prep makes it easier for both of you to relax and enjoy your time together.
Bonus tip: Make a date jar by writing date ideas on popsicle sticks and keeping them on hand. When it’s time to start planning, draw a stick, book a babysitter, and enjoy your time together. This can take a lot of the guesswork out of planning—especially when life is busy.
3. Turn off your devices. The best advice I have to help you connect with the person sitting across from you is to disconnect from your life-line to the outside world—your phone. Unplug the moment your date starts to show your partner how important this time is to you. Fight the temptation to be gadget-centric and focus on the other person.
Bonus tip: Maybe you don’t feel comfortable completely turning off your phone because your kids are with a babysitter—that’s okay! Instead, set a specific ringtone for the babysitter so that you’ll know if you need to check your phone when you hear it.
4. Be intentional with your conversation. Dig deeper than the daily “How was work?” and “What did you do today?” questions. Talk about what you’re learning or where you want to travel. Ask them what they wanted to be when they were little. No matter how long you’ve been together, there’s always something new to learn about your partner.
Bonus tip: If you’re parents, don’t always talk about the kids. Set limits and boundaries around your conversations so that you’re truly able to enjoy the date, and not have a meeting about weekly schedules.
When life gets crazy, it can make it even more challenging to make date night a priority. Or maybe you’re having a tough time in your marriage or dating relationship. We’d love to pray with you.