What’s a Date?
We’ve heard it over an over…
“Don’t stop dating once you get married.”
“It’s important to have those weekly date nights.”
“Make each other a priority.”
“Don’t forget to still date each other.”
I’m thinking, “Right. Somewhere in our life we’re supposed to carve out regular date nights?” This feels about as possible as climbing Mt. Everest with a 1,000lb weight strapped on my back.
I agree with all those statements. Who am I kidding? I’ve said most of them at some point or another. It’s a matter of making them a reality that seems to have slipped through our fingers.
Casey and I go away for our anniversary every year, and during this time, we usually evaluate how the past year went and talk about our goals and vision for the next year.
Date nights are always a part of that conversation. The conversation is usually about how we are failing miserably at making them a priority and how we’re going to do better next year. This has happened, without fail, every year for the last 15 years.
We’ve had some real winning streaks sprinkled in there along the way, but it’s never been great and never been consistent.
We can talk about it. We can counsel others to do it. We can preach “date nights” till we’re blue in the face, but the truth is…we’re not great at it.
Life has a way of interrupting our best intentions.
Why is it important to even keep trying? I mean, it’s been 15 years…maybe we should just wave the white flag of surrender and give up. Life wins.
That is the attitude I’ve adopted at times over the last few years, but it’s not okay. We need to fight for that time and space with each other.
It’s important to let how we spend our time reflect the priorities in our life. When we take the time to squeeze in a Date Night we’re saying to our spouse, “You matter. You’re a priority. You’re still my best friend and I like to be with you!”
Here are our two hurdles – time and kids.
That first hurdle of time…Days can be long and jam packed, and when we sit down to look at the calendar, we just end up scratching our heads: Not sure where to make the time. Not sure what to let go.
All too often that’s where we generally give up — Calendar 1; Casey and Kara 0. I guess at this point, more like — Calendar 5,525; Casey and Kara 27. However you look at it – we’re losing.
This is where we just have to be intentional. Make the time. Create the space. Sometimes, it’s as simple as changing our perspective. Not every date night has to be elaborate or take a whole day or a whole evening.
Maybe it’s movie and popcorn once the kids are in bed. Or maybe it’s meeting up for lunch together for an hour during the week. Perhaps, it’s hiring a sitter for two hours while you grab coffee and sit at a park.
If we can’t find two hours in the week to be intentional towards our spouse, then we need to re-prioritize our life. (Preachin’ to myself)
Second hurdle. Kids.
For some couples I know it’s hard to find someone to watch the kids. A night out can get expensive very quickly when you include the cost of a sitter! If you have friends or family who would do a swap out – do it! Let them have your kids while you get a night out and then swap with them! Or have some cheaper intentional at-home-date-nights!
We are actually super blessed in the “friends and family who are wiling to watch our kids” department. Call me crazy, but for me, the hurdle is that I don’t want to leave my kids!
When life has been crazy, I want to protect the times we have together as a family. I don’t want to leave them with someone and go out.
But it’s so important to demonstrate to our children the importance we place on our marriage. We need to model something healthy for them. It’s good for them to see Dad and Mom going out and enjoying each other!
When children see their parents loving each other and being affectionate with one another, it provides a sense of safety and security for them.
It’s beneficial for them, and you, to take that date night! No guilt.
You will be setting a wonderful example for them to follow one day.
Last August, I wanted to take Casey out on a birthday date. Instead, I got sick. It’s now currently February of 2018, and I still owe that man a birthday date. (Like I said earlier, preachin’ to myself here!)
Fellas, it means a lot when you take the initiative and make a date night happen. Whether it’s one of those at-home-dates or you’ve lined up help with kids and it’s a night out – your being intentional goes a long way.
Now, having said that…Ladies, you can plan a date night too! Don’t wait around frustrated and sulking that your husband hasn’t made an effort. YOU make an effort! Don’t always leave it up to him to make a date night happen.
So, what’s your story?
What are your hurdles to getting in those date nights together? What obstacles do you find yourself facing? Or maybe you are not like us at all?! Do you all do a great job sneaking in those date nights? If you do, then share your secrets!
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