#16 Schedule Regular Date Nights {52 Bites}

by Kari on February 10, 2012

Yes, yes, the holiday of love is looming right around the weekend’s corner. Are you running for cover or making grandiose plans? You’ve probably picked up by now I’m not much of a roses-and-chocolate girl. I love my man who knows how to scrub toilets and take out trash. For me, the ultimate romantic gesture can be summed up in one sentence, “Babe, today while you’re writing and I’m taking care of the kids are there any chores you’d like me to do?”  I melt.

We all know by now that we each have different love languages, right? And no two couples are the same. But whether you’re a gifts girl or crave nothing but quality time or even  if, like me, you don’t care about leaving the house you just want the house that you’re in to be clean (!) — we all still need purposeful time alone with our spouse. Why? Tsh shares some great reasons:

  1. We get to speak in complete sentences. (This week I attempted to make plans with Jeff for a family vacation while speaking to his back as he bathed both kids. I have no idea what we agreed upon.)
  2. We get to be people other than parents. (Confession: I am a different person when we go out without kids. I even remember how to flirt!)
  3. We get to talk about important stuff. (Not that “Do you need a lunch today?” isn’t riveting conversation, but date-night talk dives into the stuff of dreams and desires. It’s fresh breath for our souls.)
  4. We remember that we like each other. (This is the kicker for me. Jeff and I truly have a blast together. He’s my best friend. I just forget sometimes because life is a whirlwind and we’re running fast, each holding a kid. But when we stop and I kiss that rough, whiskered cheek, I remember — he’s the one I want.)
I’d also love to toss this in: If you’re single, remember to plan those dates with your Heavenly Husband… I know, it’s different. Love with skin is one-of-a-kind, but our Maker is the Lover of our Souls and time alone with Him feeds our hearts. I remember often dating Jesus, He was always on time, always listened, and never made me cry. Hard to beat that …
So how to make this happen? Well I don’t want to be like the fictitious marriage-speaker we discussed on Tuesday. So here’s my best effort at describing what works for us and suggesting a few ideas ….
  • Home Date-Night. We plan weekly date-nights but only go out once-a-month. Our “Date Night” is often also “Family Night.”  Family night lasts until the kids go to bed and then Date Night begins. Call it lame, it’s good for us. But I’m not a big “go out” girl and we live on a sweet little budget, so it works. We thrive on popcorn and scrabble sitting in bed.  We’re simple folk, I know. Maybe your home-date-night is a glass of wine by the fire. Or a fancy dessert from a bakery cut in two. What would you both enjoy?
  • Childcare Swap. For our monthly out date-night we have a date-night swap with another family. Each month we watch their children one night  and they watch ours. So, the whole arrangement is free and it holds us accountable to going out on the town. We use gift cards from Christmas and birthdays and enjoy a nice dinner (I love anything that I don’t have to cook!), or sometimes we just run errands and get ice cream. It’s just fun because we’re together, and don’t have to be back by 7:30 bedtime. We rarely spend extra money on date-nights, but we do have some budgeted in so we have the freedom to if we want.
And, don’t forget:
  • Look your best. It is ridiculous to me that I get more dolled up for Tuesday morning Bible study with the ladies than I do for a home date night with my man. What’s wrong with this picture? Because I have a sweet man who loves me in sweats, it’s easy for me to be lazy about my appearance. But girls, show your man some love by taking a shower and doing some lipstick or earrings or something? It’s easier than we think… 
  • Don’t use it as a time to communicate your gripes and honey-do list. I mean, sure, if there’s stuff that needs to be said, prayerfully consider sharing those things in a loving, respectful manner, but we’ll talk later about scheduling weekly meetings with your spouse, a time to talk business and schedules and download your frustrations and feelings. Let a date be just that– a date. Enjoy each other. Laugh. Be silly. If you can’t remember how to do that, just think back to whatever you did before you got married and go from there…
  • Remember what your husband wants and needs. I won’t elaborate…
So even if you decide to ditch Valentine’s day, avoid the crowded restaurants, and hole up at home for the night, plan a date-night soon. Take some time to think, be creative, and get one on the calendar. There’s no right or wrong way to do it …  just do it. {Thanks, all for reading. Have a fabulous weekend…}

*FYI: Wednesday, Feb. 15th, 6pm in Beaverton, I’m doing a workshop called Faithfully Frugal, easy ways to steward God’s resources and live simply, healthfully, frugally. It’s FREE and includes dinner and childcare. All are welcome, invite your friends. I’d love to see you there!