Everyone in our profession sings the praises of having a planned date night, even me! In fact, the Huffington Post just published an article on the importance of Date Nights. So we know that it is important, but at times it can seem like a daunting task. You have to get a babysitter, make the plans, buy the tickets or make reservations somewhere and get out of your pjs when it might be easier to sit on the couch and watch TV.
Here are three powerful rules for date night. They are designed to encourage you to follow through with your plans and provide tools to help make date night easier. Most important, to feel more connected with your spouse.
Three powerful rules for date night:
Make It an Event
Make sure you prioritize and protect the time you are choosing to spend together. Mark the night off in your calendars and protect it just as much as you would an important meeting or your child’s soccer tournament. Planning date night doesn’t have to be a chore. Talk with your spouse about what you both enjoy doing. Keep a running list of ideas or take turns choosing an activity.
My husband and I decided to write out a bunch of date night ideas, throw them into a hat and pick one each week to have “surprise” plans! For fancier dates, we get dressed and ready in different rooms in our homes for these nights. This creates opportunities for “first looks” and leaves room for sweet compliments and romance. These are just a couple ideas that we use to keep date night spontaneous and fun.
The second date night rule emphasizes that when connecting with your partner, it is important that you disconnect from everything else. Yes, put the phones away, hire a baby-sitter (if needed), and plan activities where you can focus on each other. It is important to have time to connect with the whole family and friends, but date night should be for the two of you. Whether this is a lunch during the week or an every Friday night event, make sure you take the steps to put the focus on your spouse. If you have small children and are worried about emergency calls, keep your phone with you, but otherwise silence the phone and put it away. Shut down social media apps, so that a quick check of your phone to make sure your kids are okay doesn’t turn into a 10-minute distraction.
As for me and my husband, we decided to go one step further and plan dates that had no technology components to them. We put our phones away and get back to all the fun things that lend to connection; dinner and dancing, long walks in the woods or on the beach, etc. As a result, we are more focused on one another.
Keep Conversations Light and Fun
Use this date night rule to protect date nights from potential conflict or tense subjects. Date night is not the time to crunch the numbers for the budget or try to figure out how you are going to parent your children. This is a time to reconnect, get to know each other again, and maintain your friendship. Talk about your hopes and dreams and what inspires you. Share what you love about each other or what makes each other happy. Discuss vacation ideas, retirement dreams, or a recent hobby that you’re enjoying. Couples often get stuck in “report talk,” which is telling each other about the mundane tasks of living and the “business” of marriage and family life. The idea behind date night is that we have “rapport talk.” You may wonder what’s the difference. Rapport talk is really getting to know each other and connecting on an emotional level.
Plan regular date nights with your spouse to reconnect. This will look different for every couple so make sure you find what works for you. Add it to your calendars and fall in love with your spouse all over again.
Sometimes we need more than a date night.
Do you struggle to find time with your mate? Do you feel like you and your spouse are growing apart? Call or book an appointment online with us to gain extra tools on your journey to connecting more with your spouse. We are here to help guide you to a more connected, committed, and intimate relationship.
You might also enjoy our blog How to Get Back (or Keep) that Loving Feeling