Date night doesn’t have to be a fond and wistful memory from the days before kids. You might need to employ some creativity, but chances are you can still find the important time that you need to reconnect as a couple.
Spending time together without the kids is a critical part of keeping a marriage healthy. Kids need you at soccer practice, but the relationship that you have with your spouse also needs nurturing. The only way to get that is to make the time — schedule it, if you must — to set everything else aside and focus on the person you decided to spend the rest of your life with.
Here are a few ways to help make it happen:
Date Night Can Happen Any Time
Trying to squeeze date night into busy weekend activities can end up causing stress rather helping you remember all of the reasons why you married this person. And while you're remembering, don't forget to take some time for you. (Read: Women Caregivers and Taking Care of You)
So Friday night isn’t an option because there’s a game, and maybe Saturday isn’t good, either, because of another scheduling conflict. Date night can happen on a Wednesday as easily as the weekend. And it doesn’t have to be at night.
Plan Date Night Early for Fewer Surprises
You’ll need reservations in advance, if your idea of date night involves dinner at a nice restaurant. Mark it on your calendar, too, so the date doesn’t sneak up on you, or worse, pass by unnoticed. (Read: A Family Calendar Helps Avoid Confusion)
If your kids are young enough to need a sitter, make arrangements early to avoid the last-minute stress of securing child care. If you don’t have a regular sitter, think about organizing with some of your friends to trade off child care duties on different nights. They probably need a date night, too!
You Don’t Need a Destination for Date Night
If going out to dinner and a movie seems like too much time away from home, you can steal away together without leaving at all. Date night at home doesn’t give you as much alone time, but it is still possible.
Ground rules are important for this to work. Make sure the kids know that when Mom and Dad’s door is closed, they’re not to be disturbed. This might take some time to iron out, especially when kids are accustomed to unfettered access to both parents at all times.
Date night is as important as anything else that’s in your life or on your calendar. Team practice meets at a set time, and lessons do, too. But keeping a marriage healthy deserves its own spot on your schedule instead of just hoping to fit it in some day.
Romance is critical for the long-term health of your marriage, explains the American Psychological Association. Kids will grow up and form relationships of their own. But the relationship that you have with your spouse should last a lifetime, if you take the time to nurture it as the priceless gift that it is.
How do find time to you steal away with your sweetheart? We'd love to hear your creative ideas!