A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog post about putting your marriage first as it relates to your kids. You can find it here.
The post generated a lot of feedback but more specifically I had people asking me how my wife and I date weekly.
The truth is I go into it a little bit on the last blog post but I was asked enough questions that I realized we needed to dive in a little deeper.
Here’s how my wife and I have started dating weekly again and we absolutely love it!
- Define Terms
I said this in the last post but essentially you and your spouse need to define what a date should be. For some reason, my wife and I both had this idea that the other one wanted to go out of the house and do something. Once we started talking about it though, we realized that wasn’t always what the other one was looking for in a date. We realized that “date” meant for both of us the chance to connect with each other and have fun together. So sometimes we were going out to see a movie and not getting the chance to connect. Sometimes we were staying in and talking together but it was less fun together and more like a marriage staff meeting. We addressed everything from budgets to kid’s issues, but we didn’t have fun together. Now that we have clarity around the term, we both know that a “date night”, doesn’t always mean we’re going out it just means we’re going to set aside time to have fun and connect.
- Think outside (or inside) the box.
We’ve found a company that we really like that sends you a date box. So often we ended up just doing the same thing and this is fun because the box comes and we don’t get to pick what it is. We end up trying new things and mixing it up which is really fun. It’s also nice for us because we don’t find a sitter we just plan an evening where the kids eat before us and go to bed a little early. You can find the company we use here, we’re not sponsored by them or anything we just thought it was a fun thing to try. They cost around $30 which seemed like a lot until we realized we’d spend two to four times that on going out for a date.
- Schedule It
That’s romantic isn’t it? Sure spontaneous is fun and can be a great way to surprise the other spouse. The truth is though, with 3 young kids, if we didn’t schedule it, we didn’t do it. So when we start to plan out the week there’s a simple conversation we have that sets the day for that week. Usually it’s around the time we talk through meals for the week because we try to plan something easy and quick for the kids on the night that works best for us to have our date. You could say every Wednesday but our schedules change enough that the same day each week became hard to maintain. So instead of canceling it the weeks that a normal day doesn’t work we just take it on a week by week basis.
4. Share the Responsibility
My wife has been fantastic during this because as I started to try to do more and plan these dates out she quickly helped shoulder the responsibility. One week I was overwhelmed by all of my work projects I had to get done and she came in and organized the date night that week. Other times I try to plan and prepare it for her and let her be surprised. Either way we realized that our marriage is like a muscle. We either need to strengthen it or if we don’t it’s strength begins to atrophy. So we both take the responsibility of growing closer to each other.
5. Get Help.
Your spouse should be the person you want to connect to and grow closer with through these dates. But the truth is investing in your marriage can be hard as a couple. So get help. We’ve used family and friends as babysitters so that we can go out around once a month and have a little more in depth date. We’ve also used resources like the date boxes and a simple website called married people. The parent company of the children’s curriculum I use for my job created it and it has some free and paid resources you can use to help you think of fun ideas on how to grow closer to your spouse. (They actually are the ones that helped me find the datebox). My point is simply that while Sarah and I spend money on gym memberships, Netflix, personal development, spending money when it came to one of the most important things we steward seemed like an easy sell. So get help where and when you need it.