The other day I decided to enquire on the most reliable source (Facebook obviously), on how often married couples go on the proverbial “date night”. The response was a little bit sad, a little bit shocking but actually quite expected…
Firstly, I must not have a lot of married friends or very little friends that felt like commenting. I would have loved to hear from so many more people. Secondly, it’s sad that so many people don’t do this anymore. I agree with my sister in law (Mia) who gives a very valid reason why connecting as a couple is so important – with or without children.
All that being said, do we do “date nights”? The not so surprising answer… Yes and no. We haven’t done one in far too long, at least 1 month or 2 ago. I can’t even lie to you and say that we do “home date nights” because that works out better being parents of younglings and can’t get out. Because actually, our evenings consist of reading and watching TV. So I have 2 problems:
- I find that now that I no longer dedicate my evenings to studying, I have a surplus of “time” to fill (I bet you are shocked by that statement). So I have now filled this time with reverting back to our old traditions or watching TV and falling asleep, or more recently reading The Hunger Games trilogy (which is amazing by the way). Let’s face facts though – after a very busy day of working and then looking after the girls, plus being pregnant we both just feel like blobbing in front of the TV and relaxing a bit and not having to do something. So why can’t I dedicate one night a week to my husband and ensuring that our relationship doesn’t turn into a situation of 2 friends living in a house or something worse.
- The second problem that I have is that I tell my husband that our “date life” is sucking and that we need to do something about it. He agrees. So I suggest what I think is a cool and reasonable solution and though he doesn’t openly say it, I can see on his face that he’s like, “Ja right. You want to do what? When? No thanks.”. Unfortunately for him, I will not give up and will proceed with my idea in any case.
In his defense, he will say that he is against the whole way to enforce the idea, but when I asked him how to make it more “us”, he just looked at me and said, “You know I’m not the type to take time and energy to make things pretty and put stuff into stuff”… Very explanatory, I know. To be honest, I think the original idea is great… For other people… But I have yet to figure out a way to make this a little less, “done” and “frilly” which does not appeal to Seth at all.
So what’s the idea?
Take a jar and have differently coloured, painted lolliepop/sucker sticks (already too much effort to paint and co-ordinate) with different ideas written on them. Pop them in a jar a pull one out when you want to do a date. Red sticks have more expensive dates on them that require planning on our part. Dark pink sticks have “at home” dates. Light Pink dates have things we can do away from home but are less expensive than the red and don’t require as much planning.
Sounds like you? Great – do it! I’ll let you know if I think of something with less effort, but if you can think of something – then let me know.
But in the meantime – here’s the challenge if you choose to accept it…
And no, this is not only for young couples or couples with young kids, it’s also for couples with experience (that’s nicer than saying old couples right?) and pretty much every other kind of couple out there. Despite our home circumstances I doubt that we give our spouse the time that we should. Let’s stop waiting for it to happen by itself and let’s do something. (I am assuming I am talking mostly to the wives here because men probs don’t read our blog).
So as from June, let’s commit to dating our husbands once a week (whether they know it officially or not). Who’s in? No pressure, but how awesome would it be if we kept each other accountable to doing this (feel free to share if you would rather do this with your own group of friends). How much better would our marriages become?!
Let me know if you’re in on the comments section below, and any thoughts, ideas or opinions are welcomed.
(I’ll also do a quick post on date ideas in the next week or so, because let’s face it, those are hard to think of, then we can all get set before 1 June).
8 thoughts on “The Date Night Challenge”
Of all the things I would have changed in my marriage, this is the one thing…our lives became so overridden with work and kids, that very often we would collapse into bed not having spent any time together. I guess I will always wonder about this, but I know that having had time to reflect more, that in my future relationship I will endeavour to do date nights. I dont think that there is anything sadder ( well has been for me at least) than forgetting what brought you together in the first place. There were times I would remember the early days before kids and I would yearn for that….and then the but I have to do this..or the baby is crying, fast became an over-riding factor! Great post for anyone…childless, married, divorced…if I think about it..even thirty minutes of us time would have made a difference!
K and I usually have some kind of date once a week even if it is simply going for hot chocolate and coffee at a McDonald’s Cafe for 30min. It’s not so much about ‘what you do’, but rather that it is the two of you together talking about your week with no distractions.
Sometimes (mostly during exam season or when we are being lazy) there just isn’t time, but the minute one of us starts to feel like we living passed one another… a date night is called to order.
‘At home’ date nights just don’t work for us and I imagine when missy Quickfall is born this is going to become so much harder. We gonna try set aside one week night where mom-in-law comes over to our place to babysit and then later it will turn into a sleep over at Ma’s house. My boss has done this for 3 years every Friday night and it works a treat because everyone arranges their week around the fixed arrangement (like Bible Study or ministry).
Having said all this, I may have to write another post in 6 months time to tell you how my wishful thinking has all worked out 🙂
Not that I have a husband, or kids for that matter, I thought that maybe instead of doing the “pick out a hat” idea and end up picking five times because you weren’t quite keen on the first four ideas, why don’t you make one of those decision-tree/ flow-chat-gram things? You know, those random “what kind of girl are you?” silly questions they have in magazines, and depending on your decision you are either end up at a) a princess, b) a tomboy or c) girl-next-door. Haha!
Anyhoo, you can think of a variety of date ideas and put them into four categories: “tried and tested” activities, eg. a movie; “something new” activities, eg. a comedy show; “tried and tested” food, eg. the spur and “something new” food, eg. yindees. Then, just design your decision tree (with words, or pictures if you feeling creative) – are you hungry? > yes > do you want to try something new? > no > the spur.
Use it, don’t use it. Just another type of way to decide what to do on date nights. 🙂
I hear ya, and I agree… but once we’ve moved, babysitters will be a touch more complex… especially since little mister is prone to hysterics if mama is not around… not cool, but c’est ma vie. So I will try and join up, and do some sort of date thing with the husband once a week… or maybe once every 2 weeks. I like home dates, they’re budget friendly and really more convenient. Anyway, check out this site for some cute ideas…http://loveactually-blog.blogspot.com/
Date Days are awesome too – it’s not about when you do it, it’s just to do it. 🙂 Checked out that website – awesome ideas!
Such a great challenge Cindy and reminded me how important communication is. Sean and I have breakfast together every morning, which I know is probably impossible with kids but it makes such a difference to our days. It’s just 15 min more to our morning schedule and it gives us the chance to touch base and let each other know what our plans for the day are so if it’s going to be a hard day at work for Sean I know to give him a quick call at lunch to see how it’s going. We have a cooked breakfast every morning and that may not work for everyone but everyone has breakfast so why not make it about each other 🙂
Hi Carlene, thank you for that great idea. Oh how I wish I could do a cooked breakfast in the morning, most mornings we don’t even get to do breakfast at all. But it’s a great idea, even if you make it lunch or supper. Will defs include it in another post soon.