Remember when you first started dating your significant other? Or initially happily married without a care in the world or anyone to worry about but yourselves?! The good ole days, right?!!!
I’m joking because my kids are the BEST thing to ever happen to me, but let’s be honest, there are times when my husband and I would love just a few hours of alone time every once in a while. Does anyone else agree?
Before we had kids, I told him bi-weekly/monthly date nights was non-negotiable. Because having that alone time together, decompressing, unwinding, and focusing on one other is essential. Right?
But surprise, time flies! Now, 4-years later, we have not one but two little ones (a four-year-old and 2.5 year old). As you can imagine, life is busy! One day I woke up realizing 6-months had passed, and the commitment I made to myself, and my husband, had been pushed aside.
Since then, I have vowed to prioritize date nights on my “to-do” list. And it’s been life-changing!
Why? Because it’s essential to stay connected so you can grow together in your marriage. Communication will improve, and most importantly, you’ll remain close as a couple. Because let’s face it, kids grow up and move on. Leaving just the two of you again – like when you first met. If you don’t remain bonded now, what does your relationship look like in 18 years?
According to a study from the University of Virginia, they found that designating a time each week for “date night” can work wonders for keeping your relationship healthy. In fact, they report that couples who set aside time for themselves at least once a week was approximately 3.5 times more likely to report being “very happy” in their marriages, compared to those who enjoyed less quality time. Communication, sexual satisfaction, and commitment were all improved, and as one would expect, divorce rates declined as well. (Read the full report here.)
But how do you schedule time for yourselves when you’re shuffling kids to and from school or sports practice, helping with homework, fixing meals, and possibly working? (Man, I’m exhausted just thinking about it!)
Never fear, I have a few tips that have helped my husband and I prioritize and plan:
Schedule a date night at least once a month
Get out your calendar and plan them out way ahead of time! We try to alternate: during the week, Friday/Saturday night, or Sunday brunch. This way, we mix it up and keep things from becoming stagnant.
Alternate your favorite spots with something new
Maybe there’s a restaurant that recently opened or somewhere that’s been on your list to try for some time now. There’s no time like the present! Go together and savor in the new memories you’re making, even if the restaurant turns out to be a bust. Or, try out a unique experience! Art exhibits, museums, trails, or concerts. Dates don’t necessarily have to revolve around food. I’m ALL about experiences!!
Schedule reliable childcare
I’ll say that one again for the people in the back…RELIABLE CHILDCARE! We learned this the hard way. We love our family to death, but when it came down to securing a commitment, we were faced with wishy-washy answers and sometimes cancellations at the last minute. A date night bummer! Now, we are thankful to have found a reliable sitter that we can call first and only poll the family if we’re in a complete bind.
** Two Rules during Date Night:
- NO phones! (No texts, work emails, checking social media, etc.). You can check to see if the babysitter needs anything, but that’s it!
- Limit talk about the kids to only 15-20 minutes. Talk about you two, your day, your personal/professional goals, family travel plans, romantic travel plans, dreams, and aspirations—anything and everything that connects the two of you.
Continue Date Night after you get home and the kids are in bed. Watch a movie together, sit outside and enjoy some wine, or jump in and relax if you have a pool/hot tub! It’s all about maximizing these quiet moments. Remember, you may only find them once a month, so make the most of it!
Now that you have some ideas go ahead, make it happen, and start planning! Or, do you have any other ideas to share? We want to hear from you! Comment below, share on our social media pages or contact us. We would love to hear!
Or, if you need help or have any questions, I’m happy to help! Feel free to reach out via email at Rachel@localrevivallifestyle.com.
I hope you enjoy your well-deserved and much-needed time alone together. Cheers!!