Demystifying Date Night in 3 Simple Questions
For six years, my husband and I were married with no kids. During these six years we had a consistent date night every Wednesday. We made time to be together. We pursued one another and had shared interests and hobbies.
But then we had our first baby. Soon days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and getting out seemed like so much work and energy.
Then came the second sweet baby. And then the third. Date night seemed a hazy dream at best.
Where has date night gone?
Marriages are under siege, with 40-50% of married couples eventually divorcing, according to the American Psychological Association. Work-life balance is more complicated for both spouses, unraveling communication and connection.
Not to oversimplify complex realities in our marriages, but no one will argue that time spent together is a factor in healthy marriages.
A consistent date night is part of that. While a date night can sound burdensome, elaborate, and a lot of work – it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s demystify date night in 3 questions.
Do we have to go out?
So many of us think a date night with your spouse means heels, a nice restaurant, a movie, and romance at the end. That can absolutely be a great date night. But you know what else is a great date night? Being face to face, yoga pants, talking on the couch after the kids are in bed, and a glass of wine. You don’t need to leave your house. You don’t need a fancy dress. You don’t need a $100 night out every week. Stay in and ask each other questions.
Here’s a few good, simple ones:
How was your day?
How are you feeling about our family these days?
Is there anything I can do for you?
What if we aren’t in dating shape?
Then start working out! Just like anyone who has a goal to lose some weight, have a healthy heart, or fit into that bathing suit, you have to start somewhere. Which to be honest, may seem embarrassing. If you haven’t been to the gym in years, and you get on that new amazing-looking machine you’ve never seen before and you find yourself red-faced and sweaty within 45 seconds…you may be humbled. But better humbled and healthy than proud and broken. The first step to getting into physical shape or dating shape is simply showing up. Start with 20 minutes on the porch with your spouse. Tell him one simple thing you like about him. Share why you are thankful for him. And in a few weeks and months? 20 minutes could turn into 2 hours easily.
What are we trying to do?
Connection is the goal. Connecting with your spouse can happen in a million different ways: sharing your feelings, being honest, working on a project together, doing a puzzle, sharing food, being on the front porch…so many simple things. Showing up and moving one step toward one another can be marriage-changing. The more time, communication, shared moments, and intentional friendship in your marriage, the better your marriage will be.
-Plan a few times this week after kids are in bed to intentionally connect. Put it on your calendar.
-Pray with open hands this prayer:
Dear God, Help my spouse and I show up for each other. Show us how to begin to connect again when we feel so out of dating shape. Help us to be open, honest, and to make time, even just a few minutes at a time. We ask for laughter, lightness, and love. Humble us and show us how we can love and serve one another. Repair the broken spaces that only you can. Amen.
Amy graduated from BGSU in 2001 and married her college sweetheart, Rob, one week later. Amy worked in the college ministry of Cru from 2003 to 2015–8 of those years she served as Team Leader. Since 2003 she has regularly blessed the Cru staff, students, and BGSU Greek life with her exceptional speaking, teaching, leading, and mentoring abilities. In June of 2015, Amy brought her experience to the Brookside Staff Team as Director of Outward Movement. In November of 2017, Amy wrote her first book on motherhood titled “Chin Up: Wearing Grace, Strength, and Dignity When Motherhood Unravels Our Souls.” Amy loves anything athletic and competitive, especially tennis and Spikeball, and in her words she “really tries to believe that winning isn’t everything. But, that’s hard.” Amy also enjoys creating things, decorating, and helping others make beautiful spaces. Amy and Rob have three amazing kids ranging from 3 to 10 years old.