Reasons You Should Date Your Spouse and 10 Affordable Date Night Ideas
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I remember it. That moment that I first locked eyes with my husband. I was sixteen years old. I was selling candy at the concession stand of Quo Vadis movie theater. When I saw him, my heart and mind had a surge of emotions, thoughts, and feelings. He was leaning with one leg bent where his foot was propped up behind him against the wall. He had blonde hair and tan skin with a ridiculous blue polyester sport coat on the movie theater provided as a uniform. But he still looked so cute. He was an usher and he would tear the movie tickets in half with one snap of motion with just his right hand. I mean, he couldn’t get any cooler. I remember the moment well and if we are being honest, after we both smiled at each other I thought “he’s probably like this with all the ladies.” I kinda did a mental eye roll and kept working. He was persistent and kept finding reasons to come behind the candy counter. That very same day we exchanged numbers which was out of character for both of us and 23 years later we are still talking. 😉
When the newness wears off…
With all the excitement and butterflies that come with a new relationship, being inseparable and getting to the point where we could finish each other’s sentences, over time, that newness wears off. After a few years of dating and eventually getting married, long after the honeymoon, familiar routines and responsibilities start to take precedence. We had three daughters within a four-year timespan. Many of you can relate to how incredibly challenging and rewarding having babies so close together can be. There was so much going on that making time for ourselves became a thought for “someday” and date nights fell by the wayside. You might relate to this as you and your significant other talk about a date night but just can’t seem to commit to a day because the calendar is too full. Or maybe life is too busy. Or it’s just not in the budget.
Soon enough, without nurturing your marriage, that unending love can eventually grow stagnant. The giddy and energized feeling you once had when you saw each other can turn into aggravation and resentment. Days and maybe even weeks pass without so much as making eye contact. The slightest little inconveniences and annoyances can turn into having major blowouts. The disconnect begins.
You didn’t think date night was a priority. Think again!
Suddenly, you wake up one day and think, how did we get here? The love is still there and you can’t imagine your life without each other but how did we grow so distant? We used to be so fun!
Stressors due to life events like pregnancy, job loss, moving to an unfamiliar area, the loss of a loved one, can all inadvertently create distance. The distance comes when you are preoccupied with all of the focus that you have to place on each ever-changing moment in time. Pressures from work, family schedules, managing your busy social life, and so on, can eventually turn into priority over date nights. You finally set aside a small chunk of time and you both feel frustration that the topic of conversation on your date night turned into logistics, kids, and bills. You try to recollect the moments of your wedded bliss but all you can think about is your taxes that are due and questioning if you emptied the diaper genie before the sitter arrived. I have so been there!
Dating your spouse can get lost in the shuffle. The longing to recreate date night intimacy may take some work but it is imperative to re-establish for the survival of a healthy and stronger marriage.
10 Affordable Date Night Ideas
- Go Old Fashioned– Go out to dinner and leave your phones in the car. I know some of you are immediately in your head saying “what if the sitter calls?” You deserve at least 1 hour off the grid and without interruption. Have an “old-fashioned” date and leave the kids to a qualified sitter. Reconnect and ask your significant other to answer questions with you to get to know each other again. Talk about what you love about your spouse, reminisce about fun memories from the past, and discuss your dreams for the future. End the date with some ice-cream and make plans for your next date.
- Deeper Connection Dates– Put on your favorite playlist and give each other an intimate massage by candlelight, or snuggle up in your favorite PJs and blanket at the drive-in movie theater and feed each other snacks, or have a glass of wine by a fire and discuss your desires. You might find with all this communication and eye contact, soon that fire inside of you will be reignited!
- Play Games– Go on a mini-golf date, get a Slurpee afterwards, and laugh about the win or fail! Visit a local carnival and share a kiss on top of the Ferris wheel or if you are terrified of heights like me, just share a cotton candy with both feet on the ground! Go see your favorite band in concert and sing to each other while you’re jamming out!
- Get Artsy– Visit a free museum. Take a cooking class together. Paint a piece of pottery together or stay home and paint a scene on each others backs!
- Take a Walk Down Memory Lane– Go through old photos and watch old videos together. Sometimes just looking back will help you to look forward too.
- Get Outdoors– Plan a day at the beach, take a hike (together…), fly kites, go fishing or canoeing, pack a picnic and ride bikes through a park.
- Coffee Dates– Hey! Where you bean all my life? A cup of joe is a great way to connect face to face with your favorite guy or gal.
- Make Dinner Together-there is something very intimate about cooking together. Pick a recipe and tackle it together.
- Visit a Farmers Market– We love to shop local as small business owners. It is really fun to meet vendors and get locally sourced goods where you get to meet the maker. Through my business RAE SOAP CO. we have met so many amazingly talented people. It’s fun to walk hand in hand and check out fun shops and learn each others likes and dislikes.
- Go Stargazing– No matter how many elaborate dates I’ve planned, my husband still says his favorite date with me was when we were dating and stargazed. I was about 17 or 18 years old and didn’t have much money to go out that week but I wanted to plan a date. I led him blindfolded to a blanket in the backyard of my family home and forbid my siblings from coming outside! When he took off the blindfold, he saw one candle on a teacup saucer and two pudding cups with a note that said: “I love you.” We laid under the stars eating our pudding cups and talked for hours. I’m smiling just thinking about it. To this day he still thinks that was the cutest thing.
You might think you can’t afford the time or the money to do date nights but the truth is, you can’t afford not to. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive, although getting dressed up and seeing a Broadway play is fun sometimes too! It doesn’t have to be an all-day adventure either. Set aside time one day of the week and commit to it. If other circumstances prevent you from going out, have a date night in. Just remember sitting on opposite ends of the couch and scrolling through your phones does not qualify as quality time! Creating a space for just the two of you and setting aside time for your marriage will give you both a stronger sense of security and grow closer together as a couple.