Eight thousand five hundred and forty-four. That is how many hours you will find in three out of every four years. No matter how much you “manage” your time the best you can hope for is to better manage the choices you make in the time you have been given. One investment of your time that will always have excellent returns is investing in date nights. Early in a relationship this is not much of an issue but as the size of the family increases, discretionary funds decrease and job demands press for more of your time, you may find it a challenge to think of creative date ideas to try.
This week I would like to share some ideas created by some of the women on our team. Karen Vaughan and Nancy O’Sullivan put on their thinking caps and have provided you 20+ great date ideas that vary based on interests, budget and time. Look over these ideas and check back periodically as we add more to the list. A couple of things to think about before I give you the link:
- Date night is really about intimacy. While you certainly want some fun and romance, date night offers you the opportunity to “catch up” with your spouse. This often means spending some time just talking about the challenges of the day, week or month. Ryan & Selena Frederick at www.fiercemarriage.com engage every week in one of two activities; highs and lows or heart checks. Highs and lows consist of simply answering the questions; What was the best part of your week and what was the lowest part of your week? The heart check consist of answering three questions: 1. What book is in your hand?; 2. What voice is in your ear (what are you listening to)? ; 3. What’s moving on your heart? These questions allow you and your spouse to engage in a deeper level of conversation than the passing conversation that makes up much of our communication. Who’s taking the kids to dance and what time will dinner be ready may give important planning information, but it does not increase intimacy. If you are having trouble thinking of things to talk about, you are not alone. However, simply do a search for date night discussion topics and you will literally find hundreds of questions to use as starters for conversations.
- Date night needs to be planned. Your first date night conversation may include the following questions:
- How often should we have date night?
- Who should do the planning for date night?
- Should we always go alone or should we sometimes invite another couple?
- Can we work with another couple to coordinate child care?
- What are the limits on date nights? Are movies OK? Should we turn off the technology? etc.
- Date night needs to be protected. Once you have set the boundaries make a schedule, put it in your calendar and then protect it at all costs. Many things will try to pry you away from this time. Many of those things will be “good” things like extended family, church events, etc. In the famous words of Nancy Reagan, former First Lady, just say no. Make sure date night remains one of those things that you put first in regards to how you spend your time.
OK, enough build-up. If you would like some great date night ideas click here. Good luck and I hope you get some new ideas for dates. BTW, if you would like to add some of your own ideas for others to try, please feel free to add them in the comments below or e-mail them to me at email@example.com