Date nights can be a source of great frustration. So much so that you’d rather avoid them altogether. I get it! For some, date nights are a regular trigger for disagreement and misunderstanding. Why is that?
Why is it that dates are anticipated and valued before marriage, and often become this tense issue years into marriage?
After decades of practicing regular date nights and hearing from many couples why they would rather avoid them, we want to address the reasons that may be the cause.
Here are 4 tips to consider:
Tip One – If your budget is tight, the last thing you in which you can indulge is unnecessary expenses like eating out. But dates are even more needed when money is tight. This is why we have spent years developing our list of date ideas that don’t require a babysitter. We call them “D.R.A.B.” for short. But they are anything BUT drab. Of course, some of these ideas may or may not be for you. The fun part is thinking outside of the box of a traditional date and have fun. Even if your idea flops these dates can often be the ones that make you laugh the most.
Tip Two – Plan ahead. Nothing sparks an argument like getting in the car and asking this question, “So where do you want to go?” Honestly, I love it when Tom plans our entire date and I don’t have to think about a thing. When you still have young children at home it’s even better if the husband arranges the babysitter. Of course, there are times when the husband needs this added measure of planning ahead as well. It’s all about what is currently needed to offer help and encouragement to each other.
Tip Three – One spouse thinks dates are unnecessary, while one wants the special time together. This is more common than I realized. Some people get hung up on the term “Date” thinking its hokey. I am very creative when it come to date ideas, and I admit some of them can be hokey. But Tom has always been a good sport and willing to try my ideas just because he likes to cater to my whims. I know some husbands and/or wives can dig their heels in and refuse to play along. This is when you must study your spouse more to know how to enjoy time together on their terms. If the phrase “date night” is a turn-off for your spouse, call it something else. The point is to make time to make time together as a couple. This is the friendship side of your relationship that holds all the other sides together. Do something you both enjoy on a regular basis and watch how it supports you both when things are hard.
Tip Four – Neither of you like to go out, but both of you would rather do your own thing. Of course we all need our alone time, or time together with a friend. But if this supersedes your relationship and time cultivating your marriage, you have more trouble than planning a perfect date night. It’s time to ask hard questions and the sooner the better. We call this a drifting marriage, and drifting is going no where fast. One day you’ll be so far apart in your relationship that you may even opt to call it quits. Please don’t let this happen. Your differences are meant to help each other become better than you would be on your own. For example, Tom is a scheduler and I’m more spontaneous. This has caused many a struggle in our marriage. As we have come to know each other more, Tom has become much more spontaneous and I have learned to plan things quite well. We are a better “we” than “me”.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all perfect date. It’s about finding what builds the friendship side of your marriage and doing those things on a regular basis. This is purposeful, prevents drift and most of all makes memories that last a lifetime.