Remember when you used to go out on dates before you were married?
Yeah, I don’t either…
But, I *think* it involved getting dressed up, having fun, a few butterflies, holding hands, flirting, and trying to impress each other. There was so much anticipation and excitement…and after a while, familiarity and comfort. You’d found “the one.”
No matter how long you’ve been married, at some point the act of “becoming parents” together more than likely took over “becoming spouses.” It is so easy to ignore your marriage when there is a baby, screaming toddlers, car pools, practice schedules, a messy house, dinner to cook, and mile long to-do lists. But,
There’s a difference between taking your marriage for granted and resting in the unconditional love of marriage.
Date night is an opportunity to remind us of our deeper love for one another. Here are 5 reasons to stop making excuses and start making time for date nights. Use date night…
1. To reconnect.
This is your partner in life. That’s huge. Picture it…one day you will both be old, sitting on a porch together in rocking chairs. Are you holding hands or trying to hit each other with your canes? What do you want that visual to look like? Laughing, smiling, and reminiscing? Communicate and connect now so that you are still talking and having fun later.
Relationships are built or broken over time. Use date night to regroup as a team, or simply remember how to laugh together, look into each others eyes with a smile, talk with one another as friends (and adults), and remember all you have to be grateful for. There’s a lot of love and gratitude to be found in remembering together. Reconnect for the short-term and long-term benefits.
2. To have fun.
Parenting is work. Marriage is work. Work is, well…work. It feels like these days we even have to work at having fun (and not feel guilty about it).
The work involved in scheduling a date night is worth it. Life is not meant to be one big stress fest. It’s okay to reduce your stress levels for a few hours and just give in to fun. Use date night to reignite flames from your dating days (or at least the blurry memory of them) or to honor where you are and how much you’ve grown as a couple.
Give in to the joys of dating. Dates don’t have to be a time to talk about heavy things or work on issues. Every once in a while, hit the pause button and make room for fun.
3. To take a break.
Our attention is constantly divided—between work, the kids, extended family, friends, news, drama, future goals, past hurts, our phones, our needs, the needs of others, aaaaah…it’s overwhelming! Date night is a socially acceptable excuse to just shut off all the noise. Use it.
Getting out the house and away from the kids automatically removes two things you need to take care of 24/7 and gives you space and time to focus on your marriage.
4. To combat exhaustion.
By taking that break, you’re reducing stress and switching things up. Date night shakes up daily routines. This sense of newness can give your marriage a little boost.
Burnout is real. Ruts are real. It can be so easy to use the extreme tiredness that comes along with parenting as an excuse to not get dressed up and go out. Don’t just look at the rut you’re in, conquer it. It’s like the catch of a good workout: you’re too tired to go to the gym but have more energy after you work out. Same thing with dating your spouse—it reenergizes the relationship. I don’t know many people who have ever regretted a workout or a good date. Just go.
5. To model healthy relationships.
Show your children that you are a team, that prioritizing your marriage is important, and that there is a balance between all of your relationships…and that’s okay. They may protest or want to come with you—date night from a kid’s perspective is pretty strange…why would you want to have fun without them? Well, it’s not about them. They have friendships outside of you. And you have a major friendship with your spouse that is outside of them. Show them what love, commitment, and making time looks like.
It’s not about them…and yet this point kind of is. Hm.
Do yourself and your partner a favor and schedule regular dates. Date nights aren’t a mystery—just take some time to focus your full attention on your spouse. Talk, hold hands, be grateful together. Be intentional. You can do it. Go schedule that date night.