For the first 12 years of our marriage we were just us. Every night was like date nights because we sat down just the 2 of us for dinner. We grew close to each other. We learned to rely on each other for everything from emotional support to warm toes under the covers. And we’d enjoy date nights often!
Our life was filled with marriage moments!
But, our little man came along. He brought an amazing amount of joy into our lives. He is a great blessing. Yet the focus of our marriage changed. We went from focusing on each other to focusing on parenthood. Which is, as every parent knows, isimportant. Yet, we forgot somewhere along the way to prioritize our relationship.
I think this is something that happens to most couples. And, it can lead to major trouble in the marriage. A few years ago my best friend reminded me that in a Christian marriage, to remember first things. We get so caught up in our children’s lives, but the reality is that our first things should be God the Father through Jesus Christ, then our marriage, then our children.
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Eventually the children grow up, move out, and begin having families of their own. Then the couple needs to figure out what happened to their marriage. Sadly, this is when a lot of marriage end in divorce because while focusing on the children they’ve become strangers.
When it comes to strengthening your marriage you have to make your relationship a top priority.
Making Marriage Date Nights a Priority
Having date nights, can spark something in a couple. It bonds you, creates a connection and helps to develop open lines of communication.
When you are spending time focused on each other, you’ll naturally want to check in throughout the day.
A Years Worth of Ideas for Date Nights
Remember that as you go about your date nights, stop often, lean in, and kiss. Don’t forget that kisses are an important part of marriage intimacy. Remember your love for each other, and kiss, often.
1- Take a walk around a bookstore.
This is one of my favorite things to do. It’s funny because our tastes are varied when it comes to what to look at, but as we meander through the store we find our selves separating as we peruse and then coming back together. We brush hands show each other our finds, then wander off again. We find we do that over and over until we each have perused the store at our own paces. Then you can head to dinner.
2- Fondue Night
Need I say more?
3- Japanese Steakhouse
What’s more thrilling than sitting next to a hot grill as flames dash about right in front of your face? It sure gets the adrenaline pumping. Of course trying a foreign cuisine is always fun, and being together with your man makes it even more exciting.
4- Sit Together for an Hour
For a quick and easy date with your man, step outside your house and sit on your porch or under the tree in your yard for an hour, just holding hands or relaxing.
5- Take a Hike
This was a date we enjoyed much more when we were young. Now, we find it much more of a struggle so we would stick to a shorter hike. But, for my young married readers, hiking with your man is very romantic.
6- Skip Dinner
Go straight for a very decadent dessert.
7- Movie: Go Semi-formal
At first it might seem silly to walk into the theater over dressed, but when your Beloved sees how good you look, it will be worth it! Our society has become so casually oriented that we forget that date night is a special occasion. So dress up a little more than usual for going out with your spouse. Wear a dress and heels, encourage him to wear a dress shirt and tie, even if it’s with jeans.
Why? Because it’s important to offer to each other your best effort.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”— Mignon McLaughlin
8- Mini-golf or Bowling
A little friendly competition is always a fun way to spend time together. Grab food at the snack bar and make an evening out of it. No rushing… Just friendly play with a bit of flirting thrown in.
9- Go for a Cruise
No not on a boat out on the open waters. A cruise in your car. This one takes a little pre-planning.
Drive to a nearby town and become tourists. Stop in at the downtown shops, find a local restaurant that maybe you haven’t been to before. Visit the local museum or a local park. Then ask him if he wants to get a local hotel room for the night.
This is where the pre-planning comes in, make arrangements for the kids to spend a night with a friend or family member. You can, if you choose, pre-arrange reservations, but the real fun comes in when you don’t have a plan and you have to find a place together.
10- Discover a New Cuisine Together
Whether it’s Thai or Spanish, try something NEW. Go on, try something that maybe you have never considered trying before. I dare you!
11- Go to the Theater
Not a movie, the theater. Find a play, or even ballet. Even in small towns you can go to a high school production. The point is going to the theater is a grown up thing to do, it usually means buying tickets in advance leading to anticipation of time together. You can dress up a bit and not feel out of place, and again, putting your best foot forward for the one you love is important.|
12- Surprise Him with Tickets to a Sporting Event
There is always a sporting event going on. It doesn’t matter if it’s his favorite sport or not. Maybe, just maybe the 2 of you will discover a new passion for a game you’ve never expected before. Like perhaps, hockey, tennis or lacrosse. The goal is to show him that you care enough about him to try and meet him where he is.
13- A Treasure Hunt (Okay, so it’s a bakers dozen of ideas.)
A few years ago I did this for Beloved and it was a huge hit. It takes a lot of pre-planning on your part, but it is well worth it. Mystery leads to romance. Be creative, think of bits of treasures around town that have specific meaning for your relationship, whether it’s where you bought your wedding rings, or a local retailer who sells his favorite perfume. Write up little clues for each location.
Take those clues to each place and make a purchase there. This is important because the retailer won’t want to pass over clues to your man if you’re leaving treasures from other locations. So really you are just pre-paying for items he’s picking up, with a hint attached. Then explain to that retailer what your up to and ask them to hold the package for your guy.
Don’t make the clues too tough, just a little mystery will go a long way. Of course at the end of the treasure hunt, he finds his greatest treasure, You!
Bonus Tip: You are an adult!
That means that you can go out on ANY night of the week. What we have discovered is that you get the best tables, the best service and the quiet time your looking for if you go out on a Tuesday or Thursday evening. Weekends are loud, noisy, crowded, and are not intimate with crowded restaurants and businesses. Remember that your goal for a date is to reconnect with EACH OTHER, not to be seen by others. So go ahead and be an adult, I give you permission.
And don’t miss these 32 Date Night Ideas you can do at home!
What are your best ideas and tips for date nights? I’d love to know more, who knows maybe they’ll make the next list.