Remember the feeling you got in your stomach when your husband first asked you out on a date? Do you remember how much time you spent preparing yourself for that night? What about the time you invested styling your hair, applying your make-up? Choosing the perfect outfit?
What about today? I have to admit, I have gotten out of these habits since first dating my husband.
Well, here we are married fifteen years and three daughters later. One thing that hasn’t changed is how much I enjoy “dating” my husband. Yes, of course life is much busier now and there are many parenting and family demands on us both. But, we try hard to make “us” a priority.
I decided in the last year or so that I was going to be more “intentional” about my time spent with my husband. He works A LOT, and I am constantly running around with our three girls. Believe me, most nights we are both so tired the only thing on our minds is bed time.
Can you relate?
We decided we needed a change. We want to spend time together because we truly enjoy each other. We also want to show our children that we put our marriage first. So, how do we do it? Let me share some of our ideas!
The first is we actually date. We make it a priority in our budget to have a sitter once a month for “date night.” We also have “at home date nights” on most Saturday evenings. This works best for us, but you and your spouse will find a night of the week that works for you.
Friday night is our family night, and we do something fun with our girls. Then, on Saturday we make a point to put everyone to bed on time and we have our date downstairs. It’s fun and a chance to get creative.
Some nights we will watch a movie and have dinner, other nights we’ll play a board game or the Wii. Pick activities that you enjoy doing together. When the weather’s nice, sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine. Take a walk on the beach and watch the sunset. Find a romantic spot and have an adult picnic! There are so many ways to have a nice date without spending a lot of money.
Some of our favorite “free” spots around town are:
- Watching the sunset at the Pitt Street Bridge in Old Towne Mount Pleasant (hint-bring a blanket and have a picnic…very romantic)
- Walking on the beach
- Taking a stroll through downtown Charleston (there are some pretty amazing streets off the beaten path)
- The Shem Creek Boardwalk
Some other ideas that you can do as a couple are go for a bike ride, cook a meal together at home, take a cooking class, the list is endless…you just have to get creative!
What do we talk about? Doesn’t it seem when you become parents a lot of your conversations revolve around your children. Don’t let them be your main topic on date night. You are finally having a night out or a quiet night at home. Have the adult conversation that you crave.
Have you been out and you finally sit down for a nice night and silence, but you can’t find anything to talk about except kids and work? Stop right there. Think about how you were “before kids.” Yes, remember you were a couple in love and had plenty to talk about!
Find questions that you’ve always wanted to know about your husband or that you want him to know about you. Try printing out date night conversation starters or come up with your own. These questions are a great way to get playful again with your spouse. It also helps you remember things you might have forgotten about each other- or maybe even discover new things about each other that make you smile!
Being intentional about your marriage takes time and practice. It’s an investment, but certainly worth it.
Remember, the two of you are the pieces that hold your family together. With creativity, time, and hard work you will find ways to reconnect those pieces and keep them glued together!