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{How We Do} Date Night

Date Nights. We love date nights! As we have grown in our marriage through the years, it has evolved and we have spent a lot of time figuring out a good game plan for date nights.

We know how important it is for our marriage to keep dating each other. In fact, I remember talking about the idea of "dating your spouse" whenever we were in pre-marital counseling. And I remember thinking how great that sounded. Of COURSE we would date our whole lives. Of COURSE it would be a priority.

When we first got married, every night was like a date night because it was just us. We would go out frequently for dinner and it was great.

That was back before kids and budgets.

The truth is, as much as we would love a weekly date night, we have kids and going out for a date can be EXPENSIVE. After you pay for the sitter and dinner or whatever else you do, your budget is shot! Bottom Line: We can't afford a weekly date night out. But we still know how important it is to have that time together, just us. After some thought and practice, we've come up with a plan for date nights that works for us!

First, we redefined date night and we simplified it down to what was most important to us: spending time alone together. And we realized there was more than one way to accomplish that. We still try and have at least one date night out together a month. But our weekly date nights most of the time are Date Night IN. Now before I lose you to the "why is that special? We do that every night" thoughts, hear me out.

Here's how we make Date Night IN special and feel like a date:

- Pick a night and protect it.

Our date nights are Thursdays. There was a couple years that our small group started meeting on Thursdays so we moved our night to Wednesdays. But every Thursday, as realistically as we can, we have Date Nights. That means when I meal plan, I plan on Thursdays being a date night. It means sometimes saying no to other opportunities. This is our night and our time together.

- Feed the kids first and wait to eat "date food" after they are in bed. 

Listen. This is the beauty of date night IN. You feed the kids first, sometimes a little earlier. Most of the time for us this is easy food like chicken nuggets or mac 'n cheese. They are happy and we are happy. We feed them and get them in bed. (If you are wondering, our kids know that Thursdays mean date nights! We want them to see that we prioritize each other and our marriage on that night!).

Food for us is often take-out or I will cook us something special. Sometimes Kyle will grill.

- Think through your entertainment choices ahead of time.

Think through what you want to do ahead of time. Something that you both with enjoy and will be fun. If you regularly binge Netflix together every night, then it's not going to make date night feel special.

Kyle and I don't watch a lot of TV together so we typically will pick one show to watch together on date nights. In the Fall, it's Project Runway. Ha! I know, a lot of you can't imagine Kyle wanting to watch this of all shows, but we are both pretty big Tim Gunn fans and we like to see how the designers "Make It Work".

We have some friends who play board games, and others who rent a RedBox every week. It doesn't really matter what it is as long as it takes it up a notch from the norm.

-Turn off your phone

Why is this so hard?? Kyle is better at it than I am. But turning off your phone places your complete attention on each other and not other distractions.

-Sit beside each other

Somehow we got in the habit of sitting in our own "spots" when we watch a show, even on date nights. But it makes it feel so much more like a "date" when we sit beside each other on the couch.

We've been using this plan for over 3 years now and it is so great for us! What other ideas do you have for date night?? How do you and your spouse make it work?


  1. Date nights are so incredibly important, especially when the children are little and you just need time to breathe and relax and reconnect with one another. I hope you both keep this tradition going!
    Blessings, Carrie!

    1. "breathe and relax and reconnect"... YES!!!

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