We have been married for nearly 25 years. We’ve had a child together who is now a grown up, independent adult, living away from (our) home. We’ve had demanding day jobs, and demanding hobbies. We’ve gone through good times and bad times. We talk. We don’t talk. We seem to be busy all the time. We rarely make time just for us. Just to spend time in each others’ company without having to be anywhere, do anything, or be with others. Obviously, due to Covid going out on date nights has been severely hampered even if we did get round to organising it.
So, this weekend we had an opportunity to use some vouchers to go out for dinner. Just the two of us. We both had things going on during the day, so it was a nice to think that neither of us had to worry about cooking dinner. We could enjoy something out of the ordinary.
It can be hard however to reconnect with each other when there’s so much demand on our time and thoughts. We’re not chatty sorts particularly, and because we usually do things together (outside of work) small talk can be quite hard sometimes. There’s nothing new to talk about. We end up talking about the kids, the household needs or renewing life insurance!
According to an article by Jamie C Williamson the desire to recreate date night intimacy may be related to primal urges for survival. They state connections between the support that comes from a well-functioning intimate relationship and the personal wellbeing of the participants. Lack of marital intimacy and satisfaction can cause harm to the marriage and tend to be unsatisfying, unstable and conflictual. So creating space for “date nights” can provide that fun element that protects a marriage from deterioration and can keep your relationship healthy, happy and able to manage life’s stressors.
We are comfortable and stable in each others’ company but we do need to make sure that we make time for us before we get swept up in the everydayness of life.
So here’s Williamson’s top tips on how to make date night with your spouse a success:
- Make it affordable – don’t allow date night to add to financial stress. Decide how much you can afford and how often. It needn’t be an extravagant affair, a data night dinner at home, a picnic somewhere picturesque.
- Schedule it in – find time when date night can be scheduled in and don’t let other things get in the way of this time, make sure it gets priority. If you want to schedule a regular (say once a month) date night, get it in the calendar and only change it for extremely urgent and important things. It doesn’t need to be an evening thing if schedules don’t work. Make it a lunch rather than dinner, or afternoon tea or cinema visit.
- Agree who’s planning – work together to generate a list of places or things you’d both like to do, set your budget and any other parameters and then decide who’s going to arrange it. It doesn’t have to be the same person all the time, unless you’re rubbish at organising. If you’re having date night at home agree the menu, background music, mood and make it seem that you’ve invited your spouse over to your place and take the lead.
- Make it special – put effort into getting ready. It’s a date after all, you got dressed up when you were dating, so why not now? Present your best self and have fun with it. Preparation can add to the anticipation of a great night ahead.
- Turn off you mobile phone – its date night. Be present with the person you are with.
- Plan your conversation – this isn’t an opportunity to offload all the domestic conversations you’ve not had time for. Write down a list if it helps. You can actually get date night conversation starter cards now. But try asking questions that allow for a deeper understanding of your spouse’s values and beliefs, or asking those random questions that may seem a bit odd, but allow you to explore thoughts, or sharing memories of good times you’ve enjoyed together.
We had a lovely dinner out at an Italian restaurant with a bottle of wine. It wasn’t expensive because we’d got vouchers to use. C had organised it. I did make a bit of an effort to get dressed up but it wasn’t a very dressy up kind of place, but I felt great in what I was wearing even if he didn’t notice. The mobiles fidnt make an appearance other than to take some photos, that’s got to be a first. Conversation flowed well on a variety of subjects.
It was a lovely night out, and it had come out of the blue having been proposed and booked on Wednesday. The fact the vouchers were due to expire probably had something to do with that, but I was grateful anyway.
What’s your favourite date night (keep it clean people!)?
One thought on “How to date your spouse”
Recently we’ve taken to exploring our new environs. We take it in turns to research and plan a day out. We generally take a pack up to keep costs down. And more often than not, it involves a walk in some lovely countryside so also not expensive. We enjoy exploring new places together and that adds to the excitement and conversations. The other date night we enjoy (although slightly less frequently) is the cinema. We take it in turns to decide which film we watch and sometimes we have a meal out at the same time although never at anywhere fancy. Glad you enjoyed your evening 😊