My wife wants to have regular date nights. I'm so tired after working all week, I just want to put my feet up and rest. And we sure can't afford to be going out all the time. How can we compromise?
Do you remember when you were dating? It didn’t matter how much you had going on, it was easy to fit in time with your girlfriend/boyfriend. There was excitement and you just wanted to be together. It didn’t matter if you were at a fancy restaurant or taking a walk at the park.
After marriage, it’s easy to get comfortable, and somewhat laid back when it comes to cultivating your relationship with each other. After the kids come along, it’s even harder to stay connected.
With marriage, there are added responsibilities and things that just sap your time and strength. The spouse who is overly exhausted really won’t be much good on a date, I’m sure. Sometimes putting your feet up is necessary and brings the refreshment you may need to do something at another time, but be sure to not choose rest over your spouse every time.
I find it necessary to be deliberate to connect with Jerry. It is hard sometimes to do at home, I will admit. Distractions have a tendency to come along.
There have been times we have had in-home dates, but we have to put them on the calendar and follow through. For instance, when the kids were young, they went to bed early, and we had candlelight dinners after they went to sleep. This may take some help from both spouses to pull off, but it is well worth the effort.
Coffee/tea time on the patio also is a good way to end the day. There are lots of creative ways to connect at home. We will discuss that on a later post.
Beyond at-home connection, I still believe it’s important to ask your spouse on a date occasionally. It’s easy to put dating at the bottom of the priority list on the budget; however, dating is much cheaper than divorce. It’s important that we stay connected, and I don’t know of too many couples that divorce that have fun together.
Dating can be expensive or even free. Living in Arizona, we are blessed to have great weather, so just going to the park for a picnic, hiking or a ride to take some scenic pictures are great ways to spend time together.
When we first moved to Arizona, our sons were old enough to stay home alone. Every Saturday morning while they were still sleeping, we would look at a distance and say, “We haven’t explored that direction yet. Let’s drive that way and see what we can find.” We made some great memories and found some beautiful places. Most of the time, the boys were still asleep when we got back.
The purpose of dating is to connect. Whether you do that at home or away is not important, but to create an intimate marriage an investment of your time is required.
Each couple is unique and different, and I would suggest brainstorming together for a few minutes and make a list of things you’d like to do together. Then start marking things off as you do them.
Next week, we will explore some specific things to do together as couples. You may want to help me out by suggesting some in the comment section.