Anyone make any New Year’s resolutions this year? Evan and I made just one New Year’s resolution. We resolved to commit to a monthly date night. Why?
Because our marriage is on the brink of destruction and we’re contemplating divorce? No.
Because we have tons of money to spend and loads of free time on our hands? No.
Because we want an intentional, life-giving marriage that lasts a lifetime? YES!
Allow me to define what “date night” means for us, because your “date night” might look different than ours. For us, the requirements are simple, but important. We always structure it around food, because I am always hungry. Always. We intentionally put away our iPhones. Occasionally there’s a photo taken or a phone call from the babysitter though. Most importantly, we engage in PLEASANT conversation. This is not the time to bring up some insignificant aggravation from breakfast.
Our “date nights” are not always at dinnertime. They do not have to be expensive, they’re usually pretty cheap. Most importantly there is no obligation to be super “romantic.” Meaning we don’t need rose petals leading up to a candlelit dinner with a string quartet playing in the background. When your goal is that kind of “romantic” atmosphere, we’ve found that the pressure for perfection overshadows the enjoyment of the experience. Personally, I feel romanced simply when my husband holds my hand or opens the door for me. The main goal for every date night is to have face-to-face conversation and create a fun memory together.
Evan actually gets the credit for how we go about date night each month. He suggested to pair a meal with an activity. Then we got a little crazy and decided to chose the location of our meal and the activity randomly each month. Sounds fun, right? It actually is! There’s always suspense when we go to draw out of our “date night buckets.” (Tutorial below.) This also eliminates the conversation “Where do you want to go?” “I dunno. Where do you want to go?” “I don’t care, you pick!”
Sometimes couples, ourselves included, shy away from date night because of the supposed expense. It really doesn’t have to be expensive people! Actually, our good friend, who writes an awesome blog, has a weekly date with her husband every Friday. They do simple and free things like take a walk in a park or grab a cup of coffee.
Anyway, it’s May now, so we’ve been on 4 planned, but totally random date nights. (And a few spontaneous ones here and there!)
January – dinner at Applebee’s then painting at home
February – dinner at Wendy’s then doodling together
March – coffee at Starbuck’s then lunch at MiCasita’s
April – shopping at Kohl’s then dinner at Chick-fil-A
(Coming soon!) May – dinner at Moe’s then baking dessert together
Each date night has been an enjoyable experience for both of us. We now have these fond memories together and have engaged in some really valuable conversation. It’s so important that husbands and wives take the time to pull away from it all and just be a couple. Work, children, household responsibilities. It can all get so overwhelming that we forget to simply be one flesh.
If you’re married, I hope that you do take the time to have “date night,” whatever that looks like for you and your spouse. It’s so crucial for your relationship.
How to Create Our Date Night Buckets:
- You’ll need two containers (buckets), a pair of scissors, adhesive vinyl, and 2 sheets of paper. I used two 32 oz. yogurt containers for my buckets. We eat a lot of yogurt in our house…
- If you use the same yogurt containers I did, you’ll need to cut your adhesive into two 5”x18” and two 4”x4” pieces. If not, simply measure your container and cut accordingly.
- Wrap the adhesive paper around your container being mindful of air bubbles. Don’t forget to apply your vinyl to the lid!
- Cut away any excess vinyl and make sure everything is smooth. Write your meal list on one sheet of paper and your activity list on the other. Then cut them into pieces and place them in the buckets. It’s the same idea as drawing out of a hat!