When we were young, date night used to be one of the most exciting nights you could have. But after getting married, having kids, and living a busy life, it may only happen on rare occasions—or disappear altogether.
Why is that?
Whatever the reason, we need to know as parents that this particular part of our relationship should be kept sacred.
Why Date Night Is Sacred
When my wife Jenn and I set up a date night, we know we’re making a great choice for our relationship, as well as for how our kids view us. It’s sacred to us for many reasons, and we know that it makes a huge difference for our family.
It’s an Investment in You
Each time you make your wife a priority, you’re demonstrating the importance she has in your life. You’re saying that your relationship is worth time, effort, energy, and thought. Date night is just one opportunity, but it is especially great in terms of one-on-one time. It’s an investment in your relationship.
When you’re out on a date (or in on a date, if you prefer), you’re taking time to reconnect—to know each other again, and to know each other better. Being busy with life means a disconnect in communication, even in the best relationships. Time together without distractions is a chance to hit the reset button and get back to who you are together.Time together without distractions is a chance to hit the reset button and get back to who you are together. #datenight Click To Tweet
It’s an Investment in Your Future
For now, it’s easy to put your relationship on the back burner. The kids are crazy, there are too many activities, and work is insane. Who has time for that?
But when all that quiets down—when the activities dwindle, the kids move out, and the careers end—what will you have left? If you haven’t bothered to maintain your relationship through meaningful connection, you may not have anything to connect with.
Start now: find common interests, stay aware of your spouse’s feelings and aspirations, keep working on ways to enjoy each other. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s about you and your spouse.
Date Night Means Rest
Any parent knows it: life is TIRING. It’s an exhausting race from when the alarm goes off until your head hits the pillow again. We don’t slow down—we merely change direction.
So when you have a date night, it’s time to slow things down. It’s time to get yourselves to a place where you can just think and enjoy. It’s time for rest.
Rest is about revitalization. If that means literal rest, do it. Take a nap. If it’s about finding something you can both enjoy, then take those moments and make it happen. Just don’t run at full speed and forget who you’re running with.
Date Night Sets a Standard
Parents aren’t perfect. We fight, we argue, and we get tired. But if our kids don’t see us spending time together and magnifying that relationship, what kind of example are we setting for their own relationships?
When my wife and I are on a date, we’re saying to our kids, “See what we’re doing? We’re making our relationship a priority. That’s what married people do.”If you haven’t bothered to maintain your relationship through meaningful connection, you may not have anything to connect with. #datenight Click To Tweet
For our kids, it’s setting a standard that the relationship deserves time and energy. When they have families of their own, they’ll already know that it should be normal to take your spouse on a date regularly.
Priorities Are Important
It’s easy to focus on the family and forget about the spouse, but it’s important to keep the two of you as a top priority. Healthy marriages don’t forget this. Unhealthy ones often do.
Husband and Wife came before all the kids and craziness. If we maintain a priority of Us First, it helps cement how the family structure functions. When we put the kids first, we are willing to forsake our relationship with our spouse, or possibly betray it altogether.
But when we communicate regularly, connect intimately, and function as a unified body, the rest will fall in line and stand strong.
Making It Happen
So it’s important. But how do we make it happen? How do we guarantee it becomes a part of our lives as husbands and wives?
First, schedule it.
Mark it on the calendar and make it a non-negotiable. It doesn’t have to be every week, but it should be at least once a month. Date Nights shouldn’t be so sparse that you struggle to remember what your last date was.
Second, make it simple.
Don’t overthink what a date night “has to be.” If both of you like wandering through a discount store (TJ Maxx for the win, y’all), then do it. If it’s going to a play or concert, by all means enjoy that time. Maybe it’s nothing more than grabbing a coffee together.
Third, don’t give up.
If you struggle to find a babysitter, don’t give up. Get the kids to bed and stay in. Netflix rocks, and so does Amazon Prime. Rent a movie, or go buy one. Make a delicious snack (our weird favorites are homemade popcorn with Italian cream sodas or vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate pudding over the top) and just cuddle up together while the kids snore away.
Fourth, make it about the relationship.
If you’re going out but not taking time with each other to connect, you’re missing the point. Friends are awesome, and you should definitely do date nights together, but it’s worth sequestering yourselves to a private night so that you can talk without distraction.
Don’t ever forget this relationship. It’s the most important one on this side of creation. It’ll be there long after everything else fades if you invest in it now. And the return on investment is HUGE.
Love that wife of yours passionately, and show her she is worth the effort. Put her first.
Dating is totally awesome. Never forget it.