Remember when you first met your spouse and you couldn’t wait to spend time with them? It didn’t matter if you went to dinner and a movie or just sat home and watched a movie together and stayed up talking for hours. You just enjoyed spending time with each other. Then, along came careers, a house, cars and children and date nights with your spouse were a long ago thing of the past. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Why is it that we prioritize our loved ones when we are dating but then let being busy, lack of financial resources, tiredness, etc. get in the way of making sure that we connect with our spouse? How many marriages do you know of that are in turmoil? How many people who are married currently are truly happy and enjoy being with their spouse? Most marriages in trouble did not start out this way. Over time, it is easy to let other things become a priority but long term, this does not work. If you don’t have a date night with your spouse at least once a week, I would like to challenge you to make scheduling one a top thing on your to do list this week! This will help you and your spouse reconnect and remember that you are a team working together to build an awesome life!
Here are some of the top reasons that married couples stop dating each other and some strategies for overcoming these situations:
- We don’t have the money for a babysitter. If you don’t have family nearby or your family is not willing or able to watch your children, see if you can swap babysitting with friends. You could watch their children one Friday night so they can go out and the next week, they can do the same for you.
- We don’t have money to go out. You don’t have to go somewhere for a date night. Put the kids to bed early and have dinner together, watch a movie on Netflix, play a board game or just enjoy talking with each other. Eat outside on the porch with some candles or have a picnic on the living room floor. The important thing is that you are spending time together.
- Our children will be upset if we go somewhere without them. Children need to see that their parents prioritize each other and need and want to spend time together. They may be upset at first that you are going somewhere without them but once it becomes a regular routine, it will seem more normal and they will protest less. You will also serve as a great model for your children and hopefully they will develop a routine of dating their spouse when they are married years down the road.
4. After working or taking care of the kids all day (or both), I’m tired and just want to go to bed. It is so important that you spend time with your spouse that I would encourage you to go on a date with them even if you are tired. When you have small children, tired won’t go away anytime soon and you don’t want to wait until you aren’t tired to date your spouse. I have three teens and I’m still tired. lol
5. We have money for a baby sitter but don’t know how to find one. Ask your friends and church members for recommendations. Many church nursery workers or youth babysit. You definitely want nothing less than an excellent recommendation so that you will feel confidant that your kids are in good hands while you are out.
6. We have older children who don’t need a babysitter but we are too busy to go out for the evening. Between sports practices, games, homework, and other activities, evenings can fill up fast. Luckily, there are places like Starbucks and restaurants that are open late. Get a coffee or some ice cream at one of these places. No late night restaurants? Sneak in a lunch date with your spouse. Meet at a restaurant near their office and spend lunchtime together. Or, if there is a park nearby, pack a lunch for the two of you and enjoy some nice weather outside.
Going on dates with your spouse will strengthen your marriage and help you to be happier as a couple and better able to handle life’s challenges. What are some things you have had to overcome to go on a date with your spouse?