My wife and I learned long ago that it was critical for the health of our marriage to have at least weekly Date Nights where just the two of us spend time together and at least some part of the evening is invested in talking with each other.
When we skip Date Nights, the gears of our relationship are much more likely to get out of synch and begin to grind, little irritations can become big problems, and important things are more likely to go unsaid.
Carving out time for each other helps remind us that our relationship and our spouse are important to us.
We often set aside a specific evening of the week for Date Night, but sometimes our usual night isn’t ideal for one of us, so we find another night that same week that works for both of us. The important thing for our relationship is that Date Night consistently occurs nearly every week, rather than that it ocurs on the exact same night each week. Flexibility, commitment, and positive attitudes help to keep our Date Nights happening and our relationship strong.
Our Date Nights can be expensive and elaborate, but often are neither. While we’ve found that getting out of the house is important for our Date Nights, what we do on them is less important so long as we both have an interest in or are at least open to the activities.
Since we love to eat, having dinner together tends to be one of our favorite things to do. We’ll also sometimes go for a drive, go to the beach, take a walk, go to the movies, or whatever else we come up with to do together.
While we call it Date Night, our dates can be any time of the day or week. For people on a tight budget, breakfasts, lunches, and picnics can be less expensive alternatives.
We also like to have weekends together or even just a weekend day. While eating breakfast at a favorite little restaurant in the Santa Cruz Mountains on a recent Saturday, my wife mentioned that she was exhausted from working full time and going back to college for more mandatory post-grad college courses. I suggested that we go to a nearby park so she could rest. She suggested that I buy a book so I’d have something to read while she napped. We took a couple of blankets that we keep in the trunk of the car, laid them out on a beautiful green park lawn near redwood trees and a beautiful large old historic covered bridge over a stream on a warm sunny day, and she fell asleep to the distant sounds of children playing, while I laid next to her reading a good book, watching birds soar overhead and families playing.
We were there for about three hours and it was one of our favorite recent times together.
Romance can be kept alive in many ways, and some of the best for us often involve life’s simple joys and pleasures.