Last week I wrote about my temptation to wait for perfection before I start living life. Today I want to give some practical tips for having date nights with your spouse even if the ideal conditions don’t exist (i.e. free babysitting, copious amounts of free time, lots of gift certificates to your favorite restaurant, etc.).
Create Some Boundaries
Before your date night, discuss with your spouse what is off-limits on your date night. My husband is a pastor and we talk a ton about church. So for us, any ministry related topic is out of bounds on date night. Other possible off-limit topics could be children or finances. Make date night special by focusing on each other, not the gazillion other things that normally occupy your brain.
Before you go out (or stay home) for a date night, write down anything and everything you’re worried about or concerned about remembering (especially if it’s one of your off-limit topics). Putting everything on a piece of paper will allow you to free up space in your head to focus on enjoying your date. Everything you wrote down will still be there when you return.
If a reliable babysitter or finances are an issue, who says you have to go out to have a date night? Hit up Redbox on your way home from work, put the kiddos in bed and dig to the back of the freezer to pull out the ice cream you’ve hidden from them. Some other ideas:
- Play board games (Dan and I have running tallies going for several different games)
- Make a nice meal (or just dessert) together and eat it by candlelight
- Take turns giving each other a massage
- Talk about some of your favorite memories together
Get Creative About Childcare
Want to get out of the house but can’t afford a babysitter? I know some families who do a babysitting co-op where they swap childcare for date nights. Some YMCAs and churches have parents’ nights out. Could you ask a trusted older lady in your church to babysit in return for some yard work?
Just Do It
There will always be reasons to put off date nights. And sometimes the reasons can’t be avoided. But if we wait for life to be perfect, we might as well kiss dating goodbye.
Do you go on regular date nights with your spouse? Any tips to share?