Aug 132012

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.

Brain Dump

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.

Stay Home

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?

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 Posted by at 12:01 am

  10 Responses to “Some Date Night Strategies for Our Not-So-Perfect Lives”

  1. We mostly do at-home date nights, too. Recently though we were doing an exchange with someone and a couple came over and “sleep watched” our kids (we put them to bed, they stayed in the quiet house!). We hit up a coffee shop and played scrabble, lol! Whatever works! I would love to hear what games you all like to play! :-)

    • We’re all over the map on games; we usually play a game again and again until we get sick of it and put it aside for a long while. We’ve done Monopoly, Uno, Scrabble, Boggle, Sequence, Dutch Blitz, Skip-Bo, Sorry (with our own made up rules to make it more complicated), Mexican train and I’m sure more that I can’t think of off the top of my head…

  2. Most of our date nights are actually date “days” since it’s easier to ask our family to babysit during the day than in the evenings. So we do a lot of day outings or grabbing lunch at the most un-kid-friendly places ever haha. We do still go out in the evenings but tend to reserve those for absolute musts or special occasions.

  3. DH and I JUST started talking about this last week! We decided to try it on a Wednesday night, let the Kid pay in his room for an hour, then have dinner by ourselves. There’s no way we could have done this before now – they Kid just wasn’t ready. But six years old is seeming like a good time to try!

  4. We can’t go out at night because Livi still wakes up after going to sleep and won’t calm down if we’re not there. But we try to “date” at home.
    We usually have dinner, watch a movie or just chat for a little while. We have a similar rule when we chat: no important decisions or discussion of ongoing problems. Just easy talk to connect after a long day.
    I like your idea of playing games. I may suggest that to my husband next time.

  5. [...] It can be simple. Hold hands while flopped on the couch trying to stay awake for a 20-minute Hulu sitcom. Exchange looks when your child is about to take his first steps. Play a game with each other. Read a book together. Purposefully talk about anything but work and your kiddos. Come up with an easy date night strategy. [...]

  6. [...] Some date night strategies for our not-so-perfect lives [...]

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