How many times have you said to each other, ‘We really should do Date Nights more often,‘ but then it never quite happens?
This was us not too long ago. In fact, it was something we had been wanting to do in our relationship for a very long time. We had spoken many times about committing to Date Nights once a week but just never quite managed it…until now 🙂
It’s funny how life happens as since making the commitment to Date nights, we need them now more than ever! Life has become very busy and between my husband and I working most nights till late, it feels like we hardly see each other in the week. Which is why I really look forward to our Date Nights as I know that no matter what happens in the week, we have that one night where we put all devices off and get to spend some quality time together.
So I’ve been thinking about what we’re doing differently this time and, besides starting a blog of course ;), these are some ways we have made Date nights happen and perhaps they can work for you as well.
1. Make a commitment.
I am realising more and more that if you want anything to get done, you have to make a conscious commitment to it. Being slightly averse to making commitments, this has not been easy for me but there is something about consciously committing to something which binds you to it. Saying, ‘we should’, ‘maybe,’let’s see’ just doesn’t get you off your butts and taking action. So, decide what it is you want from your Date Nights, how often, and if you really feel it’s important for your relationship, then make a conscious commitment to do it!
2. Schedule it in.
Either make a fixed once a week night that you do something together or find something that works for you but schedule it in. Although it would be great to be able to be spontaneous, when you have kids that just doesn’t happen. Even if you don’t have kids, when you schedule something in, it’s more likely that it’ll happen. You can download my free printable calendar to help you schedule your date nights.
3. Organise a baby sitter in advance.
This one is key to making date nights happen. If you have kids, baby sitters are your ticket to being able to go out. Tell your baby sitter well in advance that you’ll be needing her once a week or whatever you’ve decided and schedule that in. If you’ve scheduled your date nights in, it’s easy to tell your baby sitter when you’ll be needing them.
4. Make an effort.
Date Nights, for me, are about getting out of our routine and our comfort zone at home. You can find me most nights at home in my track suit/pyjama pants but when it comes to date nights, I like to dress up, put on my sexy underwear (yes, that one pair that I own) and at least make more of an effort than if we were just staying at home. Getting dressed up a bit should not only apply to the women but to the men as well. You’d be amazed at the difference a little bit of effort makes 😉
5. Take turns organising.
If you’re happy being the one always organising date nights, then great. However, if you’re not, take turns organising. Set rules of what you absolutely won’t do. Maybe opera is absolutely not your thing then make that a ‘not a chance’ one. But try to be open to doing what your partner wants to do. It might not be your first choice but sometimes we need to do what the other wants to do and who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you enjoy.
You don’t want to be going out and stressing about how much you’re spending as that kind of defeats the point of getting out and having fun. Know what your budget is and work according to that. Date Nights do not have to mean going to an expensive restaurant, there are many other inexpensive ways to enjoy your time together. Have a look here for some ideas you can do at home or out and about in Cape Town.
7. Try not to talk about the kids or home stuff.
Remember when you used to talk for hours about all sorts of things before life got so serious and busy? Try talk about an interesting article you read, places you want to visit, things you want to do together. When you have been married for a while and have kids, conversations tend to centre around mundane topics of all the admin kind of stuff that needs to happen. Try break out of this routine and talk about something that you’re both interested in (besides the kids). Ask each other questions. Try learn something new about each other. Talk in another accent. Pretend you’re overseas somewhere. Try have fun!
8. Don’t have expectations.
Sometimes you’re tired, have had a bad day and you think that the date night will make everything ok. It might but it also might not. Sometimes you have better date nights than other times. Try not to build it up too much into having to be the best night out because this is your special time together and you will be less disappointed if it doesn’t go according to ‘plan’. Some of our best times together have been when we’ve had to change our intended plans. If you’re ok with surprises, great. But don’t ask to be surprised and then be disappointed with the surprise because it’s not what you thought it would be. If you think that might happen, rather decide together on where to go and what to do or be open to whatever your surprise may be.
9. Get out of your comfort zone.
We all get stuck in a rut of going to the same places and doing the same old thing. Part of my mission when making our commitment to Date Nights once a week was to make the effort to do different things and go to different places. While Date Nights are your time to connect with each other, I have found that when we do things that inspire us, that feed our souls and get us out of our same old routine, this allows us to connect with ourselves as well which is really quite vital in being able to connect with each other. It makes us feel alive, excited and youthful, feelings which often get lost in the daily grind of being a parent and all that adult stuff we have to do.
10. Have some ideas.
I have spoken to a lot of people as to why Date Nights don’t happen and something which always comes up, which was a factor for us as well, was not knowing what to do. It takes a bit of time and effort to try find out what’s going on in your city and often, we just can’t be bothered to do it or we forget and end up doing the same old or just nothing at all. So, have a few ideas of what you want to do so that it is not so time consuming when you need to find something. You can have a look at my Date Nights Jar to help you or keep an eye on my Date Night Ideas if you’re in Cape Town.
So that’s it! I hope these ideas just might give you the inspiration you’ve been needing. Please let me know if you find them helpful or if there’s anything you have to add which helps you.