When you become “Mom and Dad” some things tend to slide- sleep, time with friends, hobbies (what are those?), time for yourself… but one thing that shouldn’t slide is time for the two of you as a couple. There’s a reason that you two are together and that little person exists- you love each other, right? Let’s explore ways to keep that love alive.
Dating As A Married Couple
This might sound a little weird- how would a married couple date? Some couples go back to the basics- actually asking each other out on dates. This can be a lot of fun. My husband has done this. It’s funny and cute at the same time. Get creative with it! Send it in a text message, an old-fashioned note, Post-It, whatever works for the two of you.
Have fun with getting dressed– throw on something you haven’t worn in a while, makeup, or even a new pair of shoes. It will help start the energy for the night. Maybe even wear something you know that your SO likes- I have a shirt that my husband loves and I only wear it on date nights.
Try new things. My husband is a bit wary of this, so sometimes we go to a place we have been often but next time do something different. We enjoy each other’s company no matter where we are, but it is nice to try new things together. It helps build memories and trust (if you’re doing something a bit adventurous).
Plan for at least one night a month. This can vary greatly among couples due to schedules, babysitting availability and other factors. The time away from your child(ren) can be so refreshing. There aren’t little hands grabbing at your food while you are trying to eat it or kids interrupting while you’re trying to talk.
Speaking of kids, make a deal to not talk about them while you’re out together. It can really kill the mood. This can be a bit hard, but maybe not! There are many things that couples forget to talk about during the day, possibly over a couple weeks if there hasn’t been a lot of time to catch up. Date night dinner can be a good time to really talk about things- good things. If you are able to get in more than one date night a month, wonderful!
Date Night Ideas
The typical “dinner and a movie” thing can get really boring. It’s fun but who wants to do the same thing all the time? The following list has ideas for date night:
- Nerf gun places
- Laser tag
- Adult play places (Dave and Buster’s, for example)
- Poetry reading and coffee
- Bookstore crawl (like a bar crawl, but with books)
- Events around your city (Matthew and I went to this Ferris wheel that was only around for a few weeks in downtown Louisville, and we loved it. We have done date nights at the Kentucky State Fair, the Chow Wagon during the Kentucky Derby Festival, and a lot more)
- Goodwill or thrift store buy for each other under $10 (you buy things for each other but it has to be under $10)
- Walking through a park or nature reserve
It may be very hard to do so, but try not to talk about your child(ren) on date night. This is time away from home, time for fun. It may be just a couple hours, but it may be just what you need to refresh yourselves and keep going for a few more weeks until you can get out again.
Finding Date Night Childcare
Some of us can go out for the night and leave the baby care to a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or maybe an older cousin. There might even be an older kid in the neighborhood or child of a friend you know.
If these options aren’t available, you can look for Parent’s Night Out programs in some cities (I’ve seen these offered at my daughter’s school and a few kid-based play places) or websites like care.com. In that case, it’s important to carefully interview any potential candidates before choosing one to care for your child.
Child care can be a huge roadblock to date nights. If those ideas are not available, there are options for date night at home. Once the child(ren) is/are asleep, you can do the following:
- a late-night picnic in the living room or even your bedroom
- sitting outside in the backyard looking at the stars while eating a late snack
- game night, just the two of you, complete with snacks
Having Fun Can Bring You Closer
The main idea of date nights is to have fun- no matter where you go or what you do. Getting out of the house allows you to have a few laughs, make some memories, and if there are some issues within the relationship, possibly rebuild things between you. The possibilities are endless when it comes to date night. It’s up to you and your partner.
What are some of the dates you’ve had with your partner recently?