Someone once wrote to me and said date night is a great concept, but how does one make it happen? I thought I would throw a few ideas at you on how to make a date night happen when finding the time seems next to impossible.
Here are four tips with budgets, ages/stages, and time crunches in mind:
Sometimes the money isn't there for the date let alone a sitter. Or perhaps there are nights when you want to shell out a bit more on a date and the sitter is going to put the evening well over budget. Why not swap with a friend? My good friend Emma and I have successfully swapped so that each couple can go on an evening date. Since my daughter is five and pretty transportable and they have a two- and a four-year-old, we often go to their place. We put all the kids to bed and watch a movie at theirs while they go out, or leave our daughter with them while we have our date. It works great.
Compile a list of trusted care providers. Maybe you use family members or friends. But what if you are far from family or new to an area? If this is the case, it might be time to investigate with trusted friends or professionals about who cares for their kids or the agencies that they use. For me, I found out that many of my daughter's former daycare workers are often available for babysitting. This also provides a nice little reunion for my daughter.
Sometimes you have to make a date night happen and let the rest of the world wait. We can be great at dragging ourselves to work functions, a friends 11th bridal shower or the book club we haven't read the book for; yet we can't seem to prioritize our relationship. Use the same superhero like powers you use to make everything happen for others and pour that creative power on your relationship. Plan it like it was Uncle Bob's 70th!
Finding an evening during the week can be tricky and frankly we are often exhausted by Friday and this exhaustion can sometimes lead into Saturdays! We find the occasional lunch date while our daughter is in school works well. It is easy enough to organize, child care is arranged and we are often less tired and more vibrant in the middle of the day.
Motivations change as a relationship matures. That first kiss novelty just isn't there anymore. We aren't conspiring to see each other every minute of the day nor do we feel the need to. Familiarity replaces novelty, it's true, but with that comes intimacy and intimacy needs time, energy and attention and is well worth investing in. So, if you want your relationship to grow, you have to put time into it, like any other relationship. Date night, although often the first on the schedule to go, is actually really important. Try and carve out the time for each other and reap the rewards.