Hand-holding night. Reconnect night.
A must have. A necessity, at least once a month.
I tried to think back to the time before we had a kid, our Beach Rose, if we ever called our nights out “Date Night”. Before kids, your entire relationship is a Date Night! You’re always going out together and trying new things while holding hands, discovering restaurants while holding hands, exploring museums while holding hands, touring new cities while holding hands, ice skating while holding hands, walking through a bookstore while holding hands, etc, etc.
It doesn’t seem as though you need to be reminded to have a Date Night before kids, because there’s a lot of time in your relationship for hand holding! And every adventure is a “date”.
I believe that Date Night becomes essential and integral to the health of your relationship after you have children. Before kids, your priorities and focus are each other and you cater to each other and you pamper each other and you make sure that your significant other feels loved and special and important as often as possible.
I don’t think that any of these sentiments are lost once the kids come. I just think that you become soooo busy with the routines and demands and time-suck of child-rearing that you need a night out together, often, to reunite. You’ve got a little person that depends on you for survival, and their every need and so your focus, naturally, is shifted primarily to meeting their needs, over your own and those of your partner.
Date Night is such a relief in the midst of all that chaos! It’s about conversation that doesn’t revolve around diapers, or discipline, or bills, or school, or work.
It’s so refreshing to hold hands, uninterrupted. Or to talk about the books you’re reading, a radio show you just heard, the news, a funny story. It feels brand new to laugh together and it puts things into perspective.
It realigns your relationship, so that you and he are the focal point, and everything else falls into place and doesn’t seem so overwhelming. And the surprise you inevitably feel when you remember how much you enjoy each other’s company is what keeps the spark alive.
Make it a priority. I say at least once a month, because it should be a priority to make it happen at least that often.
Even if money is an issue, realize that date night doesn’t have to cost anything if you do your research ahead of time. A) Perhaps you are a lucky one who can ask your family ahead of time to watch your kids (more on finding babysitters in a future blog!) and B) you can visit some websites for different date night/day ideas that are free. (see links for date night ideas below…)
And time should never be the issue…you need to make it happen. Schedule it. And go!