Date Night (even when you “can’t”) – MBFLP 215

How to have date night nevertheless

Once upon a time, when we were young parents a long way from home, we heard someone say, “Date night is absolutely necessary for a healthy marriage!” When you’re new in town and grandparents are a thousand miles away, that’s discouraging! But the important thing is not “dates” but connection – how to renew the face-to-face relationship in the midst of shoulder-to-shoulder life. This episode, we talk about practical ways to do just that, even if you can’t really manage a getaway right now!

How to have date night regardless

What’s the reason?

Actually the important thing is not “the event” but the time for re-connection. Don’t get frustrated and fretful over the inability to do a big formal celebration – it may be the best thing at this time of life is smaller and closer to home.

In fact, home is a good option. We travel so much with our speaking and teaching ministry, we really find a quiet evening at home is a change of pace! We’ve had some great anniversaries and Valentine’s dates watching old movies on Netflix and eating dinner we prepared ourselves.

What are some options when kids are in the mix?

A second thing that’s important to remember is that we need all sorts of intimacy – not just the kind that takes total privacy and all kids asleep or absent. It’s good to just talk together, whether over dinner or a grown-up dessert, and let the kids watch their own movie back in the family room. If you really want them to entertain themselves for a while, you can even invest in some snack foods and turn them loose for an hour or two.

If you haven’t noticed, people never stop growing and changing. You didn’t reach 18 or 25 or 40 and then stop, as if you’d arrived at a destination — life goes on, and you both will find new surprises in each other if you look for them. Why not ask some open ended questions – “What’s your favorite food? Do you like different things as an adult than you did as a child? What’s the earliest thing you can remember? What did you find surprising about being married?” If you need some suggestions, sign up for our free series, “LoveBirdSeed” and get fun and thought-provoking conversation starters every week.

Of course you can stay up later than the kids … or get up earlier. You can go for a walk together or take the kids to the park, where you can sit on a bench and watch them play while you have some grownup conversation. Grandparents are a lifesaver if they’re nearby (and remember, letting your kids eat a few extra cookies at Nana’s house probably won’t topple the organic or keto lifestyle you’re cultivating at home). We even know friends who traded babysitting with each other on a regular schedule, one Friday a month at each house – and as the kids got older, the couples were even able to sneak away for overnights sometimes.

Remember that a lot of advice people share is based on particular circumstances. Sometimes you’re so busy or kept apart by business travel or other responsibilities, you really need to jealously protect a few precious hours. In that case, a scheduled, carefully planned date on the calendar can be a lifesaver! But if you are blessed to have more free time together on a regular basis, the desperation isn’t the same, and maybe you can find good, satisfying “couple time” from day to day. Date night can be great fun, but don’t feel that it’s a mandatory formality if you’re building a strong relationship in the informal hours of life right now!

“Q: What do we do when we can’t get away for our anniversary – not even for dinner out?”

If you are looking for a great couples getaway, check out our Come Away Weekend retreats in the spring and fall. Details will be coming soon for our Spring 2019 event – for more info, visit our website!


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