Maybe it’s an unpopular opinion, but going out on dates each week is overrated. For one, it takes a lot of effort. Getting ready to head out turns into preparing-for-the-Olympics, and then you have to pay someone else to watch your kiddo. Most times, the outing turns more into going through the motions rather than creating connection. Also, who has the time for the weekly outing? Not this girl and her man.
I have an amazing husband, but both he and I are busy, A LOT. Even on our days off when we think we will lay low and hang out more, those are the days we run errands, clean our storage room, or go to appointments. We’re just in a season of life where weekly dates are unrealistic. If you’re anything like us, we’ve gotten a little more creative on “dates” over the past year since we’ve spent more time indoors than ever. So what can we do to create a space for connection, if we don’t go out on dates?
Here are some ideas:
- Read a book together. From a marriage book to fiction, pick something that you both want to read.
- Into podcasts? Listen to one together! So many different podcasts out there. What are some podcasts that you’d recommend other couples listen to? Drop them in the comments below!
- Either of you like to work out? Try doing a routine together keeping in mind that it’s quality time for you both.
- Post-bedtime movie night. Pop the popcorn, get your hidden stash of treats, and order a movie. Or you can watch one on your laptop in bed. Enjoy! You could even find your favorite stand-up comedian and watch one of their shows!
- Play a 2-person game together. Here are some suggestions! Required material: laughter and healthy competition.
- Order takeout! A few times a month, when either my husband or I are putting my son down for the night, the other goes out to grab dinner so we can enjoy some one-on-one time over food afterwards.
Plan Ahead Dates
- Cook something together. My husband and I come from different cultural backgrounds so it’s fun to try new recipes and flavors. HAVE FUN WITH IT.
- Have a backyard? Create a picnic! This one is much more pleasant in warm weather though. Our son’s naps have gotten longer over the past few months so a midday picnic works great for us. You could even get fancy and make your own charcuterie board together and dig into the munchies outside. Don’t forget the Moscato!
Regularly going out on dates does get you in a different environment, but try creating that environment at home and see how you like it! Maybe, the key is a mindset shift that reminds us that the traditional going-out-on-a-date approach isn’t where the spark lies within our romantic relationships. The spark is whatever brings you and your spouse close. One-on-one time is a time for you and your spouse to slow down, recharge and rekindle intimacy with one another. Do what pours into your marriage in a way that grows connection within your relationship.