If you want to make your marriage last for the long haul, date nights give you a much-needed chance to reconnect. The busier you are, the more you probably need them. In my last post, we took a look at why having a regular date night is so important to maintaining a healthy marriage. Today, I’m looking at giving you a game plan for planning date night.
Date nights should be a time for concentrating solely on your spouse, so carefully and completely plan it ahead of time. This will eliminate the time wasted sitting around asking that age-old question, “What do you want to do?” Talks like that usually end with sitting on the couch playing on your phones. Separately.
If you’re just getting started with intentional date nights, I’m challenging you to plan two date nights within the next month. Once a week is ideal, but if you’re new to this, we’ll start smaller.
For those two nights, each one of you should plan one of them.
Steps to planning Date Night
Get your pen out
First, you need to choose at least two dates in the next month. Use a pen. No. Use a permanent marker and write the words DATE NIGHT on those two dates. Block them out in your calendar and don’t allow anything else to infringe on those dates. Don’t let your dentist have more control over your life than your spouse does!
While you are picking nights, choose nights based on when you can schedule a sitter. If you don’t have a regular sitter, are there reliable teenagers in your church who want to make a few extra bucks? Have a backup plan too. Just in case your first person has to bail.
Set a budget
Decide how much you are allowed to spend on the date. You don’t have to spend any money. There are plenty of free ideas out there. Having a budget for the date will give you some boundaries when you are thinking of ideas for activities.
Brainstorm a list of ideas
Once you know your budget, get together and brainstorm a list of ideas for your date night activities. There are scads of ideas out there in Internet land. With a little research and planning, you shouldn’t have to repeat a date night activity for quite a while, unless you want to of course.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Go to a restaurant you’ve never been to before.
- Find out where the food trucks are!
- Check out local festivals and street fairs for the tasty treats.
- Take a cooking class together.
- Take an exercise class to work off the food.
- Go to a flea market and find some treasures.
- Take an art class.
- Do an escape room or sign up for a scavenger hunt in your area.
- Get tickets to a sports event (minor-league tickets are cheaper and just as much fun)
If you can’t think of ideas, check out my Pinterest board “Date Nights for Married Couples.” There are also sites out there like Eventbrite that give you lists of events going on in your area. And if you really can’t pull anything other than dinner and a movie out of your hat, you can try sites like Unbox and Datebox that pull everything together for you but the sitter.
Be ready for conversation
Resolve that you will not use your phones during the date. Have other ideas for conversation ready to go. Date night is a time to reconnect as a couple, not a time to discuss controversial issues which might cause tension. Try to make it a lighthearted talk with the goal of learning more about each other. Even if you’ve been married for years, you may see how your spouse has changed opinions on topics over time. Since they never stop growing, we should never assume that we know all about them. Always make your spouse your favorite subject of your research!
One way to make the night even more meaningful is to make some of the conversations focus on spiritual things. Find out what your spouse has been learning from God lately and what they may be struggling with. Pray for each other too.
Pinterest to the rescue again! Are you struggling to find relevant conversation starters? I have a board full of them right here!
Make it a night to remember
Keep small tokens to make it easy to remember the date. Did you go miniature golfing? Keep the scorecard. Checked out a ball game? Get a program. No matter what you do, make sure to take lots of pictures of the two of you to memorialize the night.
Your marriage is your most important relationship. Spending time together as a couple will help you grow closer, making it more difficult for outside influences to tear you apart. Planning date night will make that time more productive and more fun! Comment below if you try these tips. We’d love to celebrate your marriage with you.