My husband and I were married for three and a half years before kids came into the picture. While our children have brought so much joy and fulfillment into our lives, getting out on dates takes a lot more effort and planning than it used to.
But getting out on those dates has also become crucial to the health of our relationship. Without quality one-on-one time together, my husband and I start to feel like we’re merely roommates or referees instead of partners in a romantic relationship.
So, we’ve learned to get more creative with our definition of a date. Here are some ways to protect your one-on-one time:
1. Opt for a day-date.
Getting out on a Saturday morning can be a refreshing change from the go-to dinner and movie date night. Once in awhile, my husband and I hire a sitter or drop the kids off with a family member then go on a hike, try a new brunch spot and run some kid-free errands.
2. Rent a hotel room for the day.
If an overnight trip away from the kids isn’t realistic right now, consider renting a room for the day. Get into your comfy clothes, rent movies, stock up on treats and reminisce about what life was like before kids. You’ll feel like newlyweds again!
3. Have a night in.
Put the kids to bed early and soak in some one-on-one time at home. Put your phones and computers away, skip the dishes and straightening-up, and plop down on the couch with your favorite snacks. Have some uninterrupted talking time, then end with a movie or TV show you both love. We won’t judge if you’re still in bed by 10.
4. Do a mini-date.
On Saturdays or after my husband gets home from work on a weekday, we like to drop our kids off with a neighbor or have one come over to our place while the two of us escape for an hour. We run, walk, ride bikes or rollerblade through our neighborhood. Then we return the favor for our neighbor. We all get our exercise-endorphins going and have some quality conversation with our spouses. It’s a win-win!
5. Set up a standing date night
Whether it’s every week or once a month, set up a date night with a babysitter or family member you can count on. For my husband and I, knowing we have that one-on-one time to look forward to helps us get through the rough patches of parenthood.
6. Try new things together.
Studies show increased enjoyment and happiness when couples try new things together. Check our our calendar of local activities and pick something you and your spouse have never done. You just might find your new favorite tradition.
7. Work in a work-day date.
Once in awhile I have to do some work near my husband’s office, so we meet at our favorite smoothie shop to talk for half an hour or so. Our mid-day date might be brief, but those little snippets of quality time add up and help us remember to make our marriage top priority.
What are some of your favorite dates to go on with your spouse? Share your thoughts in the comments.