As busy as family life can be, the need to connect to one’s spouse and have some “we” time is extremely important. Much has been written about the value of “date nights” or dating your spouse, but there is very little advice on how to actually make that it happen and make it enjoyable. The following are 5 rules for dating your spouse and ensuring that the value of your relationship is maintained for years to come.
Make it a priority. First and foremost, the value of dating your spouse has to be realized and a commitment made between the two of you. Date night needs to be held at the same level as any other appointment that is made – almost mandatory. Although this can be difficult to do at first, having this time to yourselves is not only vital to a healthy relationship, but it’s a benefit to you and your family as an example of how a committed couple behaves.
Set low expectations, initially. If this is your first time attempting to date your spouse or if you have not in quite some time, remember to set the bar low initially. By working your way to more and more elaborate outings, you are giving yourselves and your family an opportunity to adjust to this concept which could be very new at first. Select an outing that is rather low key and not all too time consuming – whatever makes the most sense for you and your family.
Publish your plans. Once you and your spouse have decided upon what you will do, write it in stone. Let your children, family and/or childcare know of your scheduled “date” and more importantly, that this date is a commitment and cannot be changed. The point is, along with making your outing a priority, everyone else in your family must understand how important this time is to you and your spouse.
Do something different. Even though the expectations should initially be low, resist the temptation to do errands and call that a date night. Do something adventurous or uncharacteristic for the two of you. The whole point of dating your spouse to be able to connect again with one another on a different level than from the usual. If going to a nice dinner and a movie is something you rarely ever do, start there and work your way up to something more unique and off the beaten path.
Make it memorable. No matter what you plan on doing on the date, make sure you keep the memory of your outing alive through documentation. Take a selfie, video, buy a memento, or a souvenir – just a little something to remember the great time you had. This way you’ll have a collection of memories that will serve as a reminder to you and your children about the value of dating your spouse.