Thursday, July 2, 2015

Three on Thursday: Date Night!

I LOVE date night! It's the one night a week that I get to be "just" a wife. We were advised early on in our marriage to set a standard date night, and I will forever be thankful to the couple who made sure to see it through. Here's my Three on Thursday: Date Night edition

  1. Budget (time AND money) - this is the #1 question or response I get in regards to a weekly date night. Sitters run about ten an hour around here, and so it can quickly add up. We budget dates in as if it were a bill, because lets face it...if you don't pay the electric bill, you don't have power. If you don't pay the water bill, you don't have water. If you don't pay the date night bill...all hell breaks loose :) Dates don't have to be a $200 deal. We generally spend about three hours out, go to our favorite little hole in the wall for dinner and music, and come home feeling refreshed having paid less than $75. There are some nights that we book a sitter for TWO hours, get ice cream, and come in under $30. Thirty dollars is about the cost of the average family drive-through lunch. We never let a sitter leave without having our next date planned. Securing a sitter before the following date night helps us stay accountable (since we now owe someone money and have reserved their time) and intentional (so we don't assume we will "get around" to planning a date later). We happen to have a weeknight that works for us every week, although in years past, my husband's job was less predictable, so it always helped to have the next date planned. It is also way less upsetting to come home when you have the next week's date to look forward to. Sometimes even WITH preparation, we end up with sick kids or a cancelled sitter. On those nights we use our time and budget to order in and rent a movie - something that we wouldn't normally pay for, but was planned ahead for, so is more likely to happen. Kids go to bed, we drink some coffee (because falling asleep on a couch is our weakness) and we stick with the plan to be intentional and spend time together.

  2. Stay in your comfort zone - There is just nothing worse than being uncomfortable. My husband and I realized ages ago that we just aren't fine dining people. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE a good dinner, understand food quality, and enjoy being dressed up on occasion, but a fine dining atmosphere just doesn't bring out the best in us. However, bring out a plate of nachos and a Kentucky basketball game, and now you're talking! Understand where you're comfortable as a couple. Realize that date nights aren't for impressive Facebook posts or coffee talk with girlfriends but rather for the health of your marriage. Plan ahead where you will be and what you will do. ENJOY yourselves. Relax. Have fun. Let your brain go, and remember who you are as a couple and why you are a couple. Just because Susan went to Fancy McGee's for dinner and Jane went to a Broadway show doesn't mean that you can't have just as good a time driving around with to-go chicken wings and rocking out to 90's country radio (haha that's totally my husband and my favorite thing).

  3. Not a business meeting - The worst thing we've ever done on a date is waste our time talking shop. One day we decided that there would be NO house, kids, money, or calendar talk on our dates. These dates are our only few uninterruped hours for the entire WEEK. That's 3 out of 168 hours we have alone. There is plenty other time to figure out what to pay who, but not enough time to just be alone with your spouse and remember who you are without responsibilities. If you don't forget about the "business" for a little while and have a "oh yeah this is who I am sans kids" time, then you'll hit that classic "we're two different people" wall. Not that dates should be made out of fear, but rather, out of the realization that time together is the only way to prevent complacency and becoming calloused. If I didn't take a few hours each week to stop the mom train and meet my husband, I could easily become so consumed by personal goals or needs that it could be months before I realize the need for a heart to heart with my best friend. We live in such a distracted day in age, that unless you set aside a time for romance, life becomes too consuming. 
See you tomorrow - it'll be a good one :)

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