Someone once told me that date nights were less expensive than marriage counseling. That’s a solid conclusion because when you regularly spend time having fun with your spouse, it can prevent the drift and apathy that can so easily creep into any marriage.
On a date with your spouse, you can laugh together and remember what brought you together in the first place. You can get a reprieve from the stress and responsibilities of work and life. You can share what’s really on your heart so you don’t have to carry your burdens alone.
If date nights are so great, why is it so hard to go on them?
My husband James and I both work out of our home offices, so we see each other a lot during the day. The question “How was your day dear?” doesn’t have the same intrigue when you work 20 feet apart. I confess we’ve often allowed date nights to slide. Why make an effort to spend time together in the evening when you’ve been together much of the day?
There’s a big difference between occupying the same space and intentionally going out to spend time together. There’s something magical about getting out of your routine and anticipating an evening out. You can create fun dates that don’t take much time to plan. They might be as fancy as a five-star restaurant or as simple as fast food down the street. Here are seven weeknight date ideas to get you started.
1. Coffee Swap. Go to your favorite coffee shop and do a little something to break out of your daily grind. Swap drinks. Try your spouse’s pick. Finish it up if you like it or swap it back if you don’t. Talk about what it’s like to live from your spouse’s perspective. Instead of “walk a mile in my shoes,” think, “take a sip of my coffee.” What challenges is your spouse facing this week? What brought him joy?
2. Book Club. The location could be a fast food place, a park bench, or your backyard. Each of you brings a book you are currently reading or that you’ve enjoyed in the past. Read a paragraph out loud and talk about it. If you’re not into books, you can do this with a magazine, Family Christian article, or podcast.
3. Kiss in the Park. When you were dating, you probably spent time–maybe a lot of time–kissing. My husband likes to joke around when he sees a couple kissing in the park. He says mischievously, “Do you think they’re married?” when clearly they are not. Show the world you’ve still got it and sit on a park bench and kiss your spouse. The length of the kiss is totally up to you!
4. Midweek Massage. Go to a local massage place where you can both get a massage. Your sore muscles will appreciate it. Let the stress of the week fall away. If you’re not in the mood to spend money, light candles in your bedroom, play soft instrumental music, and do the massages at home.
5. Frisbee Golf. The game started with people using Frisbees and aiming at targets like trees, trash cans, light poles, and whatever was handy. Chances are, you have a park with frisbee golf near you with 9 to 18 holes. You start at hole one and complete the course in order. Very little skill is needed, and it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors together.
6. Dance Class. Do you have a local community college nearby? Check out the dance classes and register for a class that looks good to you. It’s an inexpensive way to have regular date nights that will help you dance the night away on future dancing dates.
7. Costco Date. If you’re desperate because you are just so busy, I’ll give you this one. You can go to Costco without the kids. Maybe you can feed each other the samples (just like you did with your wedding cake). Be sure to sit in the food court for a few minutes to talk and reconnect.
Whether you’re at the stage where you can easily get away for the weekend, or you can barely leave the house for one hour, date nights are worth putting on the calendar. Spending time together is part of loving each other well. Now go–and have some fun!