Sometimes, with all the business of blogging, and emailing, and social media – oh, and feeding, dressing and keeping the kids alive! – all the days tend to blur together and you realize, you can’t remember the last time you spent any quality time with your husband.
It’s important, as a blogger and entrepreneur, to stay on top of your business and keep it growing. It’s also (obviously!) important to take care of your kids. All that work you’re doing will pay off in time – but it’s also important to remember that your relationship takes work too, or it can start falling apart.
Too many couples only start focusing on their relationship when problems start popping up. But a romantic relationship takes a continuous commitment to keep love alive. If your marriage or relationship is important to you, it’s going to take time and effort.
Often, all it takes is spending a little bit of quality time with your partner on a regular basis. I hear you laughing now – “Quality time? I don’t have ANY time!” My answer to that is this: Is your marriage important? Then you find – no, you MAKE the time, even if it means waiting up until the kids have gone to sleep.
While spur-of-the-moment is fine, arranging an actual date is even better, even if it’s just a date to stay at home. The anticipation is one of the best parts! It’s easier for my husband and I now that the boys are older, but one of our favorite things to do is just snuggle in bed with a bowl of popcorn and a movie. I feel like that time we have together and alone recharges our relationship battery, and usually right when we really need it the most.
There are times in any relationship where you feel alone, like you’re doing everything on your own. My husband is a taxi driver, and sometimes isn’t home for a day or two as his routes take him far from our house. Times like this, I almost feel like a single parent! But our movie nights give us a chance to renew the spark and just chill together.
If you can get a sitter for the night, that’s awesome! We were lucky that the boys have always spent a weekend or two each month with their mother or at grandma’s house, so it’s never been too hard for us to find some alone time.
When date night comes, turn your room into a romantic hideaway – this is the time to light the candles and put on your romantic playlist. Do you both love to be in the kitchen? Spend time together preparing an easy to make meal – or skip the cooking and have something delivered. The idea here is to do whatever makes the two of you happiest, together.
Most importantly: Turn off the computer, the phone, and the tablet! Tonight, your attention is on each other, not email, not Facebook, not Pinterest!
Of course, you can always go out on an actual date. Hit your favorite restaurant, go to the movies, the arcade or pool hall. Head out to your favorite pub for beer and darts. Whatever it is that you guys love doing – what did you do dating before you got married, before the kids came along?
Why not try reliving your first date? Remember the butterflies and and excitement of that night? Psychologists say that when we relive memories, our feelings go “back in time”, so doing it all over again is a powerful way of bringing those emotions back to your relationship. (In fact, just talking about memories of good times together can help strengthen your relationship.)
Not sure what to do? Here are 10 date night ideas:
1. Doing dinner and a movie? Watch the movie first, then go to dinner. That way, you’ll know you’ve got something fun to talk about, and discussing your likes/dislikes of the movie can actually help you build stronger bonds.
2. Picnic in the backyard! A picnic under the stars is cheap and romantic (two of my favorite things!). All you need to do is spread a blanket, grab a baguette, some cheese and lunch meat and a bottle of wine. This is also a great option if you can’t find a sitter, just carry the baby monitor outside with you.
3. Go for a walk. Hit a local nature trail, walk on the beach or just walk around your neighborhood – but walk! Hold hands and people watch, or talk about the pretty sunset. Something my husband and I used to love to do – walk around neighborhoods we didn’t live in. We’d check out the houses, the parks – we even checked out open houses, just for fun.
4. Visit the Museum. Or zoo. Or planetarium. Whatever interests you guys – how long has it been since you actually did it?
5. Go to a ball game! I was lucky living in Florida to have a lot of spring training games available to see (with my ex.. shhh!) But going to the games was always so much fun – and in a lot of ways, a better date than sitting quiet for 2 hours in a movie, or having to get dressed up for a fancy restaurant.
6. Go to an amusement park. Ride roller coasters, go on the “Tunnel of Love”! It’s a whole different experience when it’s just the two of you and no kids.
7. Go Garage Sale-ing. This is a super fun option if you can’t get a night off together. Each of you take $20, and see who can get the best – or weirdest! – buy.
8. Play an outdoor game. When we were kids, we played things like tetherball, badminton and croquet endlessly. How long has it been since you did something like that? Spend an hour or two hanging with your honey, swatting the birdy back and forth. Drink RC colas and eat moonpies while your at it! Reliving your childhood is a great way to get closer.
9. Build a snowman. This one is perfect for this time of year. Each of you search the house for your favorite “accessories” then build snow-people on the front lawn. You can build the perfect couple!
10. Play board games. If you and your husband or partner are more the indoor types, a night of Scrabble, Jenga or Connect 4 can be a blast. And of course, there are ways to make it a little wilder… (Strip Uno, anyone???)
Whatever you do and however you do it, make sure you enjoy every moment of your time together. Keeping your relationship strong should be your first priority – it’s the foundation that keeps your whole family happy together.