Dating your spouse is so important in maintaining a healthy marriage! Learn how to make time for date night when you’re married with kids, and get some tips for making the most of date night with your husband.
Let’s take a journey back in time for a moment and remember your first date with your spouse. You had butterflies in your stomach because you were so excited and nervous at the same time. You bought a new dress just for the occasion and spent extra time on your hair and makeup.
Now, fast-forward to your current “date night” with your spouse…
You’ve finally gotten the kids to bed after what seems like a million years. Both of you are worn out, and collapsing on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and two spoons seems like all the romance you can handle right now.
Although it’s easy to slide into a routine of complacency, I urge you to make dating your spouse a priority in your married life. My husband and I didn’t get to #relationshipgoals status by not prioritizing our time together. We have a great marriage because we focus on what we can do for each other.
Now, I’ll admit that married life has some exhausting phases (think babies and young kids), and trying to find date night ideas that work with your current life schedule is challenging. To help with this, I recently wrote about how you can create your own date jar to put some spice back in your relationship.
Why Dating Your Spouse is Important
So, why is dating your spouse so important? Here are just a few reasons why scheduling a regular date night should be one of your top priorities:
Dating Adds Excitement to Marriage
Don’t get me wrong–my husband and I spend plenty of nights snuggled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and our favorite shows, but that tends to get a bit old after a while. Dating is an excellent way to add some excitement to your routine and prevent feelings of marriage boredom from sneaking in.
Remember that first date with your (now) spouse I mentioned at the beginning? How pumped you were to make time for them? It’s possible to feel that excitement on a regular basis if you make time for your special someone.
Dating Your Spouse Improves Marital Communication
A complete conversation with my husband is nearly impossible when our kids are in the same room, and if he does manage to tell me something, I get distracted before I can write it down. So one of the main reasons I look forward to our weekly dates is because we can sit down and truly focus on what the other has to say.
A research study conducted by W. Bradford Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew actually showed that married couples who went on dates at least once a week reported being 3.5 times happier than those who didn’t. They also experienced improved communication and higher levels of commitment.
See? Dating your spouse will improve things all around. It’s science.
Dating Helps You Cope With Everyday Stress
Keeping up with the house work and your kids’ impossibly busy schedules can be stressful, and there are some days when it all just gets to be too much. Some people internalize what they feel because they don’t want to burden their spouse with their emotions. However, after a while, this way of coping tends to spill over.
A weekly date allows both you and your spouse to take a step back from everyday stressors and spend an hour or two relaxing in each other’s company. It’s a chance for you to both celebrate the wins of the week and decompress as well.
Dating Your Spouse Increases Sexual Intimacy
It’s not a huge surprise that the same study showing how dating improved other areas of marriage life also gave couples a boost in sexual intimacy. Regular dates allow you to see each other in a different light–one that’s absent of baby spit-up, sweatpants, and the ever-present pile of laundry.
Don’t get me wrong–I think my husband is at his sexiest when he’s folding the colors, but I also enjoy looking my best for him and being able to focus fully on him for at least a little while. In addition, our weekly dates positively impact other times of the day when we’re alone, and that intimacy only gets better with time!
Dating Strengthens Your Emotional Bond
Sometimes life gets so crazy that it can seem like you’re living “around” your spouse instead of “with” them. It’s times like these when making dating a priority is more critical than ever.
Regular dates are essential for keeping your emotional bond with your spouse solid and resilient. Boogie (yes, that’s my pet name for him and he loves it!) isn’t just my husband–he’s my best friend. I love having the chance to spend time just being with him and enjoying his company.
How to Make Time for Date Night with Your Husband
I know that you may be wondering how to make regular date nights with your husband a reality, especially if you have young children. Here are a few suggestions that have worked for us over the years:
Find a Few Reliable Babysitters
Although you don’t need to rely on a babysitter every time you and your husband schedule a date, it’s reassuring to have a few numbers in your phone for when you find yourselves needing to “escape” for a few hours.
If you’re new to an area or just don’t know many people, I recommend credible babysitting sites like Care.com and Sittercity.com. You can find many reliable sitters who are very affordable, and you can even purchase background checks if you feel the need to.
Schedule a Regular Weekly or Monthly Date Night
Treat your weekly or monthly date night with your husband like one of your children’s doctor’s appointments. You don’t want to miss that sucker, or it’s going to be forever before you can schedule another one!
Date night can be the same day each week or whenever it works best for both you and your husband’s schedule, but make it a priority! One of the reasons my husband and I have such a healthy marriage is that we don’t compromise on our alone time together.
Enlist the Grandparents for Help
If you’re blessed enough to live near one or both sets of grandparents and they’re willing to help out, take advantage of that in a New York minute! Our parents love getting the chance to spoil the kids whenever possible, and we enjoy the free babysitting! Just don’t be surprised if everyone is still awake when you get home and they had ice cream for dinner.
Plan At-Home Dates with Your Husband
There was a time in our lives when going out on dates just wasn’t possible for us very often. That didn’t stop us from having them, though!
If you aren’t financially or otherwise able to go out on regular dates, send the kids to bed early one night a week and have an at-home date. This can be anything from popping some popcorn and watching a new movie to having a late, candle-lit dinner to having a game night with one of these two player games for couples.
Every Date Doesn’t Have to be Epic
It’s important to realize that every date in your marriage doesn’t have to be one for the history books. Like I mentioned previously, many of our dates consist of meeting for lunch each week because that works well for our schedule.
In an article from Focus on the Family, pastor Ryan Dalgliesh and his wife give themselves a $100 budget each month, saying, “Once a month, we go to a nicer restaurant. The other three weeks, we hit up Chick-Fil-A or Subway. We just make a point to have time alone. It is always very refreshing.”
Trade Off Date Nights With Friends
If you have other friends with kids, why not trade-off date nights with each other? For example, you offer to watch their children one night a month, and they do the same for you in return. Not only is it a nice thing to do for other couples, but it saves you the expense of a babysitter!
Tips for Dating Your Spouse
Now that you’ve got the tools to help you make dating your spouse an essential part of your marriage, here are some tips to maximize the time you have together:
Get Creative With Your Date Ideas
Date night doesn’t have to mean doing the same thing every time. While my husband and I have our favorite go-to places, we also love mixing it up and trying new things. So if you’re looking for inspiration, check out my epic list of 94 creative date night ideas! Plus, you can grab this free printable to create your own date night jar!
Get Dressed Up to Go On Dates with Your Husband
I’ll be the first to admit that I am deeply and emotionally tied to my favorite pair of yoga pants. You may have a similar bond with your comfy clothes, but I strongly suggest leaving them in the closet for date night.
Instead, opt for a nice pair of jeans and a dressy top or a dress when you step out with your hubby. When you spend extra time on your appearance, it will make you feel more attractive. And he will definitely notice!
Avoid “Everyday Married Life” Conversations
Your conversations with your spouse can easily slip into talk about your kids, bills, and other topics you can have while you’re at home.
Push yourselves to leave those at home and find new things to share with each other. If you need a little help in this area, try conversation starters for couples for ideas on what to talk about with your spouse to reconnect.
You can even print out some printable conversation cards to use on your date night like these:
Take Overnight Dates When Possible
Sometimes dating your spouse means taking more than just a few hours to spend with them. Although this may only be possible once or twice a year, try and go on an overnight date.
Overnight dates offer endless options, such as attending a concert or play in the next town over, visiting friends who live farther away, or just trying out a local bed and breakfast.
Practice Positive Affirmations
I’m a big believer in the power of positive affirmations in my marriage, and there’s no better time to compliment and encourage your spouse than when you’re on a date with them. A simple, “I’m lucky to have such a sexy date” can do wonders for your relationship.
Put Your Phone Away
Our phones will completely take over our lives if we allow them to, and I use mine quite a bit for both work and family life. However, Boogie and I keep our marriage healthy by having clear rules on when phones should go away.
I recommend that when you and your spouse are on a date, your phone stays in your pocket or purse. This will reduce the temptation of checking the score of the game or seeing one more email that just has to be answered. Your time with your husband is precious, and you should treat it as such.
There are countless benefits to making a habit of dating your spouse, and I can’t wait for you to start experiencing all of the positives that go along with making special time for each other!
I hope you found these strategies helpful, and don’t forget to check out my free printable date night ideas for even more fun ways to spend time with your favorite person.
Or, read some of my other posts on marriage and relationships:
- I Love My Husband – 31 Reasons Why & Tips to Make Your Own List
- Nice Things to Do for Your Husband – A 30 Day Challenge
- Funny and Flirty Love Notes to Leave for Your Husband
And don’t forget to PIN this post for later: