How to make date night actually happen

If you’re one of those couples who faithfully goes on a date every month (or week!), just skim right past this. 😉

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Date night. We all know we should do it but…making it happen? Completely different thing. I have some thoughts if you struggle with it!

1. Figure out what your main obstacle is to making it happen.

Is it your budget? Your baby who won’t take a bottle? Lack of a babysitter? You’re just too tired? (That last one is a lame excuse, by the way…)

Once you’ve pinpointed the obstacle(s), brainstorm a solution. Together!

For us, it’s a few factors. We have limited to no budget (depending on the month, because we have variable income), so we mostly rely on gifts cards and the generosity of loved ones to babysit.

When we have a tiny baby who is hard to leave, we’ve relied on in-home date nights until the stars aligned to make an out-of-the-home date night happen. (And then we took the baby with us.)

I personally can’t stand the planning part of a date – figuring out where to go, who’s going to babysit, etc. Logan is constantly begging to go on a date, and I inwardly groan, because while I would like to go too, I hate being the one in charge of planning. So I finally thought to tell Logan I’d be more than happy to go on a date whenever if he took the initiative to plan – mainly booking a babysitter. My favorite dates have been the ones where he did all of the planning.

Because of our schedule currently, evening dates don’t usually work. So we realized that going on a date in the middle of the day is easier and much less stressful.

You might have to get creative when it comes to a solution to your specific obstacle, but for most people, there is one!

2. It doesn’t have to be extravagant to be considered a date.

Seriously, though. Of course it’s nice to get dressed up really nice, eat at a fancy restaurant, and go dance the night away in some fancy club.

If you want to be consistent about going on dates, though, you probably should keep it simple for the most part. Go to a quiet coffee shop and sip some lattes, browse a thrift store (and pick something out for each other if the budget allows!), or heck, go for a walk or ride bikes. The point of a date is to have dedicated time for just you and your spouse. No fireworks needed.

3. Keep both of your personalities in mind.

Logan and I are complete opposites when it comes to temperament and love languages. So that means we have different ideas of what we want our dates to look like….which means our dates usually consist of quiet down time for my sake (i.e. dinner) and something exciting for Logan’s sake (i.e. picking out each other’s outfits at Goodwill). Yes, you might have to compromise, but I’ve actually come to appreciate my spouse’s wild and crazy ideas. Maybe you will too!

4. Don’t be discouraged. It is only a season.

We’ve been through seasons where going on a date felt close to impossible – one of the kids (or us) was sick for two months straight, our baby did not do well in the evening, there was literally no money to do anything, etc. But don’t lose hope! This phase is temporary. Just make sure you jump on an opportunity to go on a date as soon as it comes. It will be worth it!

So, what do you think? What helps you make date night happen?

In case you missed it, we vlogged our last date! We also share 3 things we try to do every time we go on a date:

A month for your marriage {week 3 – being vulnerable}

In case you missed it, I’m hosting a weekly marriage challenge! Read the previous posts: week 1 and week 2.

Copy of Habits we do every day (2)

How we did on week 2’s challenge, date night

I have to admit this was easier for me because I totally knew about this in advance. So we actually went on our date the day before I posted the challenge. Logan and I picked out each other’s clothes at Goodwill and then wore them to eat sushi. And then we went back to Goodwill because of some hilariousness that you should check out on our Instagram account on the stories highlights! It was a super fun date, our first in entirely too long, and now I know we need to really make more of an effort to make it happen. (And we ended the date with a visit to an adoration chapel, which was lovely.)

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We’ve also been doing a marriage program at our church once a week too, so technically that could be counted as another date night, since our kids do not come with us.

Did you manage to go on a date? I’d love to hear about it!

Being vulnerable

Logan and I have gotten closer every single year, and that’s because we’ve realized the beauty in being vulnerable with each other. It’s hard to get closer to someone if you’re not sharing intimate feelings with them. I’d venture to say it’s even vital to a marriage to share your deepest struggles with each other!

How am I supposed to help Logan if I don’t know how he needs help? How am I supposed to support Logan if I don’t even know he needs it? Same with him. We cannot read each other’s minds.

It’s not easy sharing some thoughts and feelings with each other though. I’ll admit that I have a crazy mind sometimes (thanks, melancholic temperament!). So sometimes Logan looks at me like I’m a crazy person when I share something with him. But now he better understands me, and he loves me better because of it.

If you’re not sharing the small details of your day with each other, it’ll be hard to share the big stuff. So start small. Tell each other about your day – what you did, who you saw and talked to, your high and low points. It’ll progress from there. The important thing is that you communicate regularly.

Now Logan and I can tell each other absolutely anything (and I mean anything) and not think the other is crazy. We don’t get mad either. It’s a beautiful thing, really.

This week’s challenge

Is there something you’ve been struggling with or been thinking about and haven’t told your spouse? Talk to them about it this week. It can be something small, like struggling with your Lenten sacrifice, or your fears about a future pregnancy or job change. Whatever really! (Bonus points for getting your spouse to share something too!) If you’re already pretty open, be intentional about sharing more details about your day. Make sure you’re sharing more with your spouse than anyone else. 

Things to remember:

  • If you freak out or get mad when your spouse shares something big, you might make them take a step back. Remain calm!
  • If a serious issue comes out (i.e. your spouse admits to an addiction or other serious sin), don’t hesitate to get a third party involved if necessary. Getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • Being vulnerable with each other is how you grow closer together.
  • The devil wants you to keep things from each other!
  • Praying together is a great first step to being vulnerable with each other – check out our latest video about praying together.

 

I hate to say this but feel it is necessary: if you suspect your spouse is emotionally abusive, this post is not for you. Please seek the help of a counselor or spiritual director!

A month for your marriage {week 2 – date night}

In case you missed it, I’m hosting a weekly marriage challenge this month! Read last week’s post with more details here.

Copy of Habits we do every day (2)

How we did on Week 1’s challenge, praying together

Well, we prayed together every day! We actually decided to pray the Rosary together on Logan’s off days, which we did, and that’s something we want to continue. Thankfully we did that during the day on Sunday, because Logan went out with a friend that night and I fell asleep before he got home – which meant we wouldn’t have prayed together that day had we not prayed a Rosary earlier in the day.

We also prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet one night in addition to our usual prayer time, because we both cheated on our Lenten sacrifice at a church event (oops…darn you sugar cookies!) and wanted to make reparation for it.

How did you do? Did you pray together every day or just once or twice? Was it harder or easier than you expected? Share in the comments or in an Instagram post using the hashtag #amonthforyourmarriage. Can’t wait to hear!

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Week 2, Date Night

We have seasons where we’re going on dates regularly, and we have seasons where it feels impossible to complete the Date Night Trio: 1) find a night that works, 2) find a sitter, and 3) have enough wiggle room in the budget to have a little fun. It’s so hard, I get it. There are multiple factors at play – money, schedule, age of your kids, etc.

But it doesn’t matter if you’re going every month, or every week – you just need go sometime. Don’t let money or time be an excuse as to why you’re not spending dedicated time together. You can still go on dates and not spend money (get creative!), and if your marriage is important to you, you will make the time.

Confession: I’m totally fine having a “date” at home. But thanks to my extroverted husband, we tend to go out for dates because that’s what he likes. And now I know that getting out of the house is exactly what we need sometimes and it rejuvenates our marriage even more. A little space sometimes can give you some perspective.

This week’s challenge

Plan a date night (or day) that will happen in the next week or two. Try to plan something that both of you will like where you can spend time talking to each other (that means no movies!!).

Ideas (that require little to no money, because it’s easy to think of things that require money!):

  • walk around the city or downtown area near you
  • browse a bookstore and have some coffee
  • browse a thrift store and pick out clothes for each other
  • revisit the location of your wedding proposal
  • visit a church or adoration chapel (and pray together!)