A regular scheduled date night is a wonderful idea for couples. It gives them time to devote to one another, helping to reconnect as a couple and fostering communication. According to relationship experts, regular date nights can reduce the risk of divorce.
Recently, I began to notice that Russ and I were not spending as much quality time together as I would like. I found myself missing him a lot. Taking a lesson from my sister and her husband who reserve every Friday night for their date night, I thought I would ask Russ if we could do the same. He agreed that we needed to spend more quality time together, but he did not want to make food the focus. Dinner was not on his menu. OK, no problem. Russ and I enjoy being active together because we find that's when we have the most fun anyway and it makes for the best memories.
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How about dancing? Great idea! So, I gave us a gift certificate for dance lessons! Neither of us have very good rhythm, so this ought to be a good laugh. This, I decided, was going to be the start of our date nights. We showed up at the dance studio on time. I was feeling a bit nervous. Probably because, every time my kids saw me dance they would scream "you're embarrassing me." The instructor helped ease my nerves by starting with the basics. I thought: "This is easy!" Then we started moving faster and my nerves kicked in again.
Russ, as always, looked into my eyes and said, "Trust me, I won't let anything bad happen to you." And, when I did that, I really started to relax and have fun. We had quite a few good laughs and butt kickin' good workout! By the end of the lesson, my hips and thighs were hurting. This was much better than being home on the couch watching another episode of mindless television.
On the way home, Russ and I talked about how much fun we had. Then came the downer. As we crunched the numbers we realized that dancing beyond the introductory package at this fancy dance school would break the bank. Date night should not put you into debt! Undaunted, Russ began to look for alternatives and, sure enough, he found them. Not only were there cheaper dance schools but, there were also town sponsored programs. Date nights, it turns out, don't have to be about food and they don't have to be expensive. We recommend that you search for the low-calorie and low price options. This way you can be together while being fiscally and physically responsible!
To keep you on track, here are 6 things to keep in mind for your date night routine:
1. Remember Your Purpose
Why did you start reading this article? Was it because you wanted to learn ways to spend more quality time with your lover? Was it because you wanted to rekindle that feeling you had when your love was new? Good! My guess is that it wasn't because you wanted to rack up a large credit card bill or add pounds to hips.
No matter what you decide to do, make sure it serves your most important purpose. Of course, first you need to know your purpose. Take a moment and think about your most important reason is for wanting a date night. Write it down. Then focus on that. Russ and I knew what we wanted (to connect deeply, make lasting memories, get off the couch) and Russ took it a step further by knowing what we didn't want (spend a lot of money, make it about food).
2. Be Creative
Be creative, think out the box. Use the internet to get some ideas. In many communities there are civic groups that have free or low cost events for couples. Maybe push the couch back, throw lots of pillows on the floor, build tent forts and get flashlights. Have fun! Think back to your dating days: what were some of the things you did then? No matter what you do for your date night try to incorporate some physical activity as well. Yes, sex counts as physical activity and yes, you can be creative there too.
3. Schedule It
Schedule your date night as you would any other important appointment. Agree to devote this time to each other. Make a rule that you can't cancel your date for something else unless you reschedule it first! Agree that nothing is more important than working on your relationship.
4. Keep Your Eyes On Each Other
Eyes off screens and on to each other. This means computers and cell phones are put away (unless you are using them to play an interactive game). If the phone rings, ignore it. Make a rule that all calls will wait unless it's an emergency!
5. Interact: Act Like Children
Play a game. Don't fall into the trap of sitting on the couch with a huge bowl of popcorn watching the tube. While it's OK to watch a movie together, it's not a good date night. Where's the interaction? No matter what you choose to do, talk with one another. Of course, we recommend you use our super fun conversation APP, which you can use for free at: www.start2talk2.me
6. Make Memories
One thing I realized is that my best memories come from doing cool things with Russ like climbing mountains, paddleboarding, surfing, sailing and kayaking to name a few. Compared to this stuff, the memories of sitting in some restaurant (even a really fancy one) falls flat. Life is about making and collecting memorable moments that you can relive in your mind. These moments are the cement that binds you together. These memories are what get you through the toughest times. If you want a love that lasts forever, make the memories of you being together count!
Remember — it doesn't take a lot of money to make new memories with your spouse. So start researching and making plans! Your marriage will thank you.
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