Date night is incredibly important in long-term relationships and marriages, and the added element of children makes it all the more crucial. But so often it is the last thing on people’s minds when they have already scheduled so much from work meetings to report card conferences to dinner with friends. The question becomes, how can you find that crucial time alone which will then keep you going when life gets so busy?
Beyonce and Jay-Z recently enjoyed a cute date night, publicized on Queen Bey's Instagram. After the birth of their two newest additions to the family, it's a great sign that the couple has a chance to step out on the town alone.
Everybody knows that dating was the way you got to know each other in the first place. You met, dated, fell in love, and decided to get married. Once that decision was made and you began your life together, everything else came crashing in – from deciding where you were going to live and how you were going to pay for it, to if and when you wanted to have children, not to mention work and dealing with each other’s families – and finding that time to be alone and share intimate moments became more and more rare. You might even find yourself longing for the passion of the past. Rather than continuing to wish you could go back in time, bring those times into your present life again. They are just as important as everything else you are doing, since your relationship and commitment to each other is the foundation for all that came after. In order to do this, consider implementing a regular date night with your spouse.
The first step is to suspend the idea that this will happen naturally. You might think, we’re married, of course we will find time to be together, why should we have to plan it and make it so formal? The answer to that is that alone time rarely happens without planning since we are all so consumed by responsibilities and our iPhones and everything else. People often believe that because they spend a large quantity of time together since they live in the same house, that it translates into quality time, which is not true. By planning a date night you are guaranteeing that important together time that might otherwise be lost.
Once that is decided, that next step is literally finding the time. Go over your calendars and decide when you might be able to commit to a few hours away from regular life, and of course, it has to be a time that works for both of you. If need be, move away from the notion that date night has to be Saturday night. You can choose anytime, from a weekend night to a weekday night, from Sunday brunch to Tuesday lunch. Also keep in mind that you do not have to have a weekly date – maybe every other week or even once a month works better. The most important thing here is to fashion it to fit your schedule so that you really can relax and let go while you are on your date.
The third step is establishing a method for planning the dates, rather than leaving it open and thinking the other person is going to handle it. Instead, look to rotate the responsibility of choosing the activity and then making reservations or buying tickets, whatever is needed. This will help avoid its becoming a chore, as it might if only one of you is always in charge. Along these lines, step four is being open to each other’s likes and dislikes. Consider tastes and preferences as you plan, knowing that you are not going to always agree. Maybe you will do what you prefer one date, and the following date your spouse might have a chance to choose. Switch it around, either by agreeing to plan the dates you each like for yourselves, or doing the opposite, and planning what your spouse would most like to do when it is your turn. By doing this you will not only both be interested, but it is a way to be thoughtful and maybe share what you feel passionate about with your partner. It is also a way to make sure everyone is happy.
Taking the time out of your busy lives for a regular date night will keep you connected and preserve the intimacy and spark that brought you together in the first place. Here's to many more evenings out for you and for Bey and Jay!
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