No Time to Date?
As much as you adore your children, since their arrival it seems that you get less and less time with your significant other. Your day to day living has become a tiring routine that includes getting up, getting the kids ready, preparing meals, getting out of the house to get to work and school on time, picking up the kids, taking them to extracurricular activities, preparing dinner, and finally going to bed. While you are grateful for the life you have with a family you love, getting just a few moments to take a deep breath and focus on your spouse seems like a near-impossible feat. The good news is that it is possible to find a bit of time for yourselves without disrupting your routine or breaking the bank.
Movie Night In
Movie night is a great way to bond with your spouse. The best part about this particular date night is that you do not have to get a sitter. Set aside a day of the week where there are no extracurricular activities going on. When you get home, prepare dinner and get the kids in bed by a reasonable time. Make a few movie snacks, grab a rental movie from a kiosk or on demand, and sit back and enjoy. You will save as much as 75% over the cost of going out to a movie by having movie night at home, as you won’t be paying for a sitter, movie tickets or high prices for snacks.
Who says that date “night” has to be at nighttime? If you’re a really busy pair then you may find it easier to get alone time when the sun is still shining. This is another affordable date idea that doesn’t involve the need for a sitter (unless you have newborns that don’t go to daycare). Pick a day your spouse is not flooded with business meetings and meet them at their job. You can easily find a local coffee shop, bar & grill, or diner in the area in which you can just spend time eating and enjoying each other’s company. If one of you is a stay-at-home parent, bring a picnic lunch from home and have your lunch date at a park near your spouses office.
Who needs the fancy restaurants when you can do fine dining in your own home? Instead of going out to dinner, you could easily making cooking at home romantic. Find a recipe online and purchase the ingredients. On a night when the children are away with the grandparents, you and your spouse can spend time cooking together in the kitchen. Once the meal is done you set the table with a nice tablecloth, silverware, the works. Add a few flowers and candles to set the mood and enjoy your meal together at home.
Do you and your partner or spouse work out on a regular basis? Well if you’ve already got exercise or gym time scheduled into your daily schedule, making a date with your spouse to work out together should be fairly easy. You don’t have to join a gym to make it a date, as you can do plenty of exercises right in your own neighborhood. Why not take a bike ride around the neighborhood, go for a run together or get together for some yoga in the morning before the hustle and bustle of the day begins? You can even take a nice walk and then end with a healthy picnic for the two of you to enjoy.
Here’s another simple yet inexpensive date idea for busy couples. Pick a day of the week in which there is not a lot going on after work. Put the kids to bed as usual. Then you can draw a bath, put some music on, open a bottle of wine, and give each other a real spa treatment. If you have nice massage oils and lotions you can take turns rubbing out the day’s tension from your partner’s body.
Sometimes the best date ideas are the ones that come in the spur of a moment. Joyrides can be a great way for couples to just communicate and get to know each other a little bit better. Ask someone to watch the kids for a few hours, fill up your gas tank, pack a few snacks, and select a direction you want to travel in. Make sure to pick a road that has lots of landmarks for you to see. Use this time to catch up and really talk.
Last but not least, you can always opt for a staycation. This is when you keep your stay local and rent a room as a way to step out of the routine of your daily lives. Schedule some vacation time, find an inexpensive hotel in your area and make a weekend of it. This will allow you and your spouse to enjoy each other, and peace and quiet. Keep it low-key and casual by not having a schedule. Let the weekend play out as it will.
Date nights can be hard to plan once you have little ones in your life, but it is extremely important to have them regularly. If you need sitters, either find a reliable teenage neighbor, get referrals from other parents, or talk with your family about your personal need to get out every once in a while. Getting out and having one-on-one time helps couples keep the love alive and serves to remind them that their romantic relationship, and seeing each other in that light, is just as important as the roles of parent, home-maker and bread-winner. You both work hard as parents, you deserve some fun together!
Your marriage was once your most important investment. We’d like to help you keep it that way. If you are considering couples counseling, let the counselors at Orange County Relationship Center help you. Call us today at 949-220-3211 or book your appointment via our online calendar.