How to Date Your Partner
With responsibilities piling on, it can become harder to find the time and motivation to arrange for some quality time with your partner. Review some top date night ideas for inspiration for the next time you want to plan something!
By: Dr. Carlene Link, PharmD, BCPS
Date night-a popular topic amongst most couples, but do most couples make the time for them?
Think back to when you and your partner first began dating and how excited you felt! In depth conversations uninterrupted over dinner, cozy evenings watching movies, sleeping in late on a Saturday morning, leisurely enjoying the weekend together.
And then life happened. While a mix of the mundane daily responsibilities may interrupt the connection you and your partner share, protecting the foundation of your family unit is extremely important. Keeping that spark alive supports the desire to spend time together as a couple and the value placed on prioritizing your partner, which may deepen your commitment to each other. Date nights may help strengthen communication, reduce stress and build stronger relationships.
Here are some date night ideas and tips to create a fun evening together!
- Planning is King
It can be challenging to think about adding 1 more event to your crowded schedules, so planning will be essential. Just how you plan all your other activities, get this date on the calendar and commit to showing up! Perhaps it would be easier to pick a set day (such as the third Friday of each month) and to schedule a few out in advance. Seeing these dates will certainly be exciting for you both to look forward to! Another pro tip: do not forget to schedule your babysitter!
2. Make Sure You Know Who Is Planning
It is very easy for couples to slip back into old behaviors. Since there is a chance you both have been putting your relationship on the backburner for quite some time, ensure it is known who is in charge, then commit to following through! Depending on interests and schedules, it may even be easier to alternate planning responsibilities which may add an element of surprise for your partner.
- Have A Running List Of Ideas
Think of what you like to do as a couple as well as solo interests. A couple of examples include revisiting special restaurants or locations and introducing your partner to activities that you enjoy doing. Periodically check on special events available in your city, and remember to include the occasional trip or weekend getaway as time and budget allow!
- Gift Your Partner In-Home Date Nights
One year for Christmas, I gave my husband a Mason jar full of popsicle sticks with in-home date night ideas. Our kids were very young and it was extremely challenging for us to get out on a regular basis. It was not only really fun for me to come up with creative ways for us to spend time together, but my husband was happy to receive the gift. Pinterest had a lot of wonderful ideas, and I even included simple ideas such as making a new meal together or learning a card game. It is a great excuse to set a beautiful table as if you are at a romantic restaurant!
- All About Conversation
It is easy to fall into old habits of chatting about topics such as the kids, daily activities and household chores. Redirecting the conversation to another subject focused on the 2 of you will be key. While this may seem extreme, if you are struggling to come up with conversation starters, prepare ideas ahead of time to keep the conversation moving.
- Phones Down, Eyes Up
That's right, phones down! Next time you go to a restaurant, observe how many people are on their phones. Date night distractions should be kept to a minimum to allow you and your partner real time to connect. For partners with small kids, add your sitter's number to Emergency Contacts and allow emergency calls only to reduce unnecessary distractions.
- It Takes a Village
Grandparents or other family or friends are often essential in helping a couple with young kids. Do not be afraid to ask for help babysitting or even to host the kids for a sleepover; it may be a fun break for the kids too!
Making date night a regular part of your lives will likely take effort and commitment from both partners, but with a little bit of planning, those date night jitters can be rekindled! You and your partner deserve to intimately reconnect on a regular basis. Happy Planning!