July 9, 2010 by Marci
Today’s post is from Heidi at Wonder Woman Wannabe. Heidi is a wife to a philosophy professor and mother of two young boys. She writes about her own reflections on life as God is guiding her through the journey of becoming a Proverbs 31 woman – the original Wonder Woman!! Blogging serves as her way to be creative, learn and encourage others.
In the early days of dating and courtship most all couples yearn to constantly spend time with and learn more about one another.
However, after marriage, new obstacles in life, goals, and obligations in the form of jobs, children and community involvement tend to fill up much of our time. Too little time together could result in a two people drifting apart while getting too wrapped up in other areas of a busy life.
In the new movie “Date Night,” a married couple worries their life is too predictable, that they’re no longer really spouses, but just roommates raising kids.
I’m sure that feeling has rung true for many of us at one time or other in our marriage.
If you want your marriage to thrive and grow, you need to constantly be feeding and nurturing it just like when you were first forming your relationship.
A regular date night is wonderful way to nurture your marriage and maintain a level of closeness and intimacy in your relationship. It gives couples something to look forward to, a chance to come together to spend some quality time focused just on one another and enjoying each other’s company without being weighed down by the demands of life. It’s a great way to reconnect and to simply have fun.
Studies show that the longer you’re married, the more important having a regular date night is. Dates don’t always have to be a grand event. It’s more about focusing your time and attention on one another.
A New York Times article I came across several months ago encouraged couples to be on the lookout for ways to inject novelty in your dating in an effort to bring the ‘spark’ back into their relationship;
“New experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love, a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner.
Most studies of love and marriage show that the decline of romantic love over time is inevitable. The butterflies of early romance quickly flutter away and are replaced by familiar, predictable feelings of long-term attachment.
Several experiments show that novelty — simply doing new things together as a couple — may help bring the butterflies back, recreating the chemical surges of early courtship.”
Reading that article inspired me to come up with a years worth of novel dating ideas over at my blog, Wonder Woman Wannabe. Every Friday I post a ‘Re-Ignite Date Night’ novel date idea. It’s been so fun and I can honestly say that my husband and I have done most, if not all of the dates I’ve highlighted together at one time or other. I’ve almost reached my goal, and when I do, I’ll be hosting a fabulous give-away!
If you don’t have very much money at the moment, planning a great date night can be a challenge. That’s where getting creative with your novel dates will help! You can also make sure dates are a priority by building them into your monthly budget.
A Few Tips to Getting a Date Night Started:
Set a Regular Date Night and Hold to it
Weather your goal is to have a date night once a week, once every two weeks or once a month, make it commitment. Make it promise to your spouse that you’ll be there. It doesn’t have to take place on a weekend. Just pick a night (or DAY for that matter!) that you’re not busy with your own obligations or children’s activities. Put it on the calendar and think of it as an obligation just as important as a doctor’s appointment or a work function.
Arrange for Child Care
Try to schedule an ongoing date with a babysitter. If your date night is every Thursday, book your sitter for every Thursday night for several months at a time. We once had college roommates that alternated weeks caring for our children.
If you can’t afford a babysitter, arrange a child care trade with a friend or neighbor who also has children. One night a week, you can watch your friend’s children, and on another night on a different week you and your spouse get to go out.
Make Date Nights a Sacred Time
Try to avoid talking about the kids, the house, the bills, and any other issue that you know is a hot spot and may lead to arguments or more serious complicated conversation. Save that for another time; date night is for connecting with your spouse, not contention.