The plain and simple truth is date nights make relationships.
You’re probably thinking, that sounds great and in a perfect world date nights are doable, but who has the time, the money, or the childcare (if applicable) to go on dates?
As Dr. John Gottman explains in his book, “Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love“, date nights are always doable, even if it means getting a little creative in carving your time out together.
A date night (or date afternoon or morning) is a pre-planned time where the two of you leave your work life and spend a set amount of time focusing on each other and talking and listening to each other.
Here are the most common date night obstacles and how to overcome them.
Life can feel so incredibly busy that the thought of finding time for yet one more obligation feels overwhelming. However, a date night is more than an obligation. It’s a commitment to your relationship. It helps to carve out a specific and regular time each week and make this “appointment” a priority.
Make date night a “no matter what” event. Set aside time like you would for any other special event you celebrate in your life together.
Date nights should be sacred times to honor your relationship. Think of them as such. Schedule them in your calendars for as much time as possible. Even if it’s just for an hour, show up no matter what.
Dates don’t have to be expensive. In fact, they don’t have to cost anything at all. Pack a picnic, go for a walk, sit in a park. There are endless ways to spend time together without breaking the bank. In each of the Eight Dates, Dr. Gottman makes suggestions about where best to go on your date depending on the topic of conversation. These are only suggestions.
Take a hike or long walk together
Take a drive to somewhere you’ve both wanted to explore
Play a board game or card game together
Cook a dish from a new cuisine together
Childcare is often the stickler for couples who want to go on date nights but have young children at home. Childcare does not have to be expensive or stressful. Trade childcare with other couples, so both couples could enjoy date nights. If that’s not possible, see if a trusted family member or close friend will help you in your quest to spend sacred time together.
Children are incredibly resilient, and by showing your commitment to your relationship with your partner, you’re nurturing your children by ensuring that they will be raised by parents in a healthy and stable relationship.
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