Family Bytes

The Do's & Don'ts of Date Night

It’s that time of year when many people are making resolutions and setting goals with the hope these new or renewed commitments can enhance or add value to their lives.

I want to challenge every married person in Memphis to commit to enhance and transform their relationship.

I challenge you to have a date night with your spouse at least once a month in 2017.

You may be thinking, “We already go to dinner from time to time.”

However, “occasionally going out” is not the same as going on a date. To help clarify, here are a few do’s and don’ts to help get the most out of your alone time with your spouse.

Don’t think it has to be expensive to meaningful.  

A night out can be expensive! Babysitters, dinner, and maybe a movie can quickly add up. Thinking about expenses can be overwhelming and often discourage couples from investing in their marriages.  Date nights don’ts have to be expensive. You can have a meaningful time grabbing coffee for a couple of hours. Can’t or don’t want to leave the kids with a sitter? Then bring the date to you! Order take-out, put the kids to bed, clean up, put on some decent clothes and nice music. Then go to your dining room and have a nice meal and conversation. The point is to be creative and carve out time for one another.

Do Plan.  

Scheduling is sexy! The point of planning is to set priorities. The same is true for monthly date nights. When we put it on the calendar we communicate, “our marriage is important and a high priority in our lives.” 

Have you ever had a date night that started like this?

Husband: Where do you want to go tonight?

Wife:  I don’t know … wherever.

Husband:  What about BBQ?

Wife: I’m not in the mood for BBQ.  How about sushi?

Husband:  I had sushi a couple of days ago for lunch.  What about…

This goes on for a while until someone says, “It doesn’t matter, let’s just go somewhere!”

Setting aside time for our spouse is just the first step. We need to make sure we have a plan for the time set aside. The lack of planning can communicate the evening is an afterthought, and not a priority. 

Here are a few ideas you might want to try: 

  • Alternate who plans the date night. 
  • Get several gift cards to your favorite places, put them in a bag and draw.  Whichever card you pull out, that’s where you go.

Don’t pull out your phone.  

Nothing kills romance like catching up on a work email or answering a text from a friend. The point of having a date night is to get each other’s undivided attention, to (re)connect and have fun. 

An important reminder:  Where your eyes are, your heart is.

While on your date, make sure your eyes are on your spouse. Even if you feel the need to document your date on social media, try to resist the urge. Consider that memories are to be remembered, and they don’t always have to be documented.

Do share why you love and admire your spouse.

I think most couples would say they know their spouses love them.  I wonder if they would be able to share what their spouse’s love about them.  Husbands and wives need constant reminders that they are valued for who they are and not what they do for the others.

Date nights are the perfect time to share why you are still in love with each other.  I would suggest that you make a list of 3-5 qualities admire about your spouse.  During the course of the date take turns sharing (and give examples).  if you have trouble coming up with the rights words then get help from your favorite search engine.  Search great qualities for spouses and pick a few that apply to your relationship right now.

What we affirm communicates what we value.  What we honor is what people live up to.

Don’t talk about kids, works, bill or schedules.

 It’s a date night not a business meeting … enough said!

Do the do’s.

Date nights may take planning, but it doesn’t have to be hard. The bottom line is this … actually follow through with these Do’s above and make date night happen. Plan for your night and share you love/admire about your spouse. Even if you find yourself talking about kids or pulling out the phone for a quick selfie, it’s more important these do’s are done than the don’ts are not done.

So are you ready to take the 2017 Date Night Challenge? I promise it will have a positive effect on your marriage, family and entire life. 

We're going to make this easy on you! We have your February Date Night already planned. 

Join us for Marriage Tonight at Hope Church on Friday, February 24.

For more details and to reserve your tickets and childcare click here!

Posted by Freddie Albaugh at 6:00 AM
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