The Date Night Plan

Why date nights are essential for building a strong connection in your marriage and how to enjoy them together – 5 minute read.

If you don’t date your spouse, you’re missing out on a really fun way to stay connected. Dating isn’t just for pre-marriage. It’s not just for the young and those with lots of disposable income. A date doesn’t have to cost you anything… but it can cost as much as you like as well!

Here’s why dating your spouse is essential:

Dates provide you with a dedicated, focused time just for connecting and enjoying each other in a low-pressure way that feels special. Dates are a sweet injection of fun and joy to your relationship and your life together.

It’s been said that date nights are insurance for your marriage. I disagree. I think about insurance as what I need when something goes terribly wrong. I think date nights are more like making regular investments into your stock portfolio. Immediately you feel a little better about your future and the more you invest, the more the benefits compound over time.

It’s the same with date nights. Have them regularly and the benefits will compound over time. The sense of connection and togetherness with your spouse will keep getting better and better, stronger and stronger. This creates such an incredible foundation for building the rest of your lives together.

Think about it. Your heart to heart connection as a couple is foundational to your marriage staying healthy and strong. So your connection is what you need to protect, work on and grow for your marriage to stay a source of life and strength for you both. 

Date nights are a clever way to ensure you have regular space and plenty of time to connect, enjoy each other and talk without interruption. They are devoted to 3 things:

  1. Connection – chat, listen and laugh
  2. Enjoyment – have fun, enjoy each other, make it special
  3. Escape – they’re like a mini-break from the hustle and day to day so you can prioritise each other.

But, you need a plan for dating your spouse. Consider what time works for you both, how much budget is available and how you will make it happen. See below for 5 things to get you started.

Ok, let’s dive in. Here are my top 5s and a bunch of date night questions. Read on…

Top 5 Tips for Great Dates

  1. Keep it phone-free – Don’t put your phone on the table, keep them in your pocket. Bonus points for leaving them in the car! (unless you need to be contacted by your babysitter :))
  2. Make connection the goal – Do something conducive to talking. If you watch a movie, make sure you hit a restaurant afterwards to connect. Don’t hit the cinemas and go straight home. That’s not connecting and isn’t a date. 
  3. Mix it up – We fall into ruts all the time. Switch it up. Change the day of the week, time of day, where you go, and what you do. Try new things! See below for making a list of dates you’d like to try.
  4. Make it as special as you can – Go all out on whatever budget and time you have available. Make it fun, make it memorable, and make it an investment in your marriage. Even if you’re stuck at home be creative about making it special.
  5. Talk, connect & open up – Don’t just sit there and glare at the wall or the scenery. Here’s your chance to look at each other, enjoy being present with your spouse and talk. Check the question lists below if you’re stuck. 

5 Tips for Getting Started

  1. Make a list of dates you’d like to try – make the list together or separately, it doesn’t matter. Brainstorm and don’t try and cull the list down just yet. Just go crazy and get inspired about making dating a regular part of your life and relationship. Write down every cafe and restaurant you want to try, places to go for walks, movies to see etc.
  2. Find some money – look over your budget and work out what you’ll allocate to date nights every fortnight or month. Dates don’t have to cost anything really but to make them special and regular you should invest in them financially.
  3. Check the calendar – when will you have your dates? Fortnightly is a recommended minimum. Do Friday nights work? What about a nice Saturday morning coffee and stroll? Put it in the calendar.
  4. Make a plan – when date nights aren’t the norm, you should plan them. What will you do? Where will you go? Check your list above for a good starting point. When they’re a regular thing, you can freestyle a bit more. 
  5. Make necessary arrangements – Need to get a babysitter? Organise that. Reservations? Make the call. Move something on your calendar? Make it happen. Don’t let things get in the way of making dates a regular part of your relationship.

My Personal Top 5 Date Night Ideas

Ok, be kind. These are my ideal dates for Beck and I. Feel free to make your own list and be creative. Check out this TikTok I did and add yours there too!

  1. Dinner and a walk & talk
  2. Saturday morning brekky and coffee
  3. Movie and San Churros (mmmm… Spanish hot chocolate!)
  4. Day road trip… anywhere!
  5. Home date – chatting by an open fire with a glass of wine

5 Questions To Get Chatty

  1. How are you doing really?
  2. What are you loving about our life right now?
  3. What is one thing you’d like to add to our life together?
  4. What’s one place in the world you’d like to explore?
  5. What was your best moment in the last week?

5 Questions to Go Deeper

  1. What’s one thing you’d change immediately if you could just snap your fingers?
  2. How can I better help and support you this week?
  3. What’s one dream you have that you’ve never told me about?
  4. What’s one thing we need to work on most in our relationship?
  5. What do I do best that tells you “I love you”?

5 Questions to be Curious

  1. If you could have dinner with anyone past or present who would it be and what would you ask them?
  2. What is your favourite memory as a child?
  3. If you had all the time in the world what would you do?
  4. What was your favourite date we’ve ever had?
  5. What is one thing about our future that excites you?

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