Dating your spouse

by Brittany Gilbert

One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to date your spouse. Date night is important, not only for your relationship, but also your sanity.

Your days are filled with work or childcare, and your evenings are dedicated to homework, dinner, diapers, cleaning, etc. It’s easy to put your marriage on the back burner.

You need time to strengthen the most important element of your family. Children also need to see their parents taking time away together. Your marriage is the strongest example your children will have for their own relationship one day.

Dating your spouse helps you to stay connected on so many levels, including emotionally and spiritually. By planning and carrying out dates, your husband or wife will feel that he or she is important.

Dating brings cohesion within a relationship, especially when dates are spent doing the things you enjoy, not spending your time talking about the kids, work, etc. Dating is what made you interested in each other in the first place, therefore to stay married, you should continue dating.  

Dating your spouse is even more important when your lives are busy. However, it can make planning and finding time to go on dates tricky and will require creativity. You should schedule your date nights like you schedule your appointments and other important events.

Create a shared calendar between you and your spouse to ensure that the meeting is easily accessible for both of you. It should then take priority; nothing, pending emergency, should trump this date. Your marriage was built on commitment, and a date night is a commitment you should keep at all costs.

Date nights can also be expensive, especially when you add in babysitting, dinner and a movie or other activity. I suggest planning and saving for these expenses ahead of time as well. For example, for Christmas my husband got “coupons” for us to use for babysitting. He arranged with our favorite babysitter to pay her in advance for a certain number of hours worth of watching our kids. Now when we want to go out together, our date night won’t be as expensive, eliminating a potential barrier to date night.

You can also collect gift cards to use on your date nights. My husband and I frequently get Visa gift cards for Christmas or our birthdays. It’s always tempting to use them for ourselves (which isn’t always a bad thing), but a more beneficial use we have found for them is saving them to buy movie tickets or pay for dinner on our date nights. It’s a personal sacrifice, but giving up our individual wants/needs for our marriage never feels like a large price to pay.

The world moves fast. If you aren’t intentional with the personal, alone time you spend with your spouse, it’s easy to let your relationship get lost in the shuffle.