I cannot overstate the importance of date night. Especially when you're parents. I have had this conversation numerous times over the years, usually with men, expressing how good (and I argue vital) it is for a healthy relationship to have a regular date night.
No, it's not "forced romantic time" where you flip a switch and you're suddenly the lead in a Shakespearean love story. It's just a certain amount of time, allotted and set aside with the specific intent of being just 2 people. The couple you were before marriage, before kids, before careers and mortgages and all the pressures of adult life. Reminding yourselves, on a regular basis, why you feel in love in the first place.
Hubby and I used to have a regular date night, when we were first married. The second Tuesday (his day off at the time) of the month, we would do dinner and a movie, or take the dogs to park, or walking trails, etc. It was a specific time when we would devote our time and attention to each other. Sometimes, we'd have the night in and game together. It was just a nice little window of couple time.
Lately, with his super long hours, and Connor, and this ridiculously exhausting pregnancy, we haven't had as much couple time. It helped, last month, when Deadpool came out. Guaranteed date! We went with friends, so it wasn't a solo date, but it was literally the first double date we've been on in years. Possibly the first since we got married (6 years ago). We got to just be a couple. Not a mom and dad chasing their toddler and splitting their focus. Just 2 married people, hanging out with 2 other married people, watching a kickass movie.
Date night is important. Seriously, guys, whether you like the idea or not, we all need it. Take a break from "real life" and get back to your relationship roots. Go for a walk around the block, rent a Redbox movie, wander a bookstore, go to dinner, cook together. Do something, just the two of you, that allows you to be adults, not caretakers, employees, bill payers, etc. Just go be people who like to spend time together. It's really very simple.
Do it once a month and I promise you'll see a difference in your relationship.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community