I don’t know about you, but I care about a lot of things: my profession, my daughters, my friends, my community, my church. Because I care about them, I carve out time for them. My calendar is full, and so is my husband’s with the things he cares about. Often, our respective calendars send us in different directions.
When you’ve been together as long as we have, it’s easy to take each other for granted. We can forget to make time for the one you care most about—each other. We’ve talked before about the importance of putting sex on the calendar if you want better sex, and the same is true of intimacy (yes, there’s a difference, as our friend psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini explains). To maintain—and deepen—your connection to each other, you need to set aside time in which you focus on each other and have fun together.
How you spend your date night is up to the two of you to decide, and that’s half the fun. I highly recommend that you try something different as a way of avoiding something called “habituation.” New things stimulate the mind, but over time the newness wears off and they become less and less engaging. That’s habituation, and it’s not great for a marriage. Date night is an opportunity to continually introduce the new and keep your relationship interesting. Attend a concert, take a class (cooking, art appreciation, Italian), or learn a new sport together. If money is tight, try one of these ideas:
- Take the dog for a walk together, and let the dog determine the route
- Go to a pool hall and play a game of pool
- Dance to music that was popular when you first met
- Go to the bookstore and pick out books for each other (no need to buy; the fun comes in talking about why you chose the books you did)
- Any of Mary Jo’s other 50 ideas for cheap date nights
Regardless of what you choose, try to build in some time to talk either before or after the event. You’ll be surprised at how changing up the scenery and your activities will also change the nature of your conversation.
Date night creates a lovely cycle, really. Spending quality time together increases intimacy, which sets the stage for better sex, which further increases intimacy. So compare calendars and pencil in date night for the next six months. We’d love to hear what you choose!