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2009-03-19

The Stay-At-Home Date Night

Frugal date night
Image by diogo86.

In all my reading about keeping your marriage strong and healthy, I've found a recurring theme. The importance of spending time together. More than one author has advised the regular date night.

For my husband and I this is a bit of dilemma. This season of our lives makes it hard to accomplish a regular date night. We've got young children--two small boys and another on the way. It's hard for us to find a sitter. Plus, we have a very, very tight budget. Neither lend well to a date night. But we find that this season of our lives also leaves us very much in need of a date night!

So, what to do?

Enter the stay-at-home date.

Although getting out of the house, seeing new sights, breathing different air and experiencing a change of pace would be nice, that just isn't usually possible for us. The stay-at-home date is a good alternative.

Here's my tips on having a successful date night at home:

1. Put your date on your calendar.
Remember a million years ago before you were married? Your sweet man would call, you'd set up plans to go out, and then you'd put it on the calendar and wait for it with dreamy anticipation. Why not add a little of that back into your life? If you're the one planning the date (I'm the planner at our house), tell your husband you're starting something new. Put it on your calendar, talk it up, and look forward to spending some fun time together.

2. Get the littles in bed early.
Our date night is Friday. So, every Friday I try to make sure that I have something for my little guys to eat that's simple and quick. If necessary, I rearrange nap times and other scheduled events to ensure that they are ready to hit the hay pretty early in the evening.

3. Make it a fun, flirty time.
Again, remember the delight of just being together that you felt once upon a time? How just spending time in each other's company drinking coffee and chatting was so great? Set your mind on delighting in your husband's company. In fact, if you're in a season of your marriage where this seems impossible, ask the Lord to help you do this. It's His desire to see you have a marriage that doesn't just make it. He wants you to have an amazing marriage. Set your mind to have fun. Flirt. Wink. Kiss. Smile. Laugh.

4. Once in a while, make it extra special.
Every once in a while, plan a little something extra. Something extra sweet. Or, ahem, spicy. Fix an extra fancy dinner. Put on some music and dance. Use your imagination.

Ideas:
To be honest, I could really use some fresh ideas for our date nights. But here are some of the things we do on date night.
  • Listen to a great audio book while eating popcorn
  • Watch a movie
  • Play a card or board game
  • Sit and chat while drinking tea
  • Read aloud to one another
  • Get some of our favorite takeout or pop a frozen pizza in the oven
These might sound pretty boring, but like I mentioned, we do spice it up once in a while. Again, use your own imagination.

So, what about you? Please share your ideas for at-home date nights! Help me round out my ideas list!

For more frugal ideas, visit Frugal Friday at LifeasMOM.

7 comments:

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

Oh, how fun. We actually planned our own date night tonight! We're renting "fireproof". Heard lots about it but never seen it.

Another thing we like to do is cook together...though not many men enjoy that.
We also like to look through our photo albums. It's amazing how much you forget and it's only been a couple of years. (The photo album thing is something that I think he does because I like it - not sure he's crazy about it :)

The Blossoming Skillet said...

We enjoy sitting out by our fire pit together. I love making an extra special (not always fancy) dinner that reminds us of our trips or special occasions in our lives.

Anonymous said...

i love the stay at home date night. dh is less thrilled about it because he wants to just get out and away. but one year for our anniversary i decorated our patio with lights, candles and a table-clothed card table, and made us lamb and cheesecake for dessert. he still talks about that night.
in a few years i will be able to lave the kids with our oldest, but i think the stay home date will always have a special place in my heart.
steph--HOTH and cherishingmydays.blogspot.com

mycuprunnethoverandsodoesmytodolist said...

Date night is Friday nights here. It is not always "ideal", b/c we may have a little up with us, but we try. I try to make a nice supper, get the children in bed, we share 1/2 a candy bar, and watch a movie together. He mentioned last Friday, that he would like to start reading books together, which I would LOVE!! I want to watch "Fireproof" to watch for one of our date nights as well!

~Sara said...

We love to snuggle on the couch and watch movies when all our boys go to bed. Sometimes we take turns giving each other hand or back massages.

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

Thanks for the ideas, girls! I really do need to keep a log of date night ideas. Sometimes I think of something, but then can't remember what it was.

@Jenn: The photo album idea sounds good--though ours are mostly in digital files. Hope you enjoy Fireproof!

@Blossoming: We have one pretty glass left from our honeymoon that we enjoy drinking from together on special occasions.

@Steph: Lamb and cheesecake sounds soooo good right now! I can't imagine how cool it will be to be able to have children old enough to watch their siblings!

@mycuprunnethover: Definitely get Fireproof! It's a great, great movie. And. . .you have the self-restraint to only eat half of the candy bar? I'm very, very impressed.

@Sara: I LOVE massages! Actually, my husband does, too, but I ask for them more than I give them out. (He rarely asks--I need to make more of an effort to just do it for him anyway!)

TexasRed said...

We've been working on date nights & a combination of nights out and nights in. We have fun cooking together, so sometimes our "date" night is an un-hurried trip to the grocery store & then a gourmet dinner cooked at home.

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