Date night anyone?
Is anyone else jumping up and down that it’s finally the weekend?! What are you doing to take advantage of your time off work? Do you have a date night planned? Let me guess - there’s a big game you’re getting ready for, which means spending all day getting household tasks done. Sunday is a day of rest; between church, family brunch, and some “me” time, it won’t happen this day either. What about a date night during the week? Forget it - work and kids activities keep you on your toes and there simply isn’t the time. By the time Friday rolls around, you notice nothing on the calendar, but you’re exhausted! Next weekend maybe?
Isn’t this how it usually goes? I saw a meme recently that said something to the effect of “being an adult means lying to yourself by saying, it’ll slow down next month”. It’s so true, right?! Life doesn’t slow down. I remember being newly married and without kids, and coming home from work exhausted, complaining that I had no time to get certain tasks done. Fast forward to the birth of our first child - that small window of down time just got smaller. I told myself when the kids got older there would be more time. Wrong. We’re drowning in kids activities and that’s even with us setting limits on them. Sadly, we live in a world it seems where “more is more”; keeping busy, staying productive, and striving for bigger and better is the new norm. We focus so much on doing and filling our calendars. What our culture doesn’t do a great job of emphasizing is the importance of relationships. Sure, you go to your kid’s baseball game or sit down for a working lunch with a co-worker. You see your spouse and are able to talk to them most days. But how much of that time spent in relationships is quality time?
What I see in the counseling office affirms this. I have couples at all different ages and stages of life, and one thing many of them have in common is their lack of date nights. It seems that in the busyness of our lives, we’ve failed to prioritize spending quality time to nurture our marriages. Further, the more you put your marriage on the back burner, the more distance you feel between each other, and the more difficult it can become to schedule that date night. What will we talk about? What if we end up fighting at the restaurant? I’d rather spend time with my friends, read a book on the couch, or clean the toilets anyways (seriously, if that last one resonated with you, you should probably make a counseling appointment!).
I’m not disillusioned to think that date nights are the remedy to failing marriages. I do think, however, that date nights are a great way to maintain connection, to give opportunities for relational growth, to convey loving sentiments felt toward one another, and to remind each other why you said “I do” in the first place.
Life will always be busy and you’ll always have really good reasons why you don’t have time for a date night. Are you willing to remove one of those reasons and prioritize your marriage? Tell me when your next date night is scheduled!