First, let me say that I am not a marriage expert. I really only have the one marriage, and while I’d consider it a success, four years probably isn’t long enough to earn the right to advise others. But I can tell you how things work for my husband and I, so here goes.
I didn’t marry Jonathan with the sole purpose of procreating. Even though we both knew we wanted children, we married for many other reasons. I married him because I enjoy his company, because I need and value his opinion when making all kinds of decisions, and because I love his sense of humor, particularly how well it fits with mine.
Basically, I married him because I love him, and because, as clichéd as it is, he’s my best friend. With that in mind, I want, and need, to spend quality time with my best friend.
Even though we have two kids and full time jobs and other commitments – really, because of those things- we’ve decided to make spending time together a priority. I don’t think it’s selfish that we want a few hours each week for just the two of us; I think it’s vital.
I think taking time together makes us better parents, and I think demonstrating to our kids what a committed, healthy, happy marriage looks like is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.
With the start of the new school year, I took the opportunity to implement a new date night plan. It’s pretty simple: I compiled a list of date night ideas that are realistic for us. They’re inexpensive, don’t require us to drive very far, if at all, and for the most part they just focus on us spending time together.
Our goal is to have a date each week. That’s ambitious, yes, but hopefully, even if we can’t do it, we’ll still get to have one every two weeks. Despite the fact that we’re scheduling the dates, I still wanted them to feel spontaneous.
That’s why, piggy-backing off this idea from Pinterest, I printed the list on red paper and stashed the slips in a glass jar. Each Sunday, we’ll draw a date together, and then we get to spend all week looking forward to it.
We had so much fun! Tomorrow we get to draw next week’s date, and we’re both excited about it. I know we’re going to enjoy working our way through the jar full of dates. When we’ve done them all, we’ll decide together which ones we loved, which ones we don’t care to include again, and what new ones we’d like to try.
Here’s what’s in our jar now:
- red box movie and blizzards
- make dinner together
- make dessert together
- go out for dessert
- go out to dinner
- bowling and burgers
- driving range
- pop corn and a chick flick
- candy and a movie at home (his choice)
- ice cream and a movie at home (her choice)
- pizza and wii
- brinner and a walk
- appetizers and card games
- A & W root beer floats
- paint pottery
I want to know: what would you add to this list?