Date nights are all about enjoying each other’s company. In the beginning, couples are often so excited to do things together that date is just a formal excuse to see each other. After marriage and kids, date night takes on a new meaning. They become a chance to reconnect with just the two of you as a couple and do fun things together. They are no longer about getting to know each other as much as they are about getting to have fun together. As a parent, it is important to set aside date nights in order to make sure you don’t lose the magic that started everything in the first place. I hope you enjoy these date night ideas for married couples.
The Parent’s Guide To A Successful Date Night
Kids change your marriage, that’s a fact. Most married folks know and embrace this, seeing the introduction of new life into the world as a more than valid reason to cut back on things like nights out drinking, frivolous purchases, sleeping past seven in the morning… and date night.
You’re a parent. You love your kids. And you love your spouse.
But don’t you miss your date nights?
Don’t feel bad about screaming, “Yes!” right now, whether it’s inside your head or out loud in the driveway, with the windows of the minivan rolled up.
You’re an adult. You need a little romance, some kickback time, and the company of other adults. Not only are you allowed; you’re required. Date nights are actually super important to keeping a happy marriage. A romantic evening helps recharge your batteries and fill your love tank.
The Importance of Date Night to Parents
Whether you have an eighteen-month-old or an eighteen-year-old, there’s always an excuse to not take a night off and spend time with your spouse. The baby has been fussy all week; I couldn’t inflict him on a babysitter. The teenager’s been acting out all week; I couldn’t possibly trust her alone in the house for a night. But let’s face it. You should prioritize yourself and your marriage. You need a healthy adult relationship, and that means protecting the sanctity of date night.
As busy parents, it is too easy to grow apart. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, go ahead, have fun on a date night with your partner and don’t feel guilty about. Feel good about it!
When To Schedule A Date Night For Parents
Believe it or not, the time when date night feels the least possible is the best time to make it happen. If the kids are sick, work is busy, your kitchen remodel isn’t going as planned, or any other of life’s countless, unexpected bumps in the road has you thinking, “I can’t possibly afford a night off,” remember you can.
More importantly, you need to.
When life gets stressful, we tend to convince ourselves that everything is life-and-death, forcing our attention and energy to be consumed by even the tiniest issues in front of us. So, if you’re feeling like life’s too crazy for a break, you’re probably just too stressed out to realize that life is just being life, and a break is exactly what you need.
Besides that sage advice, set a regular date night too. At least once a month, everyone can and should make that happen- even married couples.
Date Night Ideas For Married Couples
After being married for years, it is easy to get in a rut. Take turns planning out date nights and surprise each other sometimes. Having a regular date night helps ensure that it actually happens and that you don’t let other things get in the way. Always turn off your app notifications on your cell phones for date night and ignore anything that isn’t the babysitter.
Try Doing New Things
Try doing new things for your date night that you have either never done before or not in years. Only you can keep things from getting stale! Step out of your lazy, comfort zone and try something new and exciting. Make new memories and enjoy a change of scenery.
Try going to a golfing range together. Maybe one of you can lean in and teach the other a few good moves… I mean swings.
Try visiting some tourist attraction in the area that you have never been to since you aren’t a tourist!
Try a new restaurant or exotic cuisine.
Get out in nature together. Go for a hike or an canoeing trip.
Arrange to go horseback riding.
Take a dance lesson together.
Do a movie night at the big screen in an actual movie theater.
Enjoy an evening stargazing.
Try a spa day and get a couples massage.
Picnic in the park. Enjoy an afternoon or evening lounging on the grass at your local park and tantalizing your tastebuds.
Go on a double date. When was the last time you did that? It could be a lot of fun if it has been a long time since you have done it. You could even use a little creativity and pick a funky venue and go roller skating or bowling!
Date Night Ideas During Quarantine
Don’t take this easy out too often, but date night at home may be a fun way to ease into date night ideas for married couples. Sometimes a dinner reservation might be hard get (especially during a pandemic) so there’s no rule against hiring a babysitter or using a baby monitor and staying in. Home date night ideas are a great way to enjoy some quality time to connect when you can’t get out. The important thing is make sure you two still get some alone time.
A candlelit dinner with a glass of wine while the kids are asleep, playing with the babysitter, or watching TV upstairs can be just as romantic as an expensive Italian restaurant—not to mention cheaper, and healthier. The meal can be homemade or takeout as you both prefer and I know I prefer.
Play board games together (like Monopoly or Trival Pursuit) and make up a few of your own rules about what happens when you land on certain squares!
Recreate your favorite coffee or ice cream shop at home. Make a huge ice cream sundae with all the toppings together and eat it together too. Don’t forget to feed each the first and last bites! Have fun trying to recreate some fancy coffee drinks or your favorite beverage if that is more your thing than sweets. The idea is to have fun making something you both enjoy and then have fun enjoying it together.
Grab a bottle of wine and swap stories. Remember when you first met? Tell each other the details you remember about the other person. Remember when you first kissed? Share how you felt. Share some of your favorite memories of trips you took together or things you did together. Dream about fun things to do together in the future.
Play cards together (strip poker could spice things up after a few friendly rounds of cards).
Make a scavenger hunt for your partner. Give them a clue that helps them find another clue that helps them find another until finally, they get a reward for all their hard effort!
Cook together. Slow down, relax, and enjoy cooking, working together, and tasting what each is making.
Garden together. Planting flowers together can be a lot of fun and then you can think of the fun you had with your honey every time you look at your nicely landscaped beds. Plus, you may need to go clean up together after working in the dirt!
Go on a virtual date. There are lots of museums with virtual tours so this is the perfect time for you and your sweetie to see those works of art together or discuss history and science.
Try a Date Night Box subscription. There are some companies like, Crated With Love, that take all the work out preparing for date night and deliver curated fun. It’s an easy way to have fun after a long day.
Date Night Can Help Keep The Spark Alive
Take a look at your spouse; you’re still just as wild about each other as you were when you got married, right? You still make each other laugh, still support each other through stressful times, and still want to be the first person each other sees in the morning and the last they see at night. So why aren’t you putting the same effort into your marriage now that you’re parents, as you did when you were newlyweds?
It’s a scary thought, but many couples end up drifting apart once their kids are grown and out of the house, realizing that years of what they thought was happy, healthy marriage, was just collaborative child-rearing. Getting too comfortable might not be a good thing if you start taking each other for granted.
You need to ensure that you’re both parents and romantic partners. Kids will never be “in the way,” but you’re likely using them as a mental block to stop yourself from indulging in some well-deserved adult time. That is why regular date nights are so helpful to putting the emphasis back on the two of you.
Make a point to take a half hour before bedtime to spend time with your spouse, either talking in bed before turning the lights off or sipping a glass of wine on the back porch as the sun goes down. Communication is essential to staying connected to your spouse and each feeling seen and heard.
Adding a little moment of romance to your daily routine will make carving a few hours for date night to go see a movie or cook a romantic meal together feel more natural—and essential—to your relationship.
It is all about staying connected and not taking each other for granted. Your partner is special and they need to know you still feel that way. Take the time to show each other through regular date nights for married couples.
If you are already overdue for a date night, consider taking a day trip together or even an overnight trip so you can catch up on some romantic couple time! Then you may be hungry for more date nights after that.