As a couples counselor, one of the questions I ask my clients is “how do you spend your time together?” Very frequently their response is, “We don’t. We are so busy with work and the kids that we’re exhausted at the end of the day and just want to veg out and watch TV.” Many of them can’t remember the last time they had a “date night” together.
Hey, I get it. We are so busy with our careers, kids (see the next paragraph) and keeping up with friends that time with our partner often falls by the wayside. But the truth is that our partnership does require effort and that investing time in your significant other and your relationship is super important.
If you have kids, remember that your marriage is the foundation of your family. The stronger the foundation, the more stable the whole family unit will be and the more secure your children’s lives will be. Your children are looking to you to create a safe and secure life for them. Therefore, prioritizing date night is in service of providing your children with a family where their parent’s marriage gives them a strong base on which to thrive.
A date night is a deliberate attempt to remove children, TV and other plans to focus on your partner and your relationship. It’s a time for you to communicate, reconnect and reset without distraction. Additionally, you are showing your partner through action that they are a priority and continue to matter to you.
Planning a date night is something that I encourage my clients to do on a weekly basis. I suggest that they alternate planning these nights to bring some novelty and freshness to their regular routine. This brings an element of surprise to your nights together, something to look forward to.
Date nights don’t need to be expensive or fancy. Get creative! One couple that I see had planned a night out when their babysitter cancelled last minute so they compromised. They decided to sit down with their children’s paint and paint portraits of each other. They laughed, connected and spent the evening investing in one another without spending a penny. It doesn’t need to be lavish; it’s about intentional time together.
Word of advice – turn off the electronics for a couple of hours. If you’re scrolling Instagram, you’re not connecting with your partner, you’re connecting with your phone. Make your night about the two of you.
This blog post was written by Katie Golem, LSW, one of the couples counselors on staff at Artemis Counseling.