Regular date nights is a sacred rule in our home. Regular means that we have to do something extra special on a weekly basis - something that will give us more time to spend with each other, time when we can forget our respective professional and personal responsibilities for a while. Why do we have regular date nights? Because a date night is your time to...
1. Have Fun
It's as straightforward as that. Date nights are needed by two individuals whose lives may have been hijacked by an endless stream of stressful activities. Try this: write down your date night suggestions on sheets of paper, roll them, and place them in a bowl. Every week, pick a date night theme from the bowl and let it be your guide. It sure is fun and...unpredictable!
2. To Remember when (or Where or How)
When was the first time he held your hand? How did you meet each other? Where did you say 'yes'? Date nights are mini-anniversary celebrations that remind you of those times. Date nights remind you of those special moments you spent together and how lucky you are to be in the arms of the same person years now.
3. To Relax
My favorite date night is a massage night (although it's not really relaxing to hear your partner snoring in the other side of the room because the massage was just so good). My husband's idea of a relaxing date night is a child-free date. Don't get him wrong. He loves our twins and even takes the morning shift changing diapers. But a mortal man can only take a certain amount of messy diapers. Relax on your date night. Leave your worries behind and just let go. Laugh, eat, drink. Talk as much as you can.
4. To Be Pampered
Two of my favorite date nights: (1) a massage from my husband with classical music playing in the background; and (2) an Italian food fest where he makes the spaghetti sauce from scratch and giant meatballs, as large as my fists, are cooking in the pan. We all love to be pampered. Food and massage are, to me, the ultimate definitions of pampering.
5. To Dress up and Show off
You're with a great man/woman so...go ahead! Show off, flaunt it! Get dressed and let the whole world know about it. There are nights that you just want to feel red-carpet-ready. When you do, do not resist the urge (unless you're utterly broke). An intimate dinner is a great start to spice up the evening.
6. To Be 'adults'
And by this I refer to those who are parents to restless toddlers and hormone-enraged teenagers. My husband calls date nights "divorce protection". I call date nights "the time to be an adult again". A house filled with toys and diapers can turn you into a lunatic. It's a welcome respite to get out of the house, see other adults, and talk to your partner without having to hear Toddler 1 asking for more cookies.
7. To Relive Good Memories
Or... make new memories. So many things can happen on a date night. One time, I reserved a table for two in this Italian restaurant that we'd never been to. We lost our way there and found ourselves walking in circles, asking people (who don't speak any English) about the resto. Instead of blaming each other, Jeff said: "Well, we're together, nothing can go wrong. " We found the place two hours later, had a great meal, and laughed about our misadventures.
Date nights need not be elaborate and expensive. In our case, we love movie marathons and home cooking. What's your favorite date night?