Redefining Date Nights

In the past week, I have heard the importance of regular date nights stressed multiple times.

Relationships take time and, if married, marriage is the most important earthly relationship. We should spend time on our marriage! Dates are one way to do that.

However, if you have small children and live far from family, getting a babysitter can quickly make dates into an expensive event.

A few weeks ago, a dear friend watched the kiddos while Joshua and I went on a date. On our way home, we realized that it was our first “real” date in over six months. We laughed. Despite the lack of dates, we certainly didn’t feel like we’d lacked quality time together.

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I think the definition of a “date” should be expanded from “going out together” to “spending meaningful, quality time together.” Spending meaningful time together doesn’t require a restaurant tab.

Someday, when our children grow and stay up past 8:00, dinner dates will be more important. For now, these are a few of my favorite “date nights.”

  • Make dinner (or dessert) together: About once a week, Joshua grills while I make side dishes. Personally, I think making dinner together is as fun as eating it together, especially if it’s as yummy as this Grilled Tilapia! [Did you know Aldi sells wild-caught tilapia for about $3 a pound?!]
  • Read a book together. Whether it’s poetry, comics, fiction, instructional, or memoirs, reading together is not only fun, but opens up so much to talk about.
  • Star-gaze or go on a midnight walk: There’s something about enjoying the beauty of God’s incredible creation that is so romantic! Of course, midnight walks require a babysitter, but it’s one of my favorite things to do when we’re visiting family.
  • Pop popcorn and watch a movie together: It’s way easier to cuddle (or get up during scary parts) when you’re sitting on the couch together instead of in a crowded movie theater. Plus, the popcorn is way better!
  • Work on a project together: working toward a common goal, whether it’s planting a garden or painting a room, is a wonderful way to spend time together!
  • Just talk. Good conversations can happen anywhere: in the car, while bouncing a baby to sleep, or snuggled up close. A nice cold (or hot) drink doesn’t hurt.

What about you? Do you go on regular dates? What’s your favorite thing to do together? 

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  1. Candace says

    Good ideas, Anna! Zac and I haven’t been out in a very long time as well, but I love your ideas – especially reading a book together. The best entertainment I’ve had was when Zac read me ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in a thick southern drawl. And often when I read a book I want to talk to Zac about it – it would be much easier if he read the same book as me once in a while. 🙂 BTW, we really miss you guys.

    • anna says

      We really, really miss you too!

      I love how great our guys are at reading with cool accents! Joshua is reading “Lord of the Rings” to me right now and I just love the voices he does!

  2. says

    These are some great ideas! I think we get too caught up in the event- going out, etc. when we do need to redefine what “date” means. Thank you for this post, it’s very encouraging!


    • anna says

      Thanks Nicole! I agree that it’s so easy to get caught up “going out” that sometimes we forget the whole point is to strengthen the relationship!

  3. says

    Great list – I have to agree that “date” nights don’t always mean going out to dinner and a movie, but just having time alone with each other – and those times are so very important. My favorite is movie at home night – we get movies from the library, and pop a bunch of popcorn and separate it into different batches to make different flavors. It’s funny because making the popcorn is one of the highlights of the evening most times.

    • anna says

      How fun! Just curious, what are your favorite toppings? We love popcorn but are usually pretty boring with the seasonings!

  4. says

    Anna, I wen into my archives to find this old post to link up. I wish I had more material to share with your link-up. I love your blog; I hope you are well. Date nights are so important, and these are excellent ideas to accomplish it.

    • anna says

      Awww, thanks so much Jacqueline! I love your post—what beautiful finds!

      And, your reminder to “Know the difference between a want and a need. Stick to your decision” is so timely with garage sale season coming up! If I don’t need it, it’s not a good deal *for me* no matter how cheap it is.

  5. says

    I agree. Date Night doesn’t have to mean dinner and a movie. It can be much simpler, and it can be at home. Our FIOS provider offers $2.95 movies on Friday nights. Dh and I like to put the kids to bed and settle down to watch a movie together. If we fall asleep, we have the rental for 2 days and can watch it again the following night.

  6. Kathy says

    I love that… redefining date night and what the whole purpose is, anyway. It’s funny to think that most of the grandparents of your friends never went on dates, but a higher percentage stayed together…worked together… prayed together. Even reading the Bible and praying together could be considered a date :). That draws you closer like nothing else; maybe that’s why our enemy tries to keep us from it.

    Speaking of garage sales, imagine I’ve only been once since I went with you when you were here, and I think that’s part of the reason… I have such a hard time passing up those amazing deals that I don’t need… 😉

    Thanks for your awesome posts! Love you!

    • anna says

      I think that’s the best of date nights! And I hadn’t even thought about how earlier generations stayed together despite their “lack” of date nights! Such good insight.

      (Maybe we can go garage saling together soon! Yay!)


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