After being married for 10 years, It’s a challenge some days to date my spouse. Let’s be honest, many people spend the early years dating. Going to movies, enjoying outings together, cuddling up on the couch and watching movies. But once you get married and life explodes (kids, sports, careers), dating often comes to a halt. In this blog post, I will remind you to date your spouse and why it’s important. Lastly, I’ll provide ten dating ideas you can do on a small budget.
My husband and I have been together since June 2007, 14 long years and married for 10. We are two peas in a pod. However, finding time to spend with him and only him these days can be a struggle. We have two daughters (9 and 7). They have their own things going on. My husband and I both have jobs. He works in the Ag industry and can be busy from spring to fall, working long hours. I’m a nurse. If I’m not working, chances are I’m trying to learn something. I also blog and run 2 side hustle direct sales businesses. As you can see, trying to toss in time for your spouse can be a daunting task, but you must do it.
Why it’s important to date your spouse?
Additionally, according to an article posted by The Sun, Canada is sitting at the 29th highest divorce rate out of 87 countries. When you’re not having quality time with your partner, it’s common for them to feel alone and unwanted. The Marriage Hub found that couples who took time to have regular date nights reduced their divorce rates. Also, increased communication had less stress, and was able to connect romantically more often. Don’t let the pressures of life build up and ruin your marriage. Make changes today! Be committed to each other. Alternatively, don’t forget to make time for yourself with self-care, daily. Check out my blog post How to Squeeze in Self Care Activities Into a Busy Week.
But, I already date my spouse.
I get it. You live together. You see each other when you cook dinner. Maybe you lay in bed together and watch TV or play on your mobile devices. While occasionally chatting about whatever random stuff comes up. This is not dating your spouse. This is what many of us get comfortable doing. In the short term, this may be okay. You are spending time together, but is this quality time? Is this reducing stress in your life? Is this increasing your romance and allowing you to meet your partner’s needs? The answer is likely no. This kind of quality time will leave you, and your spouse feeling less worthy and appreciated in the long term. Chances are, it will also spiral into other aspects of your life as well.
In the comments below, I want you to be honest. When was the last time you and your spouse had a REAL date? I know we are in a pandemic right now. An everywhere you look, billboards, governments, and media broadcasts are screaming for social distancing. Which can make dating your partner equally more challenging. What can you do? Where can you go? Is the weather preventing you from being outdoors? But the fact of the matter is, this pandemic is one of the top reasons you need to make date nights a priority. Chances are your mental health has taken a hit at some point this last year. Are you finding it harder to connect? Communicating less? Then, do me a favour. Plan a date night. RIGHT NOW.
Date Your Spouse; Today Not Tomorrow
Lastly, It doesn’t have to be expensive. Get that out of your head. Date nights do not need to be $100 bills thrown out the window on a fancy five-course meal. A date night can be simple. It can be short, 30 minutes or for a few hours. A date night is meant to be a time to connect, feel appreciated and romantic. Furthermore, below, I am going to share ten date night ideas that you can do today. Challenge yourself to date your spouse a few times every month.
Date Your Spouse with 10 Unique Date Ideas
1. Picnic At the park
Heading to a local park with a picnic basket full of food is a great way to spend the afternoon/evening with your partner. The food doesn’t have to be top of the line. You don’t need a bottle of wine. A couple bottles of water, snacks (freshly chopped up veggies), and some ham & cheese sandwiches will do the trick. Bring a blanket to cuddle up on, and enjoy the outdoors together. You can spice up your picnic by challenging each to bring something unique to the picnic. Make it fun! Leave the phones in the car.
2. Date Your Spouse Paint Night
Did you know there are hundreds of painting videos on Youtube? Me neither. One of my favourites to watch is Julie’s Paint Party. I have not had the opportunity to try one myself. Because I am a bit intimidated by them. But honestly, I think It would be a hysterical fun time to put down some tarps, get some paint. Make some homemade stands and offer up a competition to my husband for the best-painted masterpiece. I’m sure paint would end up everywhere but the canvas…
3. Bike Ride in the community (or walk)
In the last couple of years, my husband and I have been getting a bit more active outdoors together. We’ve been doing a lot of hikes. We actually did over 30 km in hikes across Saskatchewan (and 10 km in Alberta). My favourite place that we explored was the Boreal Trail, located within Meadow Lake Provincial Park in northwestern Saskatchewan (we only did a SMALL section, it’s something like 120 km long!). An also Elkwater, Alberta, in the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. To be honest, I’m really looking forward to this summer and getting outdoors with him on more hikes. But I also want to include our girls in a few. Not to mention, this is very pandemic/social distancing friendly.
4. Local Coffee Shop
Most communities have a local coffee spot. The best part is, coffee tends to be cheap. For less than $20, you can meet your spouse out at a local coffee shop. Spend the evening chatting about life. This is a great time to ponder questions like where you see yourselves in the next five years? What would you like to achieve together? Even a time to set up a couple’s bucket list. Something I would love to do in the future. Let’s face it, we all have something to talk about. Another great thing about this is it could easily be over a lunch break. If you have limited time to fit in date nights. I get it. We’re all busybodies.
5. Cook Together
Just like paint nights, there are videos online that can teach you new dishes. If you take to Youtube again, you can find all kinds of cooking classes/techniques. Even Gordon Ramsey has his own Youtube channel with FREE cooking classes. Another way to spice this up a bit is to plan a day where instead of just cooking one meal, you meal plans some slow cooker meals to have in the freezer. Not only are you spending time together in the kitchen away from technology. But you’re also stocking up your freezer for those busy nights.
6. Watch the Sunrise or Sunset Together
This is something I’ve wanted to do, but strangely we have never done it. We’ve had many opportunities, but for some reason, it never happens. Get out, find a spot. Take some blankets, pillows (truck bed, if you have one). Some warm beverages if the weather is chilly. Not only is this another good time to chat about all the things, but it’s also a great time for some cuddle action. When was the last time you just laid there and cuddled, and not for sex?
7. Thrift Store Date Your Spouse
This is kind of a weird, more unique idea. It will cost a bit of money to do, but it could be entertaining. Each of you agrees on a budget. After you have a budget in place, you each go down to your local thrift stores and pick out a FULL outfit for your partner. Afterwards, your partner (and yourself) wear the outfits out for the evening and do something fun together. I don’t think I’ve ever let my spouse pick out my outfits, but maybe that’s something I’ll give a try in the future.
8. Movie Under the Stars
Many of us have mobile devices at the ready. Did you know that Netflix lets you pre-download movies to watch later? This is awesome because this means you can watch the movie/tv-series without the internet. Head back to your glorious set up for watching the sunset/sunrise. Get a nice comfy place to lay, pillows, blankets, bevy and snacks. An sit back and watch a movie. Who needs a movie theatre when you can set up your own cozy place.
9. Explore your Surrounding Communities
My family and I live in rural Saskatchewan. I kind of love it. Away from the city life. But what I really love, Is exploring the countryside. Drive around the countryside or visit surroundings communities. Explore what they have to offer. Unique coffee shops, ice cream parlours, museums. Maybe there are old historical monuments around like an old sod house or rock wall. Check them out! Some day these old buildings will no longer be a part of history. Explore them while you can.
I’m going, to be frank. I’ve never tried geo-catching. But lately, it’s making a comeback. Geo-catching is a worldwide thing, from what I’ve learned. So chances are you have catches around you somewhere waiting to be opened. So you make an account, Click Here, enter your location. Once the app/website has your location it can tell you which geocaches are around you. It gives you some hints/clues, I guess, to where they are, and your job is to find them. Once you have found them, there are little treasures that people leave for others to enjoy (so bring something to replace what you may take). Enjoy the outdoors together, and see how many you can find—also, a fun thing to do as a family too.
In conclusion, you can see, dating your spouse after marriage is vital. It’s important even after getting married to find ways to connect and grow together as a couple. It’s so easy after marriage to slack in this department. Putting your partner on the back burner only leads to relationship stress that you do not need. So with that, take a few days each month and use some of the date ideas I mentioned above. Share in the comments some of your favourite dates! If you get out with your partners, use the social media tag #PrairieBloggerDateNight, Facebook or Instagram. I’d love to see your dates!