Everyone hears the advice that couples, especially those with kids, need to schedule date nights, but that advice falls on deaf ears for most couples. We let our routines and family life come before our marriage, but that leads to more problems. That’s why it’s vital that you remember to date your spouse.
I remember the first time I heard the term “date your spouse,” and I laughed. Did I really have time to do that anymore? Dating takes so much time, and it doesn’t seem practical when you have kids, chores, work, scheduling, and everything else that comes with family life.
Turns out, I was wrong. It’s possible and greatly needed.
If you want to capture the intimacy and connection that you felt before you had kids, dating your spouse is the way to go.
You Really Need to Date Your Spouse After Having Kids
Trust me when I say, every couple needs to take time to date, especially after having kids. Here are some reasons why this is so important.
1. Helps You Reconnect
After we had our second child, I felt the disconnect from my husband. He worked long hours, and I stayed home with the kids. By the end of the night, we felt exhausted, and I had a breastfeeding infant who woke up every two-three hours to nurse. I wanted to figure out how to love my husband again, but how?
We had to put effort into making each other a priority, but I started to feel the connection again slowly. We held hands and talked more. We laughed and told each other about our days that didn’t involve as much complaining. I felt like a link connected us once more; we weren’t two people operating on different ends of the field.
2. Time as a Couple Not Just Parents
Being parents is an amazing journey, but it’s easy to turn all of your time into parenting. That’s especially true for mothers who seem to never give themselves a break.
When you met your spouse, you were more than a mother, and you still are today. Your spouse fell in love with the individual you, and it’s okay to remember that you need time together as a couple. Spending time together as a couple and not parents are valuable.
Go out and enjoy things that you use to before having kids. If you loved to go clubbing, it’s okay for parents to go as well. You aren’t limited simply because you have kids.
3. Rekindles the Spark in Your Marriage
Let’s be honest; having kids quickly squashes the romantic, sexual spark you have in your marriage. All of the quality time that you spent together goes down the drain when you have kids, leaving little time for intimacy. When you head to bed, you’re asleep before you hit the pillow, instead of spending time with your spouse.
Believe it or not, intimacy issues are a leading cause of divorces. It leads to one person or both feeling resentment and rejection from the other, increasing the unhappiness in the marriage. Dating your spouse brings back that fire you have for each other, making it easier to make time for each other’s intimate needs.
4. It’s Fun!
At first, I felt like dating my spouse was a chore. I had to put it on my to-do list and come up with ideas, but eventually, it felt less like a chore and started feeling fun. We went on fun date nights, leaving the kids at home with babysitters, and we created fun date nights at home that really brought back the spark and fun we have together. Dating your spouse should be fun, and it will be with time.
How to Date Your Spouse Again
Figuring out how to date your spouse is the first step. Don’t overthink it; you live together now, so it doesn’t have to be complicated or a chore. Here are some tips.
1. Find Affordable Date Night Ideas
I understand being on a tight budget; it makes finding the right date nights tricky. Date nights don’t have to mean leaving the house and paying for a babysitter. Although that is surely fun, you might be surprised to learn that there are dozens of cheap date nights at home that you can enjoy as well. Don’t let your lack of money deter you from dating your spouse.
2. Switch Who Plans It
Sometimes, planning things feels like a chore, so switch who plans it each week, and let that person have full control. My husband came up with some fun date ideas that I never considered. It’s good to let go of the control and let your spouse show their romantic or adventurous side.
3. Stick to It!
Some weeks are hard to fit in date nights or time together, but sticking to it is essential. It needs to be a non-negotiable part of your life. On the busy weeks, going out somewhere might be a big no, but finding time for a movie and take out dinner together is a possibility.
4. Remember the Little Things Matter
When I thought about what dating my husband was like, I remember all of the little things that he did for me. He bought me flowers, wrote me notes, spent quality time with me, and made me feel special. He sent me cute text messages and never failed to send supportive, encouraging texts as well.
What are little things you can do for your spouse? It’s easier when you live together!
Wake up and pack your spouse a lunch for work, or prepare their coffee ahead of time. Bake a dozen of their favorite cookies, or make their favorite dinner. There is a never-ending amount of little things that you can do for your spouse that make a huge difference.
5. Put Down the Phones and Talk
Part of date nights with your spouse should be communication, and communicating with a phone in your hand is hard. Put the phone away. The only thing you need a phone for when you’re on a date is in case the babysitter needs you. Texts and emails can wait.
When you become parents and your world gets busier, communicating seems to be the first thing that drops away aside from intimacy. Use this time to talk and ask your spouse questions. Talk about your future and goals you want to meet or places you want to visit together. Keep those lines of communication open, and the phones put away.
Don’t Let Your Marriage Go
In most cases, your marriage came before having kids, so don’t let your marriage go because you have children. Taking time and effort to date your spouse will bring back the spark that you had and help you reconnect. When parents connect, it makes the entire family operate smoothly and happily.