By Katie, Contributing Writer
Some of us have difficulty finding time to be with our spouse. Others of us have difficulty making the most of the time we do have on a regular basis.
I am the latter of the two. Spending time with my husband is a high priority to me, so for the most part, it happens. I would rather be with him then anyone else, and he knows I need that time with him so he doesn’t fill up his schedule beyond reason.
But what we do with our time is another matter. We know date nights are a good investment in the health of our marriage, so we plan one every couple of weeks. However, oftentimes these have been less productive than they could have been.
Through our journey of marriage, 5 1/2 years and 3 kids later (counting the one still yet unborn), we have learned how to truly make those date nights count.
Here are my top two tips for those of you who want to add the maximum intentionality to your date nights as well.
2 Simple Ways to Spice Up Date Night
1. Have fun together
It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of dinner dates.
Perhaps you set regular date nights, but you do nothing more creative than choose a restaurant, eat a meal, maybe catch a movie, and then hurry home to relieve the sitter.
There’s really nothing wrong with a dinner date, and in fact my husband and I love food, so trying a new restaurant is a fun shared experience for us. However, I also find it very fulfilling to do things recreationally on dates. It adds a sense of companionship that mere conversation can’t supply for many of us.
When is the last time you and your spouse played putt-putt together? Or went geo-caching? Or on a picnic?
Or apple picking? Or to a hot air balloon glow? Or played Frisbee or Skee Ball or went to the batting cages? How about hiking or ice skating?
What are the recreational interests that you and your spouse share? You may be inclined to say, “none!” but let me encourage you to think carefully until you find some. What did you do together before you were married? Chances are you did many things recreationally as you got acquainted and fell in love with each other.
For my husband and I, among many other things, our shared interest is photography. Some of our most fun dates have been spent gallivanting around the city on some photographic mission together.
2. Ask deep and creative questions
Do you feel you pretty much know everything there is to know about your spouse? If so, let me encourage you to lay aside that assumption and take on a different mindset.
Choose to be a non-judging student of your spouse and seek to know and understand him more.
Be open to hearing from him and learning things you don’t know.
One of the most helpful, intentional and fun ways I’ve found to incorporate this into date night is by bringing a list of creative question to ask each other.
In fact I’ve put together a free-download on my blog of what I call Date Night Car-Talk Questions. It includes 9 sets of questions, intended to be used over the course of 9 dates, for this very purpose. You can find those here.
I know the times my husband and I have made a point to ask each other questions, the conversation has flowed in a fun and intentionally deepening direction.
Let me challenge you this week to plan a date with your spouse incorporating these two elements.
Then, let me know how it went for you in the comments section below!