The Basic 411 for Dating Your Spouse [Guest Post]

Do you remember the way you felt on your first date? Do you remember the planning and preparation you did to make those few hours special and memorable? In this special guest post Jess Henderson wants to encourage you to spend intentional time with your spouse.

Date Night

Definition – Intentional time alone with your spouse.

These nights look different for every couple. Some seasons provide extra funds for dinner and a movie. While other seasons leave you wondering, what you can do for $4? No matter the season, I hope the next few thoughts on date night will leave you encouraged to take action to make this night a priority.

The Basic 411

Everyday should have some form of alone time carved out for you and your spouse. It is so important that you have even just a few moments to catch up on the day or give a bullet point list of anything major that happened. It keeps a united front, if you have children, and it builds consistent trust between the two of you. Some days this may only be a phone call while driving and other days it may be a dinner alone. Whatever the case, start carving out some alone time with your significant other.

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How should I prepare for date night? Start with the calendar. Sit down with your wife (since this is primarily encouragement for you dadadas) and see what night fits best. Secure a babysitter. Set an estimated budget if you do that sort of thing. For some couples, date nights are weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. I suggest at least a monthly date. Put it on the calendar and don’t let anything other than sickness change the date. This communicates the importance of this time to your wife. In our home, date nights are planned around movie releases. After some time of a consistent date night, you and your spouse can find the common ground of what proves to be a great date night for you both. Now, this is the practical planning part of the preparation. Say that 5 times fast.

Here is a part that may go unattended. You must also prepare for date night emotionally, individually and together. If you are starting this new habit, you can’t expect to have a wonderful evening if you’ve been fighting all week. Reality proves to heighten emotions on date night. It will heighten stress if that is the projected emotion of the week. We all know there are tensions and stress to marriage. (another blog post for another day) Be mindful of the effort that you are putting in emotionally with your wife. If she is having a rough week, be conscious of your tone and lend a listening (not fixing) ear.

The effort you put in will dictate how the night goes. This does not mean Ruth Chris reservations every month. Although, if you see my husband tell him we are long overdue for a meal there ;).  Effort means a vigorous or determined attempt. That does not apply for just the hopes of what happens after date night, gentlemen. For some, date night will be mutually planned and that does not take away effort as long as you participate in the planning of the night. Giving dinner suggestions or when money is tight, finding new places to go hiking, new model homes to explore, bookstores to sit and read in, etc. You get the point. For others, your date night may mean flowers are delivered to work or home that morning with a note explaining why you are looking forward to the evening. A surprise location already picked out. Perhaps a new necklace or outfit picked out just for your wife. Just a reminder, you don’t have to have money for flowers to let your wife know you are looking forward to date night. A post-it note in her car or a text message (see our suggestion at the the end of this post) is a great way to communicate your excitement. Bottom line – let her know this day/night is important to you because of the time you will be spending together.

Stops at the expectation station. If I may be so bold as to bring up a few unexpressed expectations. Intimacy. There I said it. There may be an expectation that date night brings intimacy. I highly encourage you to talk to your wife about this. You see, Dr. Emerson wrote an amazing book entitled Love & Respect. My favorite quote from the study was “unexpressed expectations will always go unmet”. Go on reread it. What we don’t express will always go unmet. This applies to husbands AND wives. To my ladies, you may be wanting to reconnect emotionally with your husband desiring an intimacy within communication. Both types of intimacy are crucial to marriages. Talk about the expectations of both but don’t allow either to be burdened by immediately meeting those expectations. Think of them as goals and check in during date nights about how meeting those expectations is going. To my knowledge, no one is a mind reader. We should remove the pressures from culture or Nicholas Spark movies from our husbands and break it down into personalized requests not demands.

Husbands, if you are stuck at what type of date night to plan, let me introduce you to a friend named Pinterest. She has loads of ideas for all budgets and if you look hard enough you may find your wife already has a date night board pinned! Happy planning and let us know how the dates go!

Save the image below. Text it to your spouse, and begin planning your time together.

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Guest Author Bio:

Jess Henderson is a wife, mom, wedding photographer, and blogger over at The Soapboxx. She loves Jesus and encouraging marriages every day! 

Do you want to be an intentional dad? Take the next step. Subscribe to the HeyDadada mailing list and receive your free copy of The Intentional Dad Toolkit. Share a post on Facebook, and leave a comment on our Facebook page. We would love to hear from you!

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