relationship resolution: make date night a priority

Since Hus and I had our twins in May 2009, "date nights" have been few and far between for a few reasons. First, we lived 11 hours away from all of our family and most of our friends for the first 15 months of the twins' lives. This made it very difficult for us to find someone who we thought was capable of watching both kiddos and to pay that person (unfortunately, two kids tend to cost more than just one). And, when we did find a few capable individuals, we were much more likely to have them watch the twins so that one or both of us could get some work done instead of go out on a date. Second, Hus and I could barely keep our eyes open for the first year or so. We were (and often times still are) tired all of the time. Any chance where we might have had time to go out, we decided to sleep instead. And lastly, our focus (and especially my focus) shifted when the twins were born. We didn't really think about going out anymore. We were too busy making sure that these two little humans stayed alive, comfortable, and healthy. Like many first-time moms, I gave all of my attention to our twins and devoted little time and energy to maintaining my marriage. This was a problem.

A few months into this new chapter in our life, we realized what was happening and decided to make an effort to have some alone time together. But, we still didn't have much money to go out (or to pay a sitter) and we didn't have a huge list of people who could watch the twins. So, we had date nights at home. We would put the twins to bed and rent a movie or watch a TV show together or play a board game or do a puzzle. And we would make a big deal about these special nights. We would plan our at-home date nights a week or two ahead of time (as if we were going out) and talk about them in the days leading up to them. We would try to do something together, just the two of us, at least twice a week. This really helped us to reconnect, even though we were just at home.

Since we've moved closer to family (we only live about 2 hours from our families now), we've been able to have people watch the kiddos while we go out; we even got to go somewhere overnight last November! We try to go out once a month and it seems to be working out for us. We even have TWO (out of the house) date nights scheduled for February. But, we still make an effort to have special at-home date nights a few times a week. Making date nights (whether they're at home on the couch or out for dinner and drinks dowtown) a priority in our relationship has proven to not only maintain our marriage, but it has also helped us strengthen our bond, enhance our feelings of intimacy, increase our relationship satisfaction, and have some time for adult conversations (which you know is extremely important if you have children).

Make an effort in your relationship to spend time with your partner in 2011. Even if you can't afford to go out once a week or even once a month, doing things together (without any other people) can help you feel closer. You could take a walk around the block while holding hands and talking about your day or play checkers while chatting about your favorite childhood memories or make dinner and drinks at home and watch your favorite old romantic movie on the couch, snuggled up together. If you do have a little extra cash and want to go out and do something, you could take a one-time class together at your local community center. Or, if cooking interests you, you could call some of your local fine dining restaurants and see if they offer cooking classes. You'd be surprised, but many fine dining restaurants will offer a small group cooking lesson on Sunday morning before the restaurant opens. You could also do something more active or exciting like hiking, horseback riding, bowling, zip lining, swimming, skiing, sleding, snow tubing, gun shooting (at your local fire range), or go-cart racing. Going to a batting cage, miniature golf course, or skating rink are other great options. Whatever you decide to do, spending more one-on-one time with your mate in 2011 is a great resolution to have!


Rebecca Bany said...

I completely understand. We have twin boys!

Sally said...

Date nite is so important. If you don't have one your relationship will suffer...start one now, you will thank yourself later.

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