Surviving Marriage without Date Nights

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My dad managed our local movie theater when I was a kid – movies were a big part of my life then and they still hold a special place in my heart.  As cliche as it may be, my perfect date night is dinner and a movie.  With four wonderful children, however, date nights are few and far between.

The price of a date night grows exponentially when you factor in childcare for multiple children.  When I asked local moms how much they paid for “date night” sitters the range was from $10-15/hour per child – and even if I cut dinner out of our plans we’d need a solid 3+ hours of baby sitting to see a movie which could run me over $100 for babysitting services alone.  Who can afford that?!

So, how do we survive marriage without date nights?

UNPLUG

My husband is a gamer and I am a social media addict.  For a while we were in a rut where we would sit on our opposite couches with something random on the television, each pressing keys on our laptops until it was time for bed.  Now, we limit our computer time to about an hour.  It’s not a firm limit for us because as a self-employed entrepreneur and stay-at-home mom, sometimes I HAVE to be on the computer to get work done or meet a deadline… but we do our very best to work smarter, and stick to our limits.

PLUG IN

Every single night after unplugging from our computers we watch TV together.  We are Netflix lovers – so we are typically binge-watching a series, but sometimes we throw in a movie from Netflix or the Redbox.  I will admit that the shows we watch now are mostly up his alley – but over the course of our marriage I have learned to love a lot of “his” shows.  Right now we’re in the middle of Gotham and recently caught up on Arrow and The Flash.  I already have our next series picked out: Fuller House (yup, that’s one of my picks)!   Having a show we both look forward to and enjoy not only gives us something to look forward to each night, but it gives us something different to talk about too.

BE HONEST

If you are at a point where you need a break – whether that means a solo trip to the grocery store or someone else cooking dinner – be honest with yourself and your husband.  My husband and I don’t get date nights, but we do allow each other to take a break when it’s needed.  It’s important to remember that you can not take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself.

SWAP-A-SITTER

Another great idea is to find another family in the same boat that you are and set up a sitter swap.  Maybe once a month or every other week… come up with a plan that works for both of you and alternate watching all the kids so that each couple gets some alone time to watch a movie or take a nap!

 

I’d love to hear the ways that your marriage thrives without traditional date nights – or even the ways in which you keep the spark alive between date nights.  

 

8 thoughts on “Surviving Marriage without Date Nights

  1. I’ve been married twice – one for 15 years; current marriage is 11years. The “date night” thing is a new phenomenon – I don’t think it is really necessary- yes, we go out for the occasional meal, occasional pub lunch – but with 5 children relying on getting family to babysit just for “date night” was nigh on impossible. For special occasions no problem. Like you, we were often on social media at night – we now try & make a conscious effect to turn off at night & cuddle up on the settee to watch telly etc. Just being together is the key.

  2. I love this….I definitely believe you need to unplug and just focus on each other sometimes. I try to make a point of not getting on social media at night. We love watching Arrow together on Netflix. That is our thing. It would also be nice to do the swap-sitter with a friend. That would help on our time together too. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Isn’t Arrow great?! We caught up on Netflix and need to watch the current season somehow – I hear its on Hulu but I haven’t tried that yet.

      Hopefully you can find a good family to swap sitters with! 🙂

  3. I loved this post! This is totally where things are at for me and my husband. I’ve come to get really excited about our “date nights in” and we are going to start getting jigsaw puzzles to work on together. Wild and crazy times for us 🙂

    1. Hey – puzzles sound fun! I wish there was a board game or something like Apples to Apples that would be fun with just the 2 of us. I have not found anything yet!

  4. I definitely am in the same boat right now with the tv and computer/game “date” where all of a sudden it’s bedtime and we haven’t said two words. Going to try to make an effort to unplug, it should get easier with warmer weather!

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