Making time for date nights with my husband is a real struggle with our busy schedule, but every time we make it work it is so worth it. It can be so easy to push it to the back burner and let budget, busyness, and kids get in the way of quality time together. One of goals this year is to have at least one quality date night out a month, and we are working hard to make that happen. Today I’m sharing tips to help you make date night a priority, plus some fun details from our recent #lobsterworthy date night out at Red Lobster.
Tips for Making Date Night a Priority
- Set a Date. The first and most important key to making date night a priority is to find time to have one. For us this means actually sitting down with our calendars and setting dates. Before kids it was much easier, but now we have to find a babysitter as well as working around our schedules. We look at our calendars for the month and try to set 2 dates nights per month. This doesn’t always work out, but if we aim for 2 we can usually at least make one happen. Scheduling might not seem romantic, but it is much more so than hoping something will happen spontaneously that never will. Clear communication and scheduling helps us.
- Find a babysitter. We don’t have family nearby, so we often switch off babysitting nights with other couples (one parent stays home with their kids while the other watches the friends’ kids). We have several other babysitters we love and trust, and we book them as soon as we get the dates on the calendar. If you don’t have a reliable babysitter, ask friends for recommendations or set up a swap with another couple. Many churches offer parents’ nights out when you can get very affordable care for kids while you go out. It is ok to leave them with someone trustworthy so you can have quality time with your love.
- Find room in the budget. We live on a tight budget, but made the decision that date nights were a priority to us because we value our marriage and want it to remain awesome. Some of our dates are at home after the kids go to bed, snuggled up watching a movie. Those are free. For the nights we go out on dates, we have to add them in to our budget. We set aside an amount every month that is to be spent on date nights, and we use it to pay for dinner, entertainment, and the babysitter. This helps keeps date night a priority without it being a financial issue.
- Set clear expectations. If you are imagining a romantic dinner and stroll in the park while your spouse is thinking big arena concert, someone is going to be very disappointed. Take time to talk through each date and what you want from it. If you want different things, settle on one for this month and the other the next time. Decide who will do the planning each time and take turns. This helps both spouses to feel loved and heard. Clear expectations set ahead of time will help you to avoid disagreements and disappointments.
I’ll give you an example of a way to compromise on date night. Recently we went on a really fun date to Red Lobster. It was my husband’s first time to ever eat there, and my non-seafood loving husband loved it. He went because he married a girl who loves seafood and wanted to love her well. Good job, my love. While the restaurant was my choice, we both ended up loving our meal, the atmosphere was perfect for a fun date, and we had a great time.
We started off with the Lobster Punch, a specialty cocktail available during Lobsterfest and served in a cute mason jar. It features Malibu Red, pineapple juice, mango passion fruit mix, and Myers’s Dark Rum. So good.
We indulged in the famous garlic cheese biscuits, mozzarella sticks, and salad before our meal arrived. Jed ordered the Parmesan Crusted Chicken Alfredo, and could have licked the bowl. He couldn’t believe a restaurant known for seafood had a meal on the menu he loved so much. He says he’ll get the same thing next time we go.
Lobsterfest is happening right now, so Red Lobster has all kinds of amazing lobster dishes on the menu for a limited time. I ordered the Wood-Grilled Lobster, Shrimp and Salmon, and it was phenomenal. It features a Maine lobster tail, jumbo shrimp skewer, and fresh Atlantic salmon, all wood-grilled to perfection and finished with brown butter. Y’all. It was awesome. When I get a rare date night AND get to pick the restaurant = totally #lobsterworthy. Next time we go I want to try the Dueling Lobster Tails – two Maine lobster tails served with one roasted and topped with shrimp in creamy garlic sauce and the other golden-baked with crab and seafood stuffing. Oh my.
How do you make date night a priority? Celebrate a date night or any special occasion at Red Lobster during Lobsterfest and share it online with the hash tag #LobsterWorthy to participate in special contests.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.