Dating Your Spouse Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

Many married couples–ourselves included–recommend regular date nights as a way to keep your marriage healthy and strong. Taking intentional time to connect with one another away from kids and other distractions is essential, but we often over-complicate it. Time is often the commodity that we have the most difficulty finding. Once that time is set aside, it’s important to plan how you will spend it.

If you already sense yourself buckling under the pressure of creating the perfect date, remember this: dating your spouse doesn’t have to be hard! Here are 7 tips to take the pressure off of your date nights and give you the freedom to just enjoy one another.

Schedule Ahead of Time

We make time for what is important in life, and if your marriage isn’t healthy, the rest of your world can easily crumble around you. If you don’t carve out time for each other in advance, dates either won’t happen, or they’ll be fewer and farther between. One date every three months isn’t going to cut it.

A natural drifting apart occurs in any relationship whose members don’t connect regularly. With friends, we can allow this to occur for a season, and effortlessly pick up right where we left off. With our marriages, we simply cannot let it happen.

Find a system that works for you and your spouse. You could schedule your dates a month ahead of time, or agree to set aside some time to be together each week. Whatever you decide, make this time a priority–whatever it takes.

Brainstorm Ideas Together

It can be hard to think of activities or destination ideas under pressure, so relax and put your heads together. Take some time to think of fun and easy date ideas, writing them down as you come up with them. When you’re drained of creative suggestions, lean on your list! This will take the pressure off both of you, and can be especially handy if you’re in a very busy season, like the child-rearing years.

Don’t Be Afraid of Tradition

Not every date has to be an original idea. If you and your spouse have hobbies that you like to do together, or restaurants or traditions that you enjoy, stick to those. Forming traditions can also spark a sense of anticipation around doing something you both truly enjoy. Planning dates is not a competition. It is honoring your marriage by setting aside some sacred time to spend together. If that happens to be at the same restaurant each week, or over the same meal or activity at home, then let it be!

Take Turns Planning

When you’re the only one doing all of the planning for date nights, you can quickly become burdened. Taking turns planning with your spouse can alleviate this burden and keep things interesting. You will also have the chance to put some extra thought into what your spouse may like, and vice versa.

Bring Talking Points

This might sound contrived, but it actually works. Conversation may flow easily between you most of the time, but there will be times when it isn’t so easy. It can be difficult to shut off a day’s worth of work and stress when it’s date time. Instead of intentional talk, you can end up filling your time with awkward silence, complaining, or small talk.

A great way to combat this is to bring some talking points or starter questions along to your date night. One simple question could lead to an entire conversation. Or perhaps you have been saving something that you would like to talk or dream about with your spouse during your time alone. Either way, coming prepared with something to talk about can be a way to take the pressure off of your date time.

Do Something Fun

Some dates should just be spent doing something fun–with no other agenda. Your spouse is your best friend, and that should leave room for you two to just let loose and have some fun! Different dates can serve different purposes. Sometimes, the best medicine is laughter…and not taking yourself too seriously.

Stay At Home

It’s not always practical or cost-effective to get out of the house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create space for the two of you there. Pick out a dinner or activity, order take-out or make dinner, and do date night in. Just remember not to blur those lines too much at home.

You may be more tempted to give into distractions, but honor your time there as you would at any other place. A date night at home is often relaxing, and a time to reconnect with your spouse–and you don’t even have to leave the house!

If you tend to get overwhelmed at the thought of planning and keeping regular dates with your spouse, keep these tips in mind! Dating your spouse doesn’t have to be hard; it just requires commitment and follow-through. Protect the time you’ve set aside to be together, and your marriage will thrive!





  • Connie says:

    Timely message for my husband and I. We are in the place of parenting where things are so busy with our girls, if we aren’t intentional about dating/communicating, it’s not going to happen. And hasn’t been. This post is very helpful. I also love the encouragement of taking turns planning. It’s not fun to always be the one planning; it sometimes leaves me feeling undesired. Thanks, again!

  • steve says:

    thank you Lord for my wife!

  • Michelle says:

    I ‘ve heard it so many times and suggested dating to so many other couples, but we fail miserably at it. My husband and I are SO different that it makes planning difficult. And money has always been SO tight we usually sacrifice our dates for some other ‘important’ thing. We have been SO busy for years that the Times we’ve carved out for one another have usually ended up in huge arguments. It’s like we finally get a chance to share things that are bottled up inside and boom it exploded. Therefore, we don’t have fond memories of dating since being married.
    Thanks for the suggestions, back to the drawing board, hopefully we can try again and create some better memories.

    • Denise says:

      I understand about money being extremely tight. One of the best choices my husband and I ever made was to go through Dave Ramsay’s Financial Peace program. Neither one of us really thought it would work initially but it was and is AMAZING! PLUS he’s funny! We made that our date nights and followed the advice and wow! What a difference for us! Check him out if you never have. And remember your marriage, your husband is to come before the kids and all their stuff. That’s so hard to remember in our kid focused society. The best thing you can give your children is a strong good loving relationship between their parents! Will be praying for you!

  • I like the part about brainstorming ideas together. We could make that our first date talking point. We have tried taking turns and he just does not plan anything. I feel resentful because I do it all the time. This way we both have a say and then I can plan it…..since he works a lot more that is supposed to be one of my family responsibilities.

    • Debbie Thorkildsen says:

      Did he plan dates for the two of you before you were married? If so, then he is capable of doing so now. We make time for things that are important to us. You are important. He can plan a date for the two of you sometimes – like maybe once a month. That gives him a whole month to plan the next one. Some people work better with a deadline. Set a date together, a month in advance, that he will plan. You can plan the other weekly dates. This way, you get to plan some fun dates and you still feel important when he plans a date for the two of you. Just a suggestion, but I hope you go for it.

  • Tracy says:

    What are some options others have had fun with? My husband and I have enjoyed the wine and canvas nights, cooking classes, a night at the batting cages or arcade.

  • Mary says:

    Thank you, so much, we have been dating for over thirty years, married 52, Friday evenings are locked in. So we plan around them. My husband has been in program that long and when some of his friends ask him to go out after his home group meeting he just says, “Sorry, it’s date night.” He gets some funny looks from the new guys to his 12-step meeting, but they either catch on or sometimes even say, “Hey, that’s a great idea; I’m going to suggest that o my wife.!” Of course, he doesn’t get home from his meeting until 8:p.m, and the date consists of dinner an usually home by 9p.m. but it makes me feel loved to know that I am that important to him.
    I should also mention that we call the following night “date Night” too. Then we do, other more creative things, and we start out earlier too.

  • Rhonda says:

    I’m not going to over vomplicate my comment; just a simple “Thank you'”.

  • Wes says:

    This is just what the doctor ordered in the nick of time. My wife and I have four children and have lost our way as a couple. We are always too busy for each other. My wife is a wonderful person who I am madly in love with. It’s just time for a date. Thank you.

  • Sharon says:

    Something I picked up from reading on the subject of marriage (sorry the source is lost): Take five index cards each. Write on each one of the cards an activity you’d really like to do with your spouse. Turn them face down. He picks a card from her cards and that is the activity for date night. Next date night she picks a card from his cards. Continue week by week, add to or change as necessary. Sex can be only ONE card from each spouse! Smile.

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