The saying “two’s company, three’s a crowd” never rang more true than in a house with a child or two… or more. Once parenthood hits, the focus on you and your partner dwindles and shifts almost entirely to the kids.
Putting your relationship on the back burner for a while is bound to happen, but beware how long it sits there as you could be entering dangerous territory—how long can love simmer until the flame goes out? Neglecting to make one another feel special and loved can create unnecessary stress in a relationship and lead to more frequent arguments and the feeling of being alone and unhappy.
Taking the time to spend a night out with your loved one is something so simple, yet seems to get so overcomplicated it in our heads. It doesn’t have to be a big event, some simple alone time with just the two of you might be just the refresher that your relationship needs. Here’s some simple tips to make date night a little easier.
Making time for yourself is hard when you add kids to the equation. Finding time for just you and your partner is even harder. Chances are, if you don’t physically schedule a date night you’ll never get one.
The older you get, the faster time goes by and before you know it you’ll have gone months without a single night alone with your partner. Take that time for each other to nurture your relationship. The best thing you can do for your kids is love each other.
Don’t feel bad checking in
The first time my husband and I went out for a date night post-baby, I sat my phone on the table beside my plate on full volume so that if anything should go wrong there wasn’t a chance I would miss the call. He must have seen me glance at the phone screen every minute or so and said, “Stop worrying, if anything is wrong she will call.” Ok, but what if, just what if the emergency is SO TRAGIC that she has to call the paramedics first, then consult the neighbors, and she hasn’t yet had the chance to call me?! Yes, these were real thoughts going through my brain.
The point is, don’t feel bad checking in, but be reasonable. Listen to your instincts. Maybe an hour or two into your date shoot a quick “Everything ok?” text, or give a quick call right after bedtime to see if everything went smoothly. Trust me, that simple affirmation will ease your mind and allow you to fully enjoy the night.
Savor every minute
So you’ve got a babysitter for the night. Chances are they haven’t made other plans to go out after their sitting duties so don’t rush yourself too much. Make sure you are enjoying the time that you’ve waited so long for.
Eat your food slowly, actually take the time to taste and enjoy it. Once the kids have gone to sleep it’s time for the sitter to relax anyhow, so that extra half hour surely won’t push them over the edge. Don’t get too crazy though, if you’re planning on making it a late night give your sitter a courtesy call. After all, you want to have another date in the future, right?
Treat it like a date
You’ve got jobs, kids at home, and have probably heard one another’s stories at least a hundred times. How do you keep the conversation fresh?
Treating date night like a real date is very important, otherwise what’s the different from any other night? Date night isn’t just a regular night out where you discuss work problems or how badly the dishwasher needs to be fixed, get to know one another more and remember why you fell in love in the first place. Ask each other questions, talk about goals, and make one another feel special.
Spice it up
Intimacy is key in a lasting relationship, although it’s one of the first things to fade once kids make their appearance. I know you’re tired, he’s tired, we’re all tired; but try to make being intimate with one another a priority.
Getting physical, even if you’re not “feeling it” at the moment, is proven to increase happiness, closeness, and a feeling of safety in a relationship.
Your relationship with your partner is the foundation of which a happy home is built. Everyone deserves to feel loved and appreciated. No matter how busy your schedules are, taking even the smallest amount of time to nurture your relationship will pay for itself tenfold.
Written by Sarah Antrim