Honoring the Man They Call Daddy: The Date Night Myth

Honoring the Man They Call Daddy (Planning an At-Home Date)

source: photographybyjoelle

As we approach Father’s Day, I am be participating with four other bloggers in a series called Honoring the Man They Call Daddy.

This post may just get me kicked out of the blogosphere, but in all honesty, I think the importance of regular date nights is over-emphasized and not really a true indicator of a healthy marriage at all.

Yep, I said it.

The Truth About Intentionality

What I think is really important is being intentional about prioritizing your marriage and relationship.

For many couples, ourselves included, regular date nights simply aren’t feasible. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t prioritize our marriage or that our relationship is in trouble.  It also doesn’t mean that we don’t look forward to our twice-a-year date nights or an occasional weekend away…because we do!

Date nights themselves aren’t bad, of course, and if you’re able to go out weekly or biweekly, then that’s great. Where I think the danger lies is in holding date nights up as some magic formula that guarantees success in marriage.

In fact, date nights themselves can become just another monotonous, obligatory part of our routine — as evidenced by the movie Date Night (with Tina Fey and Steve Carell), of course — if we’re not careful.

Everyday Ideas for Prioritizing Your Relationship

This week’s topic is about planning an at-home date night. I can’t wait to read JessieLeigh, Amy, Tara and Jessica’s ideas, but I’m going to go one step further and share six ideas for being intentional and prioritizing your relationship every day, rather than waiting for a date night!

1. Flirt.

You and your husband probably flirted regularly when you were dating, but oftentimes we get too busy and distracted by obligations, frustrations and busyness and forget to flirt with one another once we’re married. The problem is that it can become a cycle where the less we flirt, the more frustrated and irritable we get with one another, and so we flirt even less. Teasing, flirting and innuendo are all really good things in a marriage, and they help keep the spark alive on a daily basis!

2. Keep ‘em company.

Sean and I dated throughout college, and we both lived at home with our parents…across the street from each other. We saw each other pretty much every day, and a lot of our time, especially that first summer, was spent down in Sean’s driveway and garage while he painted or worked on a car or motorcycle. He would also keep me company while I babysat, and I would go hang out at the pools where he was a lifeguard.

These days, I often feel like I should be doing something, and if I’m not doing something that needs to be done, I want to be focused on my own hobbies or interests (just being honest here). Sometimes I forget the value in going and sitting and keeping him company while he builds the walkway out back, works on one of his RC planes or paints the upstairs hallway.

But I never, ever regret that time spent together when I do make time for it.

3. Just sit and talk.

We’re a TV family, and we almost always watch a show or two together after the girls are in bed each night, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for talking. However, we’ve always made it a habit to lay in bed and talk several times a week before we go to sleep. Sometimes we’re goofy and just laugh. Sometimes we make plans and talk about the future. Sometimes we talk through parenting issues. But going to bed together most nights is important to us because it gives us that time to just focus on one another.

4. Dream together.

Along those same lines, I think dreaming about the future together is one of the most important things you can do for your marriage. From realistic dreams to “what if we won a million dollars” dreams, thinking about your lifetime together and sharing your hopes and your wishes is so, so important.

5. Hold hands & touch.

It’s so easy to let days go by without really touching. It happens to us, and we’re home together all day every day. However, non-sexual touch in a marriage is as important — if not more so — than a healthy sex life. It creates affection, builds trust and helps you to feel connected to one another. Holding hands, hugs, touching one another when you talk, etc. all increase the intimacy in your relationship.

6. Have fun together!

Have you ever noticed that when you share a laugh with a complete stranger, you instantly feel a connection? You may never know their name or see them again, but in that moment, you are connected.

The same is true in marriage, and laughing together regularly is an important way to stay connected to your husband even in the midst of family obligations and busy schedules. Whether you’re watching a funny show or movie, roughhousing or teasing one another, laughter is a great way to strengthen the foundation of your marriage.

How do you prioritize your marriage in the midst of everyday obligations? What’s missing from my list?

  • Tristin Wright

    You’re spot on. I often think similarly about the suggestion of “take time for yourself”. I get where people are coming from, but it’s not always realistic, and in reality, blooming where you’re planted makes for happiness in all aspects of our lives as women. Date night does not a happy marriage make; happy people who love each other have a fighting chance. ;-) Thanks for your words. (I’m an ENTP… Just thought I’d share!)

    • http://lifeyourway.net/ Mandi @ Life Your Way

      That’s a great comparison, Tristin — I agree completely that the two pieces of advice go together!