In a recent Marriage Memo, “Reclaiming Date Night,” Suzanne Thomas wrote of her dismay after asking FamilyLife Facebook readers about what they do for date nights with their spouses. “I expected people to respond with some creative ideas, but I was surprised at the response,” she wrote, “Nearly everyone said they have no date nights at all, or only rarely.”
Suzanne went on to offer some ideas for inexpensive dates, and then asked Marriage Memo readers to submit ideas. This time we got some more substantial responses, as well as a number of creative ideas.
Many who wrote echoed the words of one reader who said, “I think date night is vital to a marriage.” Another wrote, “If we didn’t date, I don’t know where our marriage would be.”
One husband said he liked the idea of trying date nights—he and his wife have been married six years, but he admitted he's "been feeling in a rut for the last three so it would be nice to break out.” Others wrote of learning the hard way about the importance of regular communication—and about making God the center of their marriage:
We believe in date nights and do not miss one week. … After our first six years of marriage, ministry and children became the priorities. Dates were few and far between and with that so was our communication, which was in the toilet. Things got so bad, we planned to divorce. Some close friends of ours invited us to a married couples retreat and that weekend we repented to our Lord, to each other, and started all over again. At the retreat we were very much encouraged to have a date night a minimum of once per week and to pray together every day. We immediately did just that. To my surprise my husband declared our date nights as Friday nights. He told all the family, friends, ministry leaders, and church friends that Friday was our date night and he is committed to date night with "his bride." That blessed me more than words can ever say.
Readers shared ideas for inexpensive dates and for finding babysitters (always a challenge, especially when children are young). A number of readers suggested setting up date nights at home, and this idea resonated with others.
I like the idea of a date night at home with special props (candles, private room, planned time, conversation focused on our relationship with each other). I will definitely propose this idea to my wife.
I love the “date night in your home” idea! We'd go out at least once a week if we could, but with five children under the age of 9, babysitting is a real issue. We trade babysitting with another family every other week right now, so in the off week having a date at home sounds like a great option (as long as we can get the kids in bed before I fall out from exhaustion!).
Thanks for your responses—we enjoy hearing from you. And remember: A marriage will wither and die if you lose your focus on developing your relationship. As one reader said, “We almost lost our marriage years ago simply because we did not find time and space for just us.”
Click here to read the previous Marriage Memo on "Reclaiming Date Night" and to read comments from readers, and here to read comments and ideas sent to us by email.