It seems like it wasn't that long ago when date night was a regular and tangible part of our lives. We would dress up, eat out, and bask in the freedom to do what we wanted. Most importantly, we had uninterrupted time to talk, bond, and connect in a way that would leave us feeling hot for each other by the end of the night. It seems like it wasn't that long ago, but a lot has happened between those early days when my husband and I first started dating and now. Babies, busy schedules, and building careers have made the typical date night much more elusive, and that is why we are committed to setting aside quality time every single day to nurture our relationship.
For us, date night happens every night. We are able to achieve this because we hold fast to our daily routine. Of course, each day brings its own set of unique circumstances, but we work hard to make sure our daughter is in bed between 7:30 and 8 p.m. on a regular day (7 p.m. if she hasn't napped). After that, we spend about an hour on individual alone time — showering, finishing up personal to-do list items, catching up on phone calls, texts, or emails, or just taking some time to zone out. After all, our self-care is just as important as our date time. That leaves us with two hours each night to put each other first and still get to bed at a reasonable time.
Even though we may be wearing pajama pants and hoodies (and I may or may not be rocking facial mask and a hair wrap), our daily dates are intimate, and they bring us closer together. Some nights are for talking, whether we're recounting our day, taking a trip down memory lane, having Bible study, or discussing what's going on in the world. Some nights are for entertainment, whether we're binge-watching a new series, rooting for our sports team, or cracking up about the plot of a Lifetime movie. Some nights are for physical bonding, whether we're cuddling on the couch, treating each other to foot rubs, or getting busy. Most nights are an enjoyable combination of any of those ideas. Depending on how we feel, the date can be as lively or as romantic as we want it to be.
Does every day work this way? Of course not. But we do work hard to ensure that more days go this way than those that don't. As a result, it never feels like too much time has passed before we have talked and laughed, done something fun, relaxed together, or served one another in some capacity. It's hard to go to bed mad at someone when you've just had an awesome date — especially if it didn't cost anything! Our date time is sacred, and except for the occasional parenting priority that interrupts us, we ensure that it happens. We prioritize time together so that the more typical date night or Valentine's Day celebration enhances our relationship, instead of being the only opportunity we have to invest in it.