Tips for Dating Your Spouse

We’ve got another question from our membership community homeroom. Like we’ve mentioned before, that’s our membership community. We kind of open up enrollment a couple of times a year. But you guys are the best if you’re listening. We love you guys. It’s so fun walking in that group with you guys.

This is the Q&A episode. And one of those questions we got from homeroom we wanted to bring to the masses here on Five Minute Fatherhood, is, “My husband and I have a weekly date night, but with a four month old they are mostly date nights with him and we are running out of fun ideas.”

So it sounds like the question here is how do we keep date night fresh, how do we keep it new, how do we do date night constantly with babies, et cetera? I’m looking at the notes here that we have for Five Minute Fatherhood and Jeremy, the things they’ve listed for how they look through date night, it’s very similar to me and Alyssa, so we’ll just go back and forth and agree in that sense. But yeah, Jeremy, how would you start us off?

Yeah, so April I just celebrated our 21 year anniversary and I’m looking at this question. They have a four month old, they’re probably a little bit further and they’re already running out of ideas, which is totally normal, you guys. What that means probably is the paradigm around date night might be a little bit idealistic.

When you’re used to dating, maybe before you were married, there might’ve been this sense of like, oh yeah, we got to put all this creative energy into it and stuff. That may be really hard to sustain. Of course when you’re dating your mate, when you’re married, it’s even more important in some ways to have epic experiences. And so this can get really challenging because after eight months of trying to come up with cool, fun dates you might be like, “I’m running out of ideas,” which is what this person is doing.

One way I’ve thought about this is to put it in a different category. There’s really like three categories that I think of date nights. So April I go on a date night every Saturday night. And we also have other cool stuff we do. That’s something we’re pretty rhythmic about. I would say that there are … A lot of it just depends on how we’re feeling and how I’m sensing the week went, and what we really need. What nutrient does our relationship need? That’s sort of more of the thing that I’m trying to-

The framework.


Try to solve or help or use date night for.

That’s right. What do we need? Do we need to have fun? We don’t always need just to have fun. But I think of the shallow fun dates. Shallow meaning we’re not going to get into some crazy deep conversation. Maybe we’ll even try to avoid. Maybe we’ve had-

I was going to say sometimes that’s actually what you don’t want.

Yeah. Sometimes you just need to go watch a movie, do something that’s just relaxing together, spend time, play a game, something like that. I remember once, three weeks ago, we were coming to our date night. We were both just fried. There’s no way in the world we were going to have a deep conversation. And so I just got a pack of cards out. We went out to a table and we started playing cards. And I just wanted to be with her having a shallow, fun, relaxing experience. So that’s the shallow, there’s three categories we’re going to talk about. But you guys have a have an example of how do you shallow?

Yeah. So we do that one for sure, which is huge and I feel like that usually tends to be when we need a break or we’re exhausted or we’re tired or it was a long day with the kids. But like you said, we keep a fairly rhythmic date night. We try to put one on the calendar every single week. But we don’t decide if it’s going to be the serious one, the shallow one, et cetera. Tell kind of about that day because like you said, we want it to serve what we need. And that’s one way we do that.

Another one is similar to what you put on here is normal date nights. So that would be if we get a babysitter, we go out to a restaurant. And our stage right now with toddlers, that’s pretty rare. And in fact we don’t even really do that much anymore, unless we just get accidentally pushed there. Meaning the kids are already being watched for some reason and we’re already maybe traveling in another city. And I’m a foodie, so then we’ll try to look up the coolest places. So we do it in that context.

The one that I think is really important, that I was going to say, and that you guys have it here too, which is interesting. It says have a place to go, I’m guessing in the house, and a food or drink to kind of associate with that. That one I think is the game changer. And we have leaned into that hard since Lucy’s been born. So we have a six month old, so for this asking very similar, because yeah, it got harder to leave, but we needed that space. But there is a level at which just kind of … And again, because we’re embodied physical creatures where room in space matters more than we think it does. So when you sit on the same couch you normally sit on, it’s just like you’re going to just be on your phone or watch a movie. Right?

And so there’s a level at which we kind of have to break that. And the way we do that is our backyard. We have a little outdoor furniture and we have a little fire pit with propane we can pull out of the closet. And so our thing is fire and s’mores in the same way I think you said yours is popcorn on the porch. But yeah, and what that does is now it’s cool because now s’mores associate really deep talks with us.

There’s something about too, I’d encourage anyone listening, if you just get some type of fire pit, and I don’t like all the work and real wood and smoke. I don’t like all that. That’s disgusting and bad and not good.

You wimp.

I know, I know. So for me, and I don’t want to have to start it and all that stuff, so a little propane one that I flip a switch? Guys, life changing. And so there’s something about fire though where I honestly believe, we’ve talked about this, it just kind of brings out a vibe, that you’re talking, you’re chatting way more than you would if you were inside on the couch, even though it’s the same thing just with a fire.

So I would say get something like that. And so yeah, how do you guys do that? But I think that’s important to have a place and have a treat, and then escape to that place in the house, and then it’s easy and free. So now we do that. That’s our go-to right now almost every week, and it’s easy and it’s free and we end up having a really beautiful, rich, meaningful time. And sometimes we’ll still do that and then just read our books, because like you said, that’s a shallow plus that at the same time. So yeah. How do you guys do that?

Yeah, I love that. Yeah, have that go-to. For us, for many years, red wine and dark chocolate signified date night. I called you a wimp but we’d have exactly the same thing. I’ve got that sweet propane fireplace on my porch. I think investing in some kind of fire and you can just sort of relax around the fire and make sure that yeah, something that would literally take five or 10 minutes to think about. Or you could just have the supplies in your pantry signify that date night.

Yeah, the worst thing You want to do is not have to reinvent the wheel every week, because that’s when it gets exhausting.

Yeah. And that’s what I think this question was sort of saying.

Now there is a third category. So we’ve talked about the shallow fun. We talked about the normal, have the supplies in the pantry be able to trigger that fun, just hanging out conversation. Then I would say there’s a third one which is where you know you’ve got some deep work to do. There’s some deep stuff you need to talk about. You’ve been in the same pattern for a while. And I know that this is not something you want to do for every date night, but there were date nights where I felt like, hey, if we don’t talk about this tough topic now, when are we going to talk about it?

And so one way we would do this is we plan some time at a restaurant. But before we get there, we get our journals and go to a park or something, and take about 15 minutes, journal how we’re doing. We know that there’s some tension, there’s something going on. Maybe it’s in our relationship, maybe it’s just something that we’re each dealing with. It’s even outside of a relationship. Take 15 minutes, journal, go to the restaurant, and slowly, carefully, thoughtfully listen to each other. Really listen. Really dial into each other’s hearts. Now that’s a deep, epic date night that’s really about getting some real relational work done. But I think that that can be really helpful too.

So there’s times where that’s the trigger that you might need. But yeah, thinking about this in those categories, I think have been really helpful, you guys date nights. And really taking time, at least weekly, for your relationship is absolutely critical if you want your relationship to last in the test of time. So these are just some ideas that might help you guys make sure that it’s getting diverse enough, but not so diverse that you’re burning each other out with high level expectations of epic date nights every week. So hopefully that’s helpful for you guys.

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