I have always been a princess, and Joe is definitely my knight in shining armor, but I wouldn’t say our marriage has been a fairy tale. It’s been more like a collection of divinely orchestrated mistakes, which taught us some good decision-making.
Dating your spouse is a good decision!
In the early years of marriage, it was effortless to date my husband. Living far away from family and friends allowed us to spend nearly all of our free time together. We had less going on to distract us from one another. Now we are swamped with responsibilities! We love our responsibilities, but when we let them distract us from our marriage, things get rough. Our communication breaks down, and we become roommates instead of husband and wife.
Dating your spouse is important, extremely important! Dating your spouse is a time to give your husband or wife your undivided attention and affirm that they are a top priority in your life. It provides opportunities to build a deeper connection with one another, rekindle the flames of passion, and create shared happy memories.
Your children also benefit when you date your spouse. They will witness your love for one another and learn how to treat their future spouse. When children see their parents have a healthy relationship, it gives them a sense of security within the home.
Finally, you may have heard, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I prefer “Happy Spouse, Happy House.” Husbands are human too. Just like wives, husbands need your touch, your listening ear, your love, and your laughter. If your marriage is flourishing with true joy, so will your home. And for the times when things get tough, your marriage will be strong enough to weather the storm.
I’ve created a list of at-home dates for you and your spouse outside of the cliché dinner and movie. A lot of them are no cost or low cost, SCORE!
How to Date Your Spouse at Home:
1. Couples massage!
Joe has had issues with his back for a while, so he is always game for a deep tissue style massage. I, however, cannot stand being tenderized like a steak. I prefer a gentle back-scratch or light massage. Whichever your preference, talk with your spouse. Your husband would rather you say what you like than waste time being mediocre.
2. Build a living room fort.
Men love to show off for their lady! Building you a stellar fort, or working together to construct a love nest, will be an enjoyable mission.
3. Write each other a letter.
The kicker? You have to read it out loud to your spouse. Yes, this may get you out of your comfort zone but don’t worry, it will put you into the zone with your spouse. Be vulnerable, be sincere, say things you know she knows, but I promise you, she wants to hear them again. The same goes for wives! Your husband needs you to build him up and remind him of the fantastic job you see him doing.
SIDE NOTE: Unless your spouse handles criticism well, avoid sarcasm or pointing out flaws in an attempt at humor. It will undoubtedly turn date night into a sleeping-in-separate-rooms night.
4. Write out your bucket list or your hope list.
When I think of a bucket list, I think of adventurous things I would LOVE to do with my spouse or as an entire family. The downside is that we likely won’t do them. Switch gears and write a Hope List. A Hope List has practical activities, some things you hope to do in the next few years together or as a family.
For example, I would love to take a trip to the Grand Canyon as a family! I would also love to visit the nature park, which is 2 hours away, with an amazing stream to play in. Grand Canyon goes on the Bucket List, and nature park goes on the Hope List.
5. Create homemade crossword puzzles!
It would take me a while to come up with a crossword on my own. Search google for crossword generator and voila! You get to pick the words and clues, and the generator creates the layout. When I first tried it, I felt stumped. I didn’t know which words to use! I finally found my groove and came up with some fun clues that were marriage-related. You can each create a puzzle and race to see who can finish the other’s puzzle first! Here are a few suggestions to get you started!
Marriage: The loving commitment we made to one another
Vows: Promises we made on our wedding day
Thirteen: Years of marriage
Children: Love trophies
Laundry: Mom’s never-ending chore
Work: Dad’s 9-5
Smile: Brightens my day
Kiss: Do this every night before bed
Woodworking: Dad’s hobby
Baking: Mom’s hobby
Here is a link to a crossword generator that I found to be reasonably simple.
6. Play a card game or board game.
Some of our favorite games to play are double solitaire, two-handed euchre, sequence, and chess! Those are all pretty classic. A quick google search will pop out some of the top-rated two-person games. Joe may find one in his Christmas stocking this year!
7. Take a walk down memory lane.
Browse old photo albums together or go through the shoebox of pictures from your childhood.
Do you have physical photos of your kids? As we added kids to the family, the number of printed pictures dwindled. Now they are all stored on my phone or the computer.
Go through your stored photos together, upload them to a site like Shutterfly, and create a book. Their app even gives you a free basic book each month! Don’t let all of the design options intimidate you. They are all wonderful and fun to use, but throwing a collage on a white page is just as satisfying. I have a handful of books I’ve made from Shutterfly, and I love the white paged books just as much as I love the ones I spent hours carefully curating.
8. Fold laundry together!
Chores, they never go away. When Joe shares in what is usually my chore, it shows me he too cares about our home and that my monotonous chores are just as important as his paying job. I love him for that.
9. Read a book together.
I think this sounds nice, but I am not much of a reader. We do have a few books that I would like to read together. They are marriage and parenting books. Not exactly thrillers, but I think they are important and will have a positive effect if we BOTH read them.
A fantastic book for every couple to dive into together is the Bible. I think this is an excellent article about why couples should read the Bible together, and it outlines how to get started.
10. Pray together.
An incredible way to increase trust and intimacy with your spouse is to pray together. I was shy about this at first. But why would I be? I share everything else with my husband; why not prayer? It is humbling because, in prayer, you not only share your needs but hear the needs and burdens of your spouse. Praying together will nourish your marriage bond and remind you both that God is at the center of your lives. When earthly desires become a central focus, selfishness takes over and causes everything else to deteriorate.
11. Go over your budget!
Sounds super romantic, right? Going over your finances can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Thinking about “where’s the money going?” caused us stress. Then we sat down and had a heart to heart about our financial goals. Being on the same page regarding our financial goals as a family has decreased the stress that money can cause. Now, reviewing our budget is—dare I say—exciting!
Back in 2011, Joe came up with a monthly budget template to keep up with our spending and saving goals. After years of tweaking due to job and spending changes, we came up with the template we use to this day. Each month we use one of our date nights to sit down and see where the money goes. We celebrate when we spend less and discuss “What the heck happened!” when we overspent for the month.
You may be thinking, “Talking about the family budget causes arguments.” This doesn’t have to be the case. Budgets must be approached with common goals. Do you know the financial goals of your spouse? Our goals as a young married couple are reasonably different than our goals today. Talk with your spouse and first decide what your family’s financial goals are before you get started.
Subscribe using our yellow form here, and we’ll send you the same monthly budget we’ve been using for years—for FREE! What a great way to start a date night!
Do you want to have a college fund for your children? Will you be moving to a new home in the next 5-10 years? Would you like to take a family vacation every summer? Will you need a new vehicle in the next few years? Is life insurance necessary for the peace of mind everyone will be ok financially if something happens?
These are important questions, and I’m sure you can come up with what is important to you and your spouse. We hope our monthly budget helps you just as much as it has genuinely transformed our way of dealing with money.
Like I said before, subscribe using our yellow form above, and we’ll send you the same monthly budget we’ve been using for years—for FREE!
Helpful tip: You’ll need to be sure and check all of your email folders for a confirmation link before we can send this to you for free.
If you find that you’re saving more than you’d hoped, then celebrate! If you find that you need to tweak some spending habits, then have an open discussion. Make a plan to do better, and then celebrate with my next date night suggestion.
12. Dance in the living room!
Turn on your favorite 90’s dance music and get jiggy with it! If your body doesn’t quite move like that anymore, try searching YouTube for beginners waltz, tango, or cha-cha. And if all else fails, pull the blinds shut and dance naked!
13. Binge watch and cuddle.
Take turns picking shows. Some couples love the same genre; others are complete opposites. You’ll enjoy cuddling with your Hunny-bunny no matter what’s on TV.
14. Watch funny videos together.
I don’t know how he does it, maybe I just like his sense of humor, but Joe finds the funniest stuff to watch. I love to snuggle up and laugh with him. Sitcoms and DIY shows can get boring. We enjoy giving YouTube a quick search for epic fails, funny animals, or amazing people.
15. Plant something together.
You can work together on a beautiful vegetable garden, flower beds, indoor herbs, or a mini terrarium. Gardening takes planning and the right weather if it is outdoors. Succulents in terrariums are relatively low maintenance and would make for an out-of-the-box project and adorable desk decor.
16. Have a paint night!
Whether you bust out the kid’s art supplies or use a canvas and acrylic paint, this is sure to be fun! One of my favorite date nights was at BYOBrush. I’m excited to recreate this experience at home. We had such a good time just hanging out but also doing something new together. Now we can hang our masterpieces in our home and always remember the fun of that night.
17. Create your own at-home wine tasting.
You can go as cheap as Aldi’s wine (which is still delicious) or find yourself a couple of high dollar, well-aged bottles, and have yourself a sweet and savory evening together. Discuss what you like & dislike, what each wine would pair well with and if you can taste the “notes” in each one. Not a big wine fan? Have an at-home tasting with whiskey or beer!
18. Have a fondue night.
Don’t forget the cheese! You can have fondue night with wine tasting night or completely separate. We enjoy gruyere (also found at Aldi’s) and swiss with apples, grapes, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, olives, hard salami, and a crunchy french bread or melba toast.
19. Bake goodies together.
Decorate Christmas cookies, make a pie, roll oreo balls, whatever your fancy, it’ll be more enjoyable and less of a chore when you do it with your spouse. You can clean it up together or rock, paper, scissors, who gets dish duty!
20. Sit on the porch and watch the sunset.
This one is perfect for those long summer days when the kids go to bed while the sun is still up. Enjoy your favorite beverage and the company of your best friend. Life doesn’t get much sweeter!
21. Make s’mores!
Or does it? Whether you light a cozy campfire and roast mallows or make them in the oven, s’mores are a classic that’ll bring back that childhood joy. Enjoy something sweet with your sweety and laugh as you both make a sticky, delicious mess.
These aren’t dates, but simple ways to express to your spouse that you love them.
- Before your spouse goes off to work and when they arrive home, give them a hug and a kiss. I don’t mean to go all dark on y’all, but the day is not guaranteed, so don’t regret NOT showing affection to your spouse.
- Send romantic texts. If you can communicate with your spouse during working hours, send them a fun or lovey series of emojis. Even something as simple as, “Love you, boo” can brighten their day. Search the GIFs or find a funny meme to share. Joe is the best at finding memes that make me laugh.
Joe and I usually utilize Friday nights as our date night. It’s a rewarding way to end a long week and a pleasant kickstart to an enjoyable weekend. Every date night doesn’t have to be something different or new. If you really enjoy watching the sunset together, do it as often as you can. Switch it up occasionally, but trying to do something new each week could get exhausting. I’ll be perfectly honest; date night doesn’t happen every week as we’d hope. That’s ok, so long as we don’t go too long without some quality time spent together.
Do your best for each other, for your marriage, and your family. Work together to come up with a day and time that works for you both. Maybe it is a lunch date, or like us, time spent together after the kids go to bed.
I hope y’all find these date nights as fun as we did! There are 5 of them that we haven’t tried but are lined up on the date night to-do list. Thinking about fondue night is making me hungry. Time to plan a date night!