While engaged, we had several people strongly recommend that we guard and protect a weekly date night. For the most part, Friday nights have been our date nights. Date nights are a wonderful time to re-connect and have fun together.
While the positive benefits of date nights for a marriage are numerous, there are really two common themes why couples don’t go on date nights. The two biggest reasons for couples not going on date nights are: 1) children and 2) money. Children certainly make date nights more challenging. There’s both the scheduling and paying for a babysitter. Yet, I do know several married couples with children who go on weekly date nights. I have heard the argument that it’s even more imperative to have weekly date nights while raising young children.
Financially speaking, date nights do not need to break the bank. While on a budget, date nights require creativity. Here are frugal date night ideas that we have done:
– coffee at Starbucks and an evening of reading in Chapters ($10 for the drinks)
– hike through a local conservation park ($3 in fuel to get there and back)
– found local (free) events such as the Buskers and walked around ($7 for fuel)
– rented a movie and bought snacks for our @ home date night ($5-10)
– half price apps at a local restaurant ($8+ tip)
– gone biking (me) and rollerblading (hubby) on waterfront trails ($7 in fuel)
The list could go on and on. Sometimes our date nights include face-to-face time which means we spend a lot of time talking (something females tend to prefer). Other times it’s side-by-side activity (something males tend to prefer) where we are doing something fun together but it’s not really heart-to-heart time. Both are OK and necessary in a relationship. But now you are left wondering, how do parents achieve $10 or less date nights when they require a babysitter? Here are a few ideas:
– see if there are any family members or friends willing to babysit for free
– if you have friends raising children as well, see if they will babysit yours for your date night and then offer to babysit theirs for their date night
– sometimes date nights can be done by staying in. just be intentional that one (or both of you) doesn’t fall asleep on the couch or isn’t doing laundry during date night!
In regards to money and date nights the popular saying, “where there’s a will there’s a way” is true. Are you now or have you ever been intentional about date nights? I’d love to hear about it by you leaving a comment below. If you have other ideas for affordable date nights, I’d love to hear them!