Why is having a date night so important for parents? Because being a parent is stressful! Most of your time is spent attending to the needs of your children. Studies show that parents who schedule dates—talking, spending time together, going out to dinner or sharing an activity—build stronger relationships and increase the likelihood that they’ll stay together. Dates provide couples with a way to spend much-needed time together; resulting in better communication, higher levels of intimacy, and more satisfying relationships.
School for Amazing Kids believes in the importance of dates night for parents! So much so that ten times a year (every month except for December and February) we provide a FREE Parent’s Night Out. Drop your kiddos off at 6:45pm and pick them up by 10:45pm.
A date provides parents with a great opportunity to talk freely with each other, without family life and household pressures creeping in. Date nights are important because they are a break from the normal routine and they relieve stress. Couples are more likely to enjoy higher levels of emotional satisfaction and not take each other for granted if they regularly set aside time to be alone together. Date nights rekindle and strengthen romantic interest and commitment in couples.
Why don’t more parents go on date nights?
Most couples have good intentions but it’s usually hard to find the time, find a babysitter or make the actual plans. Factor in the costs of going on a date—for example: dinner, movie, and paying the babysitter—and a lot of parents just don’t bother. Maybe you don’t have money in your budget for it. Sometimes you’re just too tired or your work schedules clash. It can be difficult to find the time and money for date nights but you should. Date nights are a way to invest in the well-being of your relationship.
What are the benefits of date nights? Going on a date is a welcome distraction from the hectic schedules that parents tackle day in and day out. Don’t discuss pressures at work, finances or parenting. This is your chance to enjoy the pleasure of spending time together and “just talking.” Date nights are about having fun together, whether it be a simple or fancy outing. It’s about connecting, so give your spouse your undivided attention. Going on a date indicates that you consider your relationship to be a priority in your busy life.
Date nights are more than just activities. They are opportunities for parents to infuse their relationship with romance. Romance is a state of mind. Flirt with your partner—short, sweet text messages—prior to the date. Build the excitement and anticipation of a date by surrounding it with a little bit of mystery. Take turns planning the outing and leave it a secret until the last moment. Romantic elements don’t have to cost a lot of money. A single flower will do, in lieu of a dozen roses. A handwritten love note is always appreciated.
New experiences can help keep that romantic spark alive.
The possibilities for date nights are endless. Make reservations at a new restaurant to try a different cuisine or schedule a couples’ massage. Take a class together—like art, cooking, photography or some other shared interest. Go on a date from your past—like bowling, roller skating, to the drive-in or to the arcade. Plan your date during the day instead of the night. Schedule an intimate dinner over your lunch hour or on the weekend. You’ll likely feel more alert and focused during a daytime date. Book a cheap motel room, for a few hours, to enjoy a romantic interlude.
Do something totally unexpected on a date night. Send the kids and the babysitter out for dinner and a movie. This reverse date gives you the novelty of spending time together—at home—in complete privacy. If finding a babysitter is challenging, consider setting up a babysitting cooperative with your friends. Offer to babysit their children, one day of the week, in exchange for their babysitting services.
What if money is tight? Skip the expense of a dinner date and go out for breakfast or lunch instead. Try a new café for coffee and dessert. Visit an ice cream parlor for a decadent treat. Schedule home dates. Light some candles, order a pizza, and have a board game night. Set up the kids with a movie and sneak out to the backyard to sit under the stars. Share a picnic basket filled with pastries, chocolate, and champagne. Date night doesn’t have to be elaborate or break the bank. Just take the time to be with your partner away from the kids. Make date nights a priority because your relationship is worth it.