Making time for date nights with my husband look different now than they did before the pandemic. The challenges and changes we’re facing make time together more important than ever.
My husband is a nurse with a schedule that doesn’t fit in a neat 9-5 Monday through Friday framework. For years, we have used that to our advantage. Since he usually has two weekdays off each week we have gone on breakfast and lunch dates while the kids were at school. It was wonderful and worked for us.
And then COVID.
Like so many other things, even our date routines changed. With the kids home all the time and things closed, it became harder to find ways to have our fun breakfast and lunch dates. I realized I could either hold on to what was or move forward into what is, challenges and all.
Here are 3 ways we are intentionally making time together.
1. TV & Movie time
This is at the top of my list because it’s the one we do most often. While it may not be anything fancy, we look forward to watching great shows together (check out some ideas here.)
It’s great because we always sit together and we’re engaging in the show or movie as a couple. We can talk about it later or the next day with little comments. “Can you believe she…” or “I had no idea that was going to happen!”
Creating a shared experience is the best way to connect.
A note about what to watch: Sometimes we pick something he’s more interested in. Sometimes we pick something I’m more interested in. Recently, we had the opportunity for an advance home screening of a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries movie.
As we hit play on Follow Your Heart, there was something exciting about knowing we were experiencing an early screening together. This simple little connection was fun. And when we started watching this movie unfold as a woman chooses to go back to her roots, a community deciding what to do about it, and a man figuring out what it all meant, we got lost in story together.
(Needless to say, if you’re looking for a great starting place try Follow Your Heart on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries!)
2. Eat Something
We all eat food everyday, but there’s something special about getting takeout from “your spot” or trying that new restaurant you both love for that amazing dessert.
One time my husband picked me up from work and we drove five hours to go get our favorite dessert in Vermont. The crazy part was that we drove back home that night and he worked the next day!
That time wasn’t about the dessert (although I still love it!) It was about sharing a fun, silly experience together. While that was before COVID and certainly before kids, it’s still good to think about what you can do to surprise your spouse with a favorite spot or treat.
3. Go to Bed
The time you spend in bed with your spouse matters. It’s not taboo or something to hide. It doesn’t even have to be about sex.
The simple act of going to bed together, at the same time, makes a huge difference in how we end our day.
And since we all know sex is part of a marriage, let’s just be real. When we stay up late, even if it’s doing something good like watching a movie together, we go to bed and crash. There isn’t time for any connection because we’re so exhausted.
Making intentional choices about going to bed is one of the best ways I stay connected to my husband. It may not seem like a date, but time we set apart to be together is a date in my book! Now, if I could just get these teenagers to go to bed it would be a lot easier!
It doesn’t matter whether we’re at home watching a show or go out to a restaurant to eat outside, being intentional about time together helps us feel closer and more connected to our spouse. And that is something that God loves.
This post originally appeared at RebeccaHastings.net, published with permission.