“Date night? What’s that?” laughs Anna King. A mum of five kids (two boys, three girls, all under the age of 13), she can’t remember the last time that she and her partner Jack went out on their own.
“His parents live in Perth and mine are overseas,” she explains. “Yes, we do have friends who could baby-sit, but we feel like five is too many to hand over! If we just had one or two kids, we might think about it.”
But even without leaving the house, Jack and Anna find ways to spend time together sans kids.
"There’s no magic formula for a perfect date night . . ."
“Sometimes we have to use the electronic babysitter,” she admits. “We find a movie that the kids can all enjoy and let them have the living room TV to themselves. Meanwhile we take the opportunity to sit down together and eat and talk about our days.”
“Having that time together means a lot to us,” adds Jack. “Date night for us doesn’t mean a fancy restaurant or an overseas holiday. It can be as simple as chatting over takeaway pizza or giving each other a massage at the end of the day. As long as we’re together and remembering why we love each other. Our kids are important but we’re important too.”
But in the busy world in which we live, it’s not just kids who can keep couples from spending quality time together. Our society is full of distractions—from friends to work to Facebook.
Matt Garrett of Relationships Australia told the Huffington Post that couples are often put off by the idea of a date night because they assume it has to be a fancy affair.
For Adventist Record senior editor Jarrod Stackelroth, that’s not the case. He defines date night as a regular commitment to invest in his relationship.
“At least once a week, my wife Lyna and I try to eat out together, just the two of us,” he says.
“From my perspective, I like to make sure that we can have good conversations during that time. We see each other every day, but we don’t necessarily get to talk about our relationship or any future plans. It’s a time for us to touch base on the things that we don’t get to discuss day to day.”
Jarrod also notes that date nights don’t have to happen at night-time.
“I particularly like a good ‘date day’,” he comments. “Instead of a date night, if we have a Sunday free with nothing to do, we can go for a nice walk or even get projects done around the house. It’s not so much about what we’re doing; it’s about intentional quality time rather than just being busy all the time. There’s no magic formula for a perfect date night. For me, it’s a commitment to serve each other’s needs and make sure we invest in each other regularly.”
How do you spend quality time with your spouse? Comment and let us know!
This article was written as part of #MarriageWeek2017. For more great content from this week, click here.