If you are a parent of little bitty ones, then those words probably sound foreign to you. They definitely haven’t been familiar to me recently. It seems like my husband and I are always exhausted & broke because we never stop working and the diaper stack never magically refills itself (can we say $$$$?).
However, I realize that despite our tired and penniless state we have to keep dating each other!
As soon as we place dating in the back seat we start neglecting our marriage. God placed us together to be companions, to lift one another up, and to mirror the love that Christ has for His bride (the church). We definitely can’t do those things if we aren’t taking the time to connect with one another.
How can we date when we have no money, no free daylight hours, and no sitter?
I am so glad you asked! I have put together a list of 10 free date night ideas for you and your spouse to use at home after the kids have gone to bed. Intrigued? Read on, friend. 🙂
Date Night Ideas
This is our go-to date night and it is one that we are able to do on almost any night. After the kids go to bed we sit on the couch with a blanket and a tub of ice cream..don’t judge us..and we watch a few episodes of whatever show we are interested in that night. Blacklist and Flashpoint are our current faves. Those aren’t the most romantic options, but we have so much fun together trying to figure out what is going to happen next in the plots that always twist and turn.
You can definitely change it up a bit depending on your interests. If you are into romantic comedies and you can talk your husband into watching one then go for it! Light some candles, have a glass of wine, whatever it takes to make you and your spouse feel connected.
2. Game Night
Another favorite of ours is game night. Sometimes we will go to the garage and play darts for hours (because neither of us can stand to lose) and sometimes we stay in to play board, card, or video games.
The Newlywed Game is a fun one to play to help you learn more about your spouse and to see how much you know about him.
3. Nap-time Picnic
If you want a daytime date then the Nap-time Picnic is perfect! Wait until the kids are napping, grab a blanket, and go out in the yard/field for a fun & romantic lunch.
We are always very simple with our picnics. We just take a couple of sandwiches, some chips & fruit, and two bottles of water. The point here isn’t to be fancy, it is to spend time with the one that God has blessed you with.
4. Romance Under the Stars
I think this is something that all girls (at least those who read Nicholas Sparks novels) dream about! Lying on a blanket under the stars with the one I love has always been on my bucket list. Now I am able to bring that dream to life on any given night and you can too!
5. Just Dance
I am not talking about the game here. I always swoon a little when my husband turns on some music and spins me around in the kitchen. Just log into your favorite Pandora station, find a Youtube playlist, or break out the boom box and dance the night away!
6. Go Outside!
This one varies depending on where you live. We have a pond behind our house and we have horses so we like to fish and ride together.
We can sit on our patio and enjoy the peace & quiet as well as the wildlife that ventures onto our property. You can also do a backyard camp out or catch fireflies!
7. Conversation Starters
Pull out some conversation starters. These are just questions to ask each other that will, you guessed it, start conversations.
I am a fan of these. You can print and cut these out, place them in a jar, and pick at random to make a fun little game out of it.
8. Take Out!
Grab some sushi (our favorite) and eat dinner at home together without the hassle of dirty dish piles. You could add this to #1 or #7…or any of these really to up your date night game 🙂
9. Just Be Together
Some of the best heart to hearts that my husband and I have experienced have occurred when we were simply sitting at the table, on the couch, or laying down in bed. No music, no television, no cell phones, just being together.
10. Bible Study
What could be more intimate than coming together to learn about and chat with the One who created you? My husband and I fell in love in a group Bible study…sounds cheesy, but it happened, y’all:) So grab your Bible and a couple’s devotional book if you like and go through God’s Word together.
Be sure to pray with and for each other! I am 100% positive that praying together strengthens the bond between a couple as well as their individual relationships with Christ.
You should also check with your church to see if they ever provide child care for date nights out. Our church did that this year for Valentines Day. They watched our kids and sent us out on a photo scavenger hunt & dinner. They even gave us conversation starters, restaurant coupons, and candy!
We may have to get a little creative with date nights as parents, but I would rather expend a little effort coming up with ideas than let our relationship fall by the wayside. I hope that this list gets you motivated and encouraged to start dating your spouse again!