Our New Trick for At-Home Married Date Nights

by | Feb 12, 2020 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

Merchandise is Here!

I have something super quick and fun for you today–the new way that Keith and I are doing date nights at home!

Now, “married date nights” may be a misnomer, because I’m not talking about spending the whole evening in one activity.

But what I mean is this: We often get into ruts where we watch a lot of Netflix and I knit. I need that time to knit; it’s relaxing, and I love it. But as I was sharing last month when we talked about habits, when something becomes your default, it’s hard to break it.

That’s why we often spend a lot longer than we would want to on certain activities, and ignore the activities that we actually do want to do! Because we only have so much brain power to use in a day, we naturally gravitate towards the things that are the easiest and that have become habitual. If we want to do something different, then we have to deliberately start a new pattern.

So here’s what we do.

Every night, before we’re allowed to watch Netflix, we roll dice to tell us what we’re going to do for twenty minutes first.

Let me explain.

We have a number of hobbies that we do together (you can find your own to try in the 79 Hobbies for Couples!), and we absolutely love several new two-player board games that we’ve bought recently, and that I talked about yesterday. The problem is that we don’t do them nearly as often as we would like.

So at the beginning of the year we decided something had to change–especially since we were going on a 3-week cruise in February with my mother, and we wanted to be ready to have fun dancing on the cruise! (because one of our big hobbies is ballroom dancing!).

Keith and I dancing at a garden party back in 2001!

I shared a while ago how we take ballroom dancing lessons online with Passion4Dancing, and I wanted to nail the chacha and the swing down before we left for the cruise (we’re pretty good at the rumba and foxtrot), but that meant that we had work to do. We can do that work pretty easily in 20 minute sessions, though. Each lesson is only about 8 minutes long, and then we can practice what you’ve learned for several minutes to music on YouTube.

Passion4Dancing has 3 free lessons in each dance type, so you can learn the basic steps to the Rumba, Chacha, Swing, Waltz, Foxtrot, and more. Then you can buy a membership and get even better (that’s what we’ve done)! Here’s a video I made of us doing the rumba a few years ago:

 

Check out Passion4Dancing here!

So we decided that we’d make sure that we spent 20 minutes doing something together, where we’re actually enjoying each other and spending time together, before we get on a screen.

We assigned it like this (the last three options are board games that I featured in last week’s post on two-player board games!).

  1. Genealogy (we’re tracing our family trees on Ancestry.com!)
  2. Ballroom Dancing
  3. Take a walk
  4. Play Photosynthesis
  5. Play Tiny Towns
  6. Play Wingspan

Realizing how much help we needed with ballroom dancing, we amended it so that we did dancing EVERY night in January (prepping for our cruise), and then rolled the dice for something else to do, but it works great!

Now, Photosynthesis and Wingspan do take more than 20 minutes, but that’s okay. We still like doing them.

So why not try something like that for your date nights at home?

 

Make a list of 6 things you’d like to do more often, and then roll the dice. As soon as the kids go to bed, do that thing together. Then you can watch Netflix or do something on your own afterwards, too. But at least you’ve spent some time together.

When we get back from our cruise we’re going to add some organizing tasks to the dice–assign different closets/rooms to the numbers, and roll the dice and we have to spend 10 minutes organizing before we move on to something fun. But you get the picture. Can be adapted for whatever you want–even something sexual (I’ve got dice in my sexy dares!)

What (other than sex!) do you wish you and your spouse would do more of together? What’s keeping you? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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7 Comments

  1. Ina

    I love this idea! We’ve done something similar- except it’s divided by week days. Mondays we watch something together, Tuesdays we play a game (currently this is a story based two player video game, but it changes to board games, ) wednesdays we sit together while I write and he learns coding, Thursdays we play games, friday we read books, and the weekend evenings our free for whatever we’re feeling. It’s nice to not default to Netflix like we used to!

    Reply
  2. Becky

    That’s a fun way of bringing some of spontaneity into date night! My husband and I like playing board games together, and probably should do something exercise related. The big barrier right now is just the young kids factor, especially with the baby. We played a round of Carcassone over the weekend, and I ended up having to hold her for the last third of the game because she woke up screaming, and she’s not great at self soothing at night yet. But it would probably be good to have a built in plan for what to do together before he starts watching hockey and I get distracted by sewing projects.

    Reply
  3. Bethany

    I love this! Gonna do it. Thanks for the idea 🙂

    Reply
  4. Nathan

    For various reasons, it’s hard for us to get out of the house at night, but Mrs. Nathan and I got some old board games recently that we like to play.

    Reply
  5. Arwen

    That dancing was adorable!

    Reply
  6. Michelle

    What a wonderful idea!! My husband and I have fallen to the Netflix trap, since we’re trying to minimize going out to pay off student debt. We got a few of the games on your list of 2 player games and love them, but never seem to pull them out of the closet. This is a great way to fix that!

    Reply
  7. AspenP

    I like the dice idea. A little intentional time daily is better than occasional night out. We’re in a season with small kids and in a new town without trusted babysitters yet so this works for us.
    We’ve also tried car seat dates where we put on a movie for the kids and drive and talk. Sometimes we’ll even get ice cream in a drive thru if they’re both asleep. 😜

    Reply

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