I know, I know. Date night rules?! Date night is supposed to be relaxing and fun, just time to spend with your sweetheart, right?
Just kidding. It is.
A few years ago, when Ryan and I started doing date nights specifically as date nights (instead of just happening to go out and then calling it a date because we were young and childless and free), I made some date night rules. None of them are hard, but they all make sure that the nights we do get together are special (and require him to do some things we don’t always do the rest of the time). Ryan and I don’t get a LOT of nights together since he’s off flying airplanes. These rules are for making sure you’re being intentional with the time you DO get with your spouse, whether it’s an hour before you have to go grab them from school or six hours of bowling, eating, and wandering Barnes and Noble.
Date Night Rules
- Hold hands all night long. I don’t care if we’re in the car, walking, in a restaurant, the movies, or ice skating. He has to hold my hand.
- He opens doors (including the car door) for me. And if he doesn’t, I stand there until he does. This gets tricky when it’s like 10 degrees outside, let me tell you.
- No phones. Period. No Facebook, no Instagram, no tweeting, no texting. If we want to brag about what an awesome time we’re having with each other, we can do it tomorrow or even when we get home that night (we usually wait until the next day). That’s changed SLIGHTLY since having Matthew (and then Mason). We now bring one of them, and keep it on ring, but have specific instructions to whomever is watching the kids to call if they really need us. That means, if we hear the text sound, we don’t have to worry a ton about whether it’s important (but can check quickly if we feel like we need to in order to answer the “where are Matthew’s underwear?” or “what the heck is ‘brown sauce’ and where do I find it?” type questions).
- Tell the waiter or waitress that we’re in no hurry. We make it clear that we want a slow dinner without overlapping courses. If they bring the next course before we’ve had time to finish the first one, we send it back. We take our time, we drink our wine, and we enjoy being able to talk. This has never been more true than our first date night since having Matthew, when it was SO nice to spend two hours drinking a bottle of wine, eating appetizer, salad, entree, AND dessert without interruption (whaaaat?!). Make sure to tip them well, since you’ll be taking up a table for longer than the average guest!
- Sit on the same side of the table. Now, this is personal preference, and it depends on what we’re eating (sushi doesn’t necessarily allow for sitting beside each other when you’re sharing a bunch of rolls), but we find that we talk better and feel closer if he has his arm around me while we talk and sip our wine between courses. We don’t get much non-kid snuggle time anymore, especially with Matthew finding excuses to come downstairs and Mason STILL nursing, so it’s nice to build it into date night. Plus, it’s really fun to gross out the teenagers next to you when they see “old people” acting like they like each other.
- Find the least expensive way to do exactly what we want. I search Groupon a TON for great deals on all sorts of fun dates, from mini golf and bowling to wine tastings and fancy restaurants. Make sure you check there for some great deals! It’ll help you worry less about what you’re spending and might help you find something different to try instead of the usual dinner and a movie.
That’s it! Six date night rules, easy to remember, fairly easy to follow, all intended to keep our attention on each other all night. Honestly, most of these weren’t really necessary to make as rules, but the more tired or busy we are, the less intentional we are about our time alone, so it’s nice to have the fallback and joke that “it’s in the rules!” (which he’s never seen written down until now).
I think it’s awesome you guys do this! 🙂