Written by: Sharon May, Ph.D. and Alan Hart
It’s date night. It comes around every week. What can you do to have a successful
date night? We all know how quickly date night can go from sweet to sour. One
minute you are romantically reaching for each other’s hands and the next you are
pulling away hurt and frustrated. What does your wife consider a good date night?
Here are a few tips on how to plan and prepare for a date with your wife so you can
have a fun and meaningful time.
1. Purpose. The purpose of a weekly date night is for you and your wife to put
your daily life and responsibilities on hold and have fun together, enjoy each
other, share on a deeper level, emotionally connect, foster a close bond and
strengthen your marriage.
2. Plan. The best dates are planned, even if they are spontaneous. It is
important to your wife to know you have put some thought and planning into
date night, because you value date night. Get out a calendar and plan ahead.
3. Prepare for the date part 1 - What needs to happen for the date night to
happen? Your wife probably would like you to have thought through the
preparation details and on some level be involved with the date preparation.
Or at least appreciate all the work she does ahead of time to ensure date
night happens. Kids need to be organized, babysitter arranged and dinner
for them provided. Dogs taken care of, etc.
4. Prepare for the date part 2 – what are you doing, where are you going, do
reservations need to be made and at what time. Be creative, although going
to the same familiar places is nice, a new adventure shows you care. Date
night can be anytime of the day. You don’t have to spend money to enjoy date
night. Put dinner and candles in a picnic basket and walk into the back yard.
Get on your bikes and ride to a spot with a great view. Don’t know what will
please your wife? Ask. Do it romantically. One night lie in bed with your
wife, look in her eyes, touch her face, say her name and ask her what she
considers an ideal date and for a list of date ideas. Write them down in your
phone so you don’t forget! You will probably need to be creative especially if
the COVID restrictions are still in place.
5. Prior preparation. If you know date night is every Thursday, it would be
good to start setting the tone a few days prior. Be interested in your wife, ask
her how she is doing and be curious about her life. Don’t wait until date night
to express interest in your wife, that’s not the purpose of date night.
6. The day of. Show excitement about your upcoming date. Send a text to your
wife stating how you are looking forward to your date together. This will
make her feel special and cared for.
7. The date. Treat her like your wife, your special lady. Be gentleman like, open
her car door, let her go first, be considerate and thoughtful. Smile, hold her
hand, look in her eyes, put your phone away and be emotionally present.
Have a few ideas of what to talk about during your date. Have your
conversations be a mix of funny things, interesting topics as well as deeper
personal heart-felt things. Stuck on what to say? Discuss a part of a book you
are reading together (you’ll have to pick a book). What not to talk about: hot
topics, unresolved issues, unrepaired hurts and any people, place or things
that you have widely differing views about and have potential to trigger
arguments. If you have serious work, financial, family or life issues to discuss
do it another time, not on date night. Also, try not to drink alcohol. Alcohol
lowers inhibitions often causing date night conversations to go sideways.
8. Get back on track – if for some reason you get on a subject that triggers your
or your wife’s hot topic, or someone’s feelings get hurt and it seems things
are going sideways… get back on track. How do you do that? Just say it,
“wife, love of my life, I think we have taken a wrong turn and I would like to get
back on track and enjoy our time together. Can I repair your hurt and can we
revisit this topic another time, let’s enjoy our date.”
9. The end of the date. The expectation for intimacy at the end of date night
often rests heavy on a couple, especially the wife. Remember the ‘date idea’
conversation you are planning with your wife (see point #4)? Include in that
conversation the expectation of whether or not to also include intimacy the
same night as date night. Clarify expectations ahead of time. If you both
agree to end date night with intimacy, put effort into fostering a safe and
pleasant experience. Have clean sheets, get washed up, set the mood in the
bedroom. Creating romance shows you care. Intimacy flows out of the
emotional closeness you and your wife have together. The more connected
she feels, the more open she will be to intimacy. Let her know you don’t just
want a happy ending, but a deep emotional connection with her where you
can both enjoy the experience. Remember if kids are awake, could come into
the room at any moment, or the curtains are cracked so someone can look in,
your wife will more than likely be concerned about remedying these issues
before getting in the mood.
10. The day after. Thank you wife for a lovely time on date night. Share with her
one positive thing about the evening. Let her know you enjoy your time with
her. This solidifies your memories and bond.
11. Repeat every week. Until death. That comes to 2,600 dates over a 50-year
marriage. Wow. That is a lot of fun adventures you get to share together.
Best to get started planning.
“For husbands, this means love your wife, just as Christ loved the church”
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
1 Corinthians 16:14