One of the tips I have often heard about marriage is to have regular date nights–every other week or once a month. That would be ideal, but for many of us, that’s just not practical.
You can have a great marriage, even without regular date nights.
It’s really OK. You don’t need to keep up with anyone else’s fabulous nights out or compare.
Not everyone has family close by to help out.
Not everyone has the extra money to fork out for a babysitter.
We create expectations that can make us bitter and envious and hurt our marriages.
But, great and connected marriages aren’t built on regular date nights.
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They’re built on . . .
Choosing to forgive when the other has wronged you.
Walking with your spouse through hearing tough news.
Celebrating triumphs together.
Choosing peace after an argument.
Sharing the joys and challenges of raising kids.
They’re built on simply being together.
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Don’t get me wrong, date nights are awesome and helpful for our marriages. We have so much fun when we enjoy special trips or date nights here and there. But, we don’t do regular date nights.
Our regular dates happen in everyday life.
They happen cuddling on the couch.
Having dinner from time to time after the kids have gone to bed.
Doing chores together.
Going on walks and runs.
Reading or watching TV in bed.
Being with friends.
Gathering around our table with our kids as a family.
Doing life together.
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The world wants us to think that to have a great marriage we need more.
But, connecting doesn’t have to come through extravagant trips or luxurious nights together.
One of our favorite memories is when our kids were six years old and created an anniversary “dinner” for us. They dressed up like waiters, played music for us to dance to, and served us toast and broken cookies. We sat in their comfy chairs around a table made from their old crib mattress with a blanket elegantly draped over it.
There will be a time when our kids are grown and out of the house, and we will have plenty of time for date nights. In the meantime, our marriages can flourish in the simple—in the everyday moments we spend together.