My husband and I have been married for almost 9 years. And believe it or not, we went without dates for the first 8 years. It took a toll on our intimacy, it took a toll on our mental health and it took a toll on the kids. We didn’t have time to be ourselves. We didn’t have time to be there just for each other, to listen to each other’s problems. We didn’t have time to unwind and relax as a couple. We didn’t have the chance to do romantic things. And that slowly turned us into grumpy parents for our kids.
Fortunately, both of us decided we needed our way of life to change. For the past one year we have gone out on weekly dates, sometimes twice a week. It was a breath of fresh air! We couldn’t fathom out how we survived the first 8 years of our marriage without dates! Now we’re addicted to time alone together.
The reason that we didn’t have dates is because we are both living in a country that’s not our own, so that means our parents/in-laws are not in close proximity. We didn’t have help. We didn’t want to leave our kids with friends, it just didn’t feel comfortable because most of our friends were still single and childless. We were the early ones to become parents.
Lucky for us, we had help the whole of last year and it was such a good investment. It seemed like a waste of money to hire help but when it gives you back your time and sanity, I would say it’s worth it.
So if you are struggling and coping without help, please consider hiring a part time baby sitter. If you have family close by, don’t be afraid to ask for help at least once in two weeks. I’m sure they’d be delighted to take care of your kids for a few hours. You really need those free hours!
Here are some of the very fun things to do with your spouse that does not cost much at all:
Go night-cycling and enjoy the lights of the city. Have a stop-over at a cheap place you can have a drink or light supper. Super fun way to spend time together, and even get some exercise in the schedule! Kill two birds with one stone! if cycling at night is out of the question, then cycle during the day. Just get your wheels and your helmet ready and pedal away!
Create your own Photo-taking Session! Grab a tripod, your camera-phone and your smiles and you’re ready. Choose a location that has meaning to you, or simply because you like how it looks and feel. Take couple photos together, set the timer on your phone and get your smiles ready while you’re in each other’s arms. If you are both camera-shy, you can still have a date going around new places to capture beautiful shots with your camera-phone, compact camera or a DSLR. The joy is in spending time together, doing something different together and having something as a memory keepsake.
Hold Hands and Go Window-Shopping. Now now, ladies don’t get too excited. I don’t mean shopping for clothes or shoes. I mean shopping for something that is important for the two of you. Window-shopping gives the same delightful feeling as does planning for a vacation. You don’t actually have to buy anything, the process of looking at products and items that interest you gives you something to look forward to when you can finally make the purchase. Some of the things you can go window-shopping as a couple are to shop for house furniture, perhaps a new car, and in-house entertainment systems (the guys would love it!).
Have a Lovely Breakfast. You have no idea how liberating it was for us on our first breakfast date! Imagine this, I was able to put food into my mouth without having to feed anyone or listen to anyone go on and on about their newly found game from the App Store. It was just us, enjoying our food and each other. We could look into each other’s eyes and talk! No kids to interrupt and no spills to wipe! That’s as close to heaven as it gets!
Dance date. Put your portable speaker into your bag, head outside, choose a secluded spot and turn on slow romantic songs. Hold each other and do the slow dance like you’re the only people in the world. When was the last time you danced with your spouse? Most probably at your wedding! Why not do it again?
Volunteer at an animal Shelter. Aww those paws and wet nose will not only be therapeutic for your soul but you will also get to do something fun together with your spouse, without having to run after the kids!
Get Outdoors. Do you love a good hike? Do you like a stroll at the beach? How about just sitting near a lake, enjoying the peace and quiet? Choose whatever and wherever you love, just be there together and cherish the moment 🙂
And if you really can’t find help to look after your kids, then date at home! It doesn’t make it any less fun. Just get the kids to bed early and begin your date!
Play the Newlywed Game. Search the internet for questions that you would like to have each other’s answer. Write your answers at the same time and have a good laugh while getting to know your spouse a little bit better.
Give each other a spa-standard massage. What’s the key here? Soothing music (you can easily find them on YouTube), scented candles, massage oil and a slow massage that is not rushed. Guaranteed, both of you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated. You might end up wanting to do this for every date night because it feels SO GOOD!
Chat about the future. Daydream together. Tell each other your hopes and dreams, your plans and wishes. People change over time so what you knew about your spouse a few years ago might not be true now. It’s time for an update!
Movie Night. Nothing beats cuddling up on the sofa watching a movie you both love. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything, but being together while enjoying the same thing, is enough. That’s what partners are for isn’t it? To spend time with while you do something you love.
DIY together. Choose a furniture in your home that you both want to give a make-over. Get your spray-cans of paint and tools ready. Get to work and create a new masterpiece for your living room or bedroom all while having fun together.
(featured image: courtesy of Mo Riza – Flickr)