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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Home date nights are the perfect remedy when time, money and energy are scarce and the kids are small. 

As we saw in my first Date Night post, 44% of couples said that busyness was a major obstacle to having more frequent dates. It was the number one obstacle. Money, at 34%, was the second biggest impediment. Being too tired was third at 31%, and 29% said it was too hard with kids.

I've got a great remedy for these three problems: date night at home!

As you can see from the chart below 70% of couples taking my survey rarely or never do dates at home. I wish I had asked why not?!

As I mentioned last time, Jenni and I do plenty of home dates for various reasons. I'll admit, though, that we haven't been as creative or invested as much effort as we could (or as we will in the year ahead!). Our typical home-dates usually consist of dinner together (we are empty nesters) and a movie or maybe a game. Occasionally, if we are going the extra mile, we add an appetizer and glass of wine before dinner, make a fire, or light some candles.

Our typical home-date isn't very different from the folks in my survey. Here's what they do on their home date nights, and what they said they would like to do more of.

Why Home Dates Makes Sense

Busyness is a relationship killer! I don't know why we fill our schedules with so many less important appointments and tasks and allow our marriage to suffer as a consequence, but we do. Maybe it has to do with taking each other and our marriages for granted.

Leaving space in your life for your marriage is another post for another time, but even if you are super-busy, you can make room in your week for a 1-2 hour date at home. The challenge is to be deliberate about setting aside time for it. Designate an evening to go for a walk, to sit together and have glass of wine and just talk, to play a game you both enjoy, or even schedule a leisurely evening of physical intimacy (more on that in an upcoming post!).

If money is your issue, date nights at home can be very inexpensive! All of the examples i just gave don't really cost anything but your time. Cook dinner together, maybe experimenting with new cuisine. If you don't feel like cooking, get take-out and save on the tip and drinks.

If you have young children, date nights at home make even more sense, because you don't need to worry with finding a babysitter. Plus, when you put kids and busyness together, you end up with the another big date-night obstacle: being too tired . Get the kids in bed, early if necessary, and spend the remainder of the evening relaxing together. Take a bath together, snuggle in front of a warm fire or go straight to bed and enjoy making a physical connection.

And let's not forget mornings. If your kids are old enough to get up without you, have coffee, tea or breakfast in bed together, have your quiet times together or make love before you start your other responsibilities and normal daily routine.

Inject a Little Creativity

The one risk of home date nights is that it's easy to get lazy. Truthfully, if your only time together during the week is spent sitting facing the television, you aren't engaging much with each other. Sure, flipping on the TV is easy and it's an escape, but it probably isn't the best way to spend your date night, if that's all you do. So try to do something that allows you to also communicate and connect with each other. As a minimum, spend the commercials kissing!

Sure, getting creative with your home dates will probably take a little extra effort, or at minimum a little extra thought, but it is well worth it to keep your time together fresh and interesting. Relationships need new experiences every once in a while to stay out of the comfortable ruts we quite naturally tend to fall into.

What's your favorite way to spend time together on a home date? Leave a comment.


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