The Importance of Date Night
It started with a quick drink with a friend at a local public house. We then met the girls, checked out a couple more bars and found a late night place where we drank way too much and danced like fools to a rock cover band. All in all a great night and one I doubt either of us will forget. Unfortunately, this isn't a recap of a night out we had this weekend, oh no. This night took place over five and a half years ago, in fact, it's an extremely brief account of the night I met my wife.
Now, being parents of twins, a night out like that seems near impossible. Regardless, there is nothing more special these days then getting to have a night out where it is just the two of us, no worrying about feed times, sore gums, smelly diapers or bedtimes. While it took us a bit to get our first post birth date night on the books, we've done a pretty good job at having time together as a couple and not just as Mummy and Daddy. Here's a couple things we've done that have been both important and made the time alone all that better.
Not a Parenting Meeting
One of the first 'rules' we put in place for date night was to cut back almost entirely on discussing the kids. We try our best to have discussions like we did before the twins and not allow our time away from the kids be all about talking about them. This allows for a warmer night of conversation and tends to be more fulfilling. Removing the easy topics relating back to the kids helps in continuing to strengthen our bond as a couple.
Put In The Effort
One thing we also try to do is put in the effort to make it as similar to an experience as when we were originally dating. We both get dressed up and try to make our appearances reflect more than the day in day out norms at home that we get accustomed to. It's amazing how a splash of cologne, a bit of makeup, styling your hair and similar help to enhance the feeling of making it a special night to enjoy.
It's The Journey, Not The Destination
For us, we mix it up between going to somewhere new and going somewhere familiar. While it's great to try out some trendy new spot or try and uncover a rare gem, it's equally nice to go to that old favourite restaurant or pub. We even go as far as trading off who plans the whole night, just like how we did when we first started dating. It gives the planner a joy in surprising the other and the non-planner a relaxed evening where they don't have to worry about timings or what's next. Regardless of if it's going somewhere new or old, it's simply about getting there, enjoying the company and spending quality time together. We've used everything from Yelp to personal recommendations to a place we drove by. It's easier than ever to find somewhere to go and honestly, doesn't matter as long as you're there together and make the most of it!
There's almost always a family member, friend or even a sitter that you can get to hold things down for a few hours. A little planning and it's pretty easy to get someone to support the time out and away from the kids as needed. While we don't have a set schedule of when we have our dates, we just do them when we know we're commitment free and have somebody to help us.
Overall, having a regular date night isn't just a nice escape from parental duties, it is a massive necessity as a couple to not forget about each other and enjoy the time as it was to you originally, as a couple first and a parent second. So go on, plan that date, enjoy a couple margaritas and keep that spark going!