“Write out a date night idea for Luke and Kayla to use after the wedding!” read the sign outside my bridal shower. Each girl that walked in stopped at the table and wrote out an idea on a popsicle stick, then dropped it in the mason jar. We received lots of ideas, some silly, some romantic, some adventurous. Although Luke and I may not have tried every single one of the ideas, we definitely took date night seriously from the start!
Date night is something that Luke and I have tried to keep weekly since day 1 of our marriage. It doesn’t happen without intentionality and practice, we probably haven’t done it every single week, and we definitely haven’t done it perfectly. We’ve gone through many different phases and types of date nights over our three years over marriage. And it’s a really big deal to us!
How do we choose to plan date night? It varies so much! I think that’s an important thing to know that there is no right answer, and no perfect formula. It’s important to know that each couple is different and values different things. It’s also important to change things up so they don’t get stale! Luke and I have recently found a rhythm that has been working really well for us. Each of us keeps a growing list of date night ideas that we think the other would enjoy. Then we switch off planning a date for each other every other week! One week, he’ll plan a date night for me and the next week, I’ll plan a date night for him.
Date nights look different each week and it helps keep things fresh! One of my absolute favorite date nights is when we go to our favorite Starbucks (it’s a quiet one that always has these two comfy chairs open, right next to each other). Sometimes we like to sit there and read our Bibles together and talk about it, sometimes we like to sit there and dream together, sometimes we just sit and plan out our weeks together.
Another date that I absolutely loved was when we went to Downtown Disney. We ate at the ESPN Zone, and then we went upstairs and spent $20 on tokens to play the games! We got competitive with each other, we laughed a ton, and we created memories that we still talk about to this day.
Date nights don’t have to be expensive to be memorable! Luke and I recently set a smaller budget for our date nights, and it just makes us to get creative with what we do. You can have a lot of fun with a little bit of money. Check out the list below for some great ideas that don’t break the bank!
One last tip – be flexible! One time, Luke and I planned to go to Disneyland for date night. It had been a long week and we were really looking forward to taking a walk around the park and enjoying the rides together. We got there, parked, and headed toward the entrance… only to find that our passes were blocked out that day! We had the choice to leave and let the night be ruined, or to make the best of what we had! We hung out at the Grand Californian Hotel and had great conversations together, and to this day it is one of my favorite memories.
The most important part of date night isn’t necessarily where you go or what you do, but rather creating a safe space to connect with your spouse. Connection can happen in so many different ways! I encourage you to look into each others eyes, to laugh together, to talk about the important things. This is the most important relationship we have, and it takes intentionality to keep it healthy!
February 6, 2018
In the Journal
Kayla is a wife, a mom of four, and a lover of love stories. She'll never say no to an iced matcha latte or a long chat with a good friend. She knows too many lines in The Office, and says Gilmore Girls never gets old.
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