The stars aligned.
You and your tot finally finished the last day of medicine drops for that eye funk that cost you two pallets of eye shadow and a tube of mascara. And non-contagion means freedom!
You got the sitter days in advance.
Tonight’s the big night and you’ll make it happen—even if it means keeping your skinny jeans closed with a hair band looped through the button hole.
It took an act of God, but it was worth it. You're out of the house!
You finally sit down together and you know that moment—you look into your guy’s eyes and you seriously have to concentrate on topics to talk about.
Your brain’s gone all mama, and the problem is that a full-grown man is peering across the table from you. Stringing together interesting, big-people sentences feels like a task equal to earning the Nobel Peace Prize.
But have no fear, pretty mama. Here are five things you should talk about on date night:
1. Memories involving the two of you.
Sure, the kids are an easy conversation go-to. But you, Wonder Woman, are an accomplished phenom in other ways. Take for instance the time the two of you hit NYC for the weekend and you snagged front row tickets to the show for back row prices. And remember that time he surprised you with that gift you’d been eyeing for months? A huge part of pride in your “couple-ship” is shared memories. Use your date night to focus on them.
It’s the legacy of your love and fun that will keep the two of you together.
2. Current Interests
Whenever my husband walks through the door, I have at least forty home and kid-related talking points I could accost him with. You know how it is, the master list of projects you need to tackle together goes on and on. A list is fine for the “day-to-day,” but when it comes to a night out, surprise him. Reminisce about the early days when learning about each other was new and exciting.
You’re not the girl he married, anyway.
You’ve grown and changed your mind a million times as you’ve transitioned jobs, kids, ideas, and houses. Did you have a cool conversation with somebody new? Is there a new Netflix series he needs to watch with you? Did you rock a work project or crush a workout you thought should have killed you?
Date night is the perfect time to introduce him to that new wife of his.
3. What you’ll be doing at this time next year.
A tired mom can’t always tell you what’s for dinner tomorrow, let alone think about what’s she’ll be doing in the next 365 days. Everything feels big and tiring and right-this-minute. There’s something to be said about dreaming out loud though. Not only does speaking hope send positive vibes to your husband, but it also gives him a sense of commitment from you.
“I know our life’s crazy, but I’ll still be here in this thing with you next year.”
What do you want your life with him to look like? Ask him about what’s been on his mind and what he sees for the future.
And don’t just focus on the tasky things—plan a little fun for the both of you too.
4. Five to ten years from now…
No, this is not the same as number three above. This is long term dreaming:
Will you need to move at some point? Change jobs? Will there be more kids? Are you dreaming of a big anniversary vacation? Will your kids be in school or older so that your family might be able to help take care of them? Do you need a new church or closer friends?
Get a little wild and don’t over-think it. Share your “best case scenarios” and talk through your concerns. Casual, playful conversations morph into real happenings.
Let your date nights be the place where your life’s dreams are planted in one another.
5. Compliment one another and plan the next date!
And finally, if you’ve made it your goal to learn about each other and had great conversation…If you’ve spent a few hours away from your usual stress and feel some relief, there’s no doubt you’ll want to do it again.
Don’t wait until you have time to plan another date. Put it on the calendar right then and there. You’ll barely be able to wait until it happens again!
What’s your best date-night piece of advice? Tell us all about it below.
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.