It’s easy for romance to get lost in the bustle of life.
Especially if you’ve got children.
Work, childcare, housework, distractions like TV and internet and, ahem, sleep can easily take priority over spending quality time with your partner. Weeks and months can pass by without having more than a cursory conversation together.
Tomorrow is Valentines Day. Last year I wrote about how Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about commercialism:
“It’s easy to take each other for granted when consumed by the daily grind of everyday living. Romance can get forgotten when there’s work to do and children to raise and dishes to wash. Valentine’s Day can act as a reminder to take pause and appreciate the special person or people in your life [source].”
While Valentines Day serves as a great reminder to honour the one that you love, your relationship will be stronger and happier if you make the effort to stay connected throughout the entire year.
‘Date night’ is much maligned: it can seem unromantic to schedule in time with your partner, just as you would an appointment with the dentist. But being intentional with your time ensures that date night actually happens, and it lets each other know that your matter.
“Sorry, I can’t tonight, it’s date night.”
When you have children, going out together becomes less practical. Babysitters are expensive. So is dining out. However, not being able to go ‘out’ doesn’t mean date night can’t occur.
Date night is all about spending quality time together. That can happen just as well over a glass of wine at home after the kids have gone to bed as having one out and about.
Hubby and I have ‘date night’ every Saturday (of course, there’s no reason why you can’t spend quality time together everyday, but as we are both introverts, we tend to gravitate towards individual pursuits on other nights).
Our date night usually involves ice cream (ok, it always involves ice cream) and a movie or a TV series on DVD. Sometimes we splash out and get take away Indian after the kids have gone to bed.
The best quality time though, is without screens: sitting out in the cool of the night with a beer, just shooting the breeze. Or having a game of UNO or Scrabble together.
Some other at-home date night ideas include:
- Cook dinner together
- Dine alfresco
- Have an indoor picnic
- Listen to favourite music
- Dance together
- Read a book together, either your own book in each other’s company, which is nice, or one book that you read out loud to each other (it gets less weird the more you do it)
- Do your own hobbies together. Sometimes it’s nice just to ‘be’ in each other’s company without feeling you need to entertain someone. Having the TV off is a must for this.
- Alternatively, tackle a project together. Like painting the living room. With a pizza (er, while eating a pizza, painting the living room with a pizza is not such a good idea).
- Drink hot chocolate in front of the fire.
- Enjoy some cheese and wine supper (or food and beverage of choice)
- Eat by candlelight
- Play a video game together
- Read the paper together
- Retire early
Valentine’s Day acts as a good reminder to spend quality time with your partner. A regular date night ensures you spend quality time together on a regular basis throughout the entire year, keeping the romance alive all the time.
What’s your favourite frugal thing to do as a couple at home?
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.