My husband and I have celebrated anniversaries, birthdays, and Valentines at home. Yes, we would have preferred to be out, but we learned to make the best of our circumstances, rather than doing nothing at all. For most of our marriage, we have not lived near family and friends. So, we've never had the luxury of having free babysitters. During Heath's time in college and seminary, we usually did not have the extra funds to pay for a babysitter.
We began to intentionally carve out special time for our relationship. During the years of having small children, and my husband being in seminary and the ministry full-time, we could have grown apart. But, instead we grew closer to one another. It takes effort, and the ability to choose to have a right attitude about your current circumstances.
Here are some At-Home Date Suggestions
- Drag your mattress into the living room or cuddle up on the couch together
- Subscribe to an inexpensive home delivery movie rental service.
- Rent a movie or borrow a movie from a friend that you BOTH would like to see.
- Transform your bedroom into a romantic bistro
- White Christmas lights, candles, romantic music
- Enjoy a romantic dinner by candlelight, right in your own bedroom (with the door locked).
- If you have a little extra cash…get something delivered or pick something up.
- Or cook a simple, but nice meal (together). It’s not fair for the wife to have to do all the work on this night.
Dance the Night Away
- Dim the lights, play some music, and dance the night away.
- Do you have a hot tub, jacuzzi, or swimming pool?
- Spend some time together in the water.
- Massage feet, back, face, torso, and see where it leads.
- Playstation, Nintendo, Wii, whatever you like
- Board games
- Card games
Coffee Shop Night
- In our house, I like hot coffee, tea, or chocolate. My husband cannot stand coffee. He likes the smell, but cannot stand the taste!
- Plan a coffee shop night. Make each other’s favorite warm drink. Light some candles, play some music. Create a relaxing atmosphere. Snuggle up together, have conversation while you enjoy your mug of warm whatever.
- When the weather is nice go outside on your porch or deck and look at the stars together.
- Get a pizza delivered after the kids go to bed. It’s just like going out to eat alone, without the kids. This has to be top secret though, since pizza is many children’s favorite food. Perhaps, you could order enough to make sure the children could have leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Melt some chocolate and dip your favorite foods. Strawberries, cherries, bananas, pretzels, graham crackers, etc…
- Choose a book to read through…meet and discuss the book.
- Perhaps this could be a fiction, non-fiction, biography, marriage, or parenting book.
- Football, Basketball, Baseball…these are the top sports to watch in our house. Maybe this will be an easy one for you both, or maybe one of you dislikes sports very much. The point is to spend TIME together. Make an effort to participate in things that your spouse likes. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up a sports fan too!
- Put the kids to bed and go outside and sit on your porch and gaze at the stars together. Talk, cuddle, whatever….
Keep it Simple
Because of our society, we think unless we can do something huge, and spend a lot of money then we shouldn’t do anything at all. Do not allow time contraints or financial strains to prohibit you from enjoying intimate time alone with your spouse!
If you have children, get them to bed early so you can curl up in bed or on the couch together, and enjoy a conversation, game, or movie. Intentionally plan an evening together. Flirt with one another, like you did when you were dating. Take care of yourself, so you will have the energy you need to spend quality time with your spouse at the end of the day. Share household chores, and parenting duties. Invest in your marriage, now, so in the future when it is just the two of you alone again, you will not have to get to know each other all over again, or worse, continue to live distant lives. Because of your home date nights, you will already know each other’s likes and dislikes. Marriage is an awesome gift from God! The pleasure of marriage, does not, and should not cease while children dwell under your roof! Be an example to your children. Show your children how awesome it is to be married! I believe marriage is often looked at as drudgery, or the “old ball and chain.” Let’s be a different generation of parents. Let’s show our children just how wonderful and fun it is to be married to your best friend.
Valentine's Day is right around the corner. If you cannot get a babysitter, then I encourage you to put forth the effort and plan a special and romantic evening at home with your spouse!
Tyler (now age 7) enjoyed hanging out with Heath and I during our special 2nd wedding anniversary dinner at home! Heath and I have been enjoying At-Home Date Nights for several years now, and we highly recommend them!