John and I have been without children in the home for about 6 years now. I have advocated having date nights for all ages. One thing that makes me sad is, several years ago I started a program here in our home town called “Dating My Spouse”. People would buy a card and on a designated week they would go out as a couple and have a date with a significant discount. Honestly, I had done this for the couples in the range of 1-15 years of marriage, since that is the time when there is the greatest potential for families to fall apart. I found that couples that were empty nesters were taking advantage of it more than my hopeful target audience.
I have noticed in my own life that I am not as intentional now about going out on dates. I feel like we’re too busy and we don’t have time for that. But I miss it! During those dates we would talk. I would put my phone away and give him attention. Now, we have not made as much effort. We do a lot of things together, but they are with other people and when we do go out together we talk about business, house or other plans.
There’s nothing wrong with talking about business, plans or the house, except, we don’t give each other personal attention. We tend not to value each other quite as much. I love our time together. My poor husband has said many times, I have to take her out of town to get her attention. Duh! Eye opener.
So, we now try to have time together. I will say to him, “we need a date”. It’s just as much fun to go out on a “Date” now as when we first dated. I value him more. It may be just a simple time together such as going to get yogurt or a simple meal that might be some place we don’t just run into and out again.
We put our cell phones away and actually look at each when we talk. We dream about our next place to travel or what we would like to be doing in ten years. It’s important to dream again. We talk about events, but we also talk about how we feel about things. And one of my favorite things is how he will initiate praying together.
Date Nights are IMPORTANT at every state of marriage. We all want to feel like we are the most important person in our spouse’s life. Time together without interruptions helps to keep these feelings alive. So, even if you have been married for 50 years, look at your spouse and say, “I think we need a date!” You will be surpised how different it is than going out to get some supper. So Go OUT on a DATE!