Importance of Date Nights

couple-dating.JPG Last night, Aaron & I went out on a much needed date night and left a little fussy girl behind (I think she has some more lovely teeth coming in!). I am thankful to have my family close by to leave her with. The advantage of family is they absolutely love taking the grand baby for an evening! I needed it after a taxing day of fussiness with the baby, piano lessons that didn’t go so well, suffering under the disappointment of breaking one of my nice mixing bowls, and preparing dinner in advance that didn’t taste so good (guess what? We’re eating it tonight all the same!).

We have been working through some communication struggles, and significant business changes for Aaron, so there was much to talk about. Even with Aaron working from home, I am amazed how much we need this time away from it all to build our marriage.

Make it a priority!

My point with all this is to say…make a regular habit of date nights! Schedule them in! It is so easy to get caught up in life and forget about investing in the most important relationship in your life (second only to your relationship with the Lord). It doesn’t have to be expensive, but at the same time, I believe it is important to splurge every once in awhile, as we did last night (of course, I must add that you should defer to your own husband’s decisions in this matter). We went to a nice restaurant, enjoyed some excellent food and followed it up by sitting beside the fireplace in the lobby and listen to the performer play some lovely jazz on the piano. It was wonderful and just what I needed! My husband does spoil me so.

The problem is…my frugal side always purks up on such occasions. “We must split a meal, no wine, no appetizers, no desserts! It can’t cost too much!” But this time, I just sat back and enjoyed my husband, and you know what? He thanked me afterwards. He told me he greatly appreciated the fact that I didn’t make a big deal that he got a glass of wine, or that he ordered an appetizer. I was quite shocked and realized how overly concerned I have been over how much we spend on our night out and overlook the fact that we are investing in our marriage; therefore, it is a good cause to put our money towards!

We are going to strive to be more consistent this year. Twice a month is our plan! Schedule it in…it gives you something to look forward to!

Frugal Date Night Ideas

We have taken advantage of most of these ideas in the past with good success! - you can get great gift certificates for cheap using this site! If you sign up for their newsletter, you can get regular savings of up to 50-70% more off the gift certificates. Always use a different email address, as they send a lot of promo emails. I normally pay no more than $3 or less for a $25 gift certificate, which is very reasonable in my book.

Happy Hour - I have heard you can get great savings on good food by going out during happy hour (somewhere between 4-6 pm, I believe). We have not done it yet, but my sister-in-law always raves about their success by using this tip! Check out this site and search your area for restaurants that offer happy hour specials.

Take a Walk – This is one of my favorite activities to do with my hubby! Especially on the waterfront where he proposed to me. Always brings back such wonderful memories and is so romantic! Unfortunately, this activity is limited to the summer time around here unless we want to freeze our tails off.

Hiking & Picnic – Another fun idea that we have done is go for a hike and take a picnic lunch with us! I love doing this as well, especially along the beautiful Columbia gorge, where we live.

Candlelight Dinner – I love having fun every once in a while and serve dinner by candlelight. I will pull out the nice champagne glasses and serve sparkling cider, or some refreshing homemade juice. It’s so fun!

Trade Date Nights with another couple – If you don’t have family close by, try trading date nights with another couple. Take turns watching each other’s children.

Any other frugal date night ideas? How have you made date nights a priority?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

12 Responses to Importance of Date Nights

  1. Lisa Kiwi Girl December 5, 2009 at 8:42 pm #

    Wanted to say thanks for the words of encouragement. Love your site.

    We are on the other side of the world so I can’t help with local discount info. But wanted to agree with others that see date night as an investment in your marriage. When my first daughter was born I was determined not to let my husband feel relagrated to 2nd position, and to keep the romance alive. So we found a babysitter, expressed milk and weekly we went out for dinner.

    Six years on I know we both NEED this investment. Working from home and homeschooling, you’d think we see enough of each other to communicate during the day – not so! My husband deserves more they snatched moments of incoherent thinking. Expensive – yes! worth it – oh yes!

  2. Marci October 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    Thanks for the idea, I got a coupon code from for 70% off. We paid 7.20 for 3 different coupons for $60 in gift cards. Now we have 3 date nights planned! Thanks for the tip!

  3. Jasmine31 January 22, 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    You are a brat! lol I read your post last week and even cruised by the rest. link you posted. None in my area. When my dh got home we were supposed to go to Costco and S&F but I took him out somewhere we have been trying to go for a while but every time we go it is closed.

    It is Woody’s Cockey Bull and is a western type place with a grand ole opry and all the trimmings, bear rugs on the wall, pool tables and a bar they can’t use cause they don’t have their liquor license yet. (Which is fine cause we don’t drink.)

    They just reopened for buisness and I thought their prices were WAY too high for this establishment. I shut my mouth though cause he really wanted to go. He wanted an appetizer too so we ordered one. It would of been $6.99 for 1 appetizer or $10.00 for a 3 plate appetizer so I figured lets get 3. Well wouldn’t you know they brought us out 3 DIFFERENT plates of food. haha

    One HUGE plate of chili cheese fries, 1 huge plate of fried chicken tenders, 1 HUGE plate of onion rings.

    I had wanted steak but thought it was crazy paying $18.99 for a simple steak. Their porterhouse was $29.99! I even remember telling him that was crazy. They must of over heard me cause the waitress ran over a few minutes later and told me “porterhouse” was on special. $19.99. So I went ahead and ordered it.

    Anyhow all in all it was a great evening and we even played 3 games of pool afterward. The bill came to $41.00 after I found out he gets a 20% discount for being a public servant.

  4. donna (mom24boyz) January 20, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    I just got a great suggestion from a friend that they buy expensive food. Food they would not normally splurge on–such as shrimp/great steaks, etc. Then they make the kids a quick cheap meal–frozen pizza or something, they put the kids to bed and let them watch a movie–this being a treat for the kids, they stay put. That is the rule, the kids have to stay in their rooms for the evening and go straight to bed after the movie. In the mean time–mom and dad now spend time together in the kitchen cooking up their special meal and have a late candle lite dinner.

    Kids are happy, they got pizza, movie, no babysitter hired.

    Mom and Dad get some alone time, inexpensive yet delicious meal and some romance–no need to wait for the table, worry too much about what your wearing (still should dress up though!! it is a date) and you don’t need to worry about the kiddos, the weather, or the cost.

    This is a great tip for those who find finding sitters difficult and making your night out even more expensive.

    This week steaks are on sale in my area, so I picked them up along with some shrimp/cocktail sauce and a bottle of wine–I see stay at home date night coming soon!

  5. Melissa January 17, 2008 at 6:37 pm #

    We always talk about date nights, but then we let the busyness of life get the best of us. What you said about investing in your marriage really inspired me to make date nights a priority though.

    Take care!

  6. Steph Garvey January 17, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    I tend to do the same thing, Lindsay, I just try to think of it as, I am as frugal as possible SO THAT I can relax and enjoy times like these with my husband. Thanks for encouraging us all in this area. Michael and I are trying with new vigor this year to be consistent in our dating!

  7. Mrs. Brigham January 17, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    Date nights are fun. Making them more of a priority is one of our goals this year, especially as my parents are not just offering to watch Peapod for our sake, but also to enjoy their granddaughter of course. :o ) Twice a month is our goal, too.

    We are unable to eat out as I have celiac disease and food allergies, so restaurant meals are not an option for us. *grumble*ImissItalianFood*grumble* :P When the weather is nice Sean and I will sometimes go to Whole Foods and pick up some different cheeses and other little treats for a picnic. We also like to take hikes and visit local museums. Several of the museums in our area have free and discounted days, so this is a nice way to save money. A local park also does concerts in the park during the summer and this makes for a fun free date night.

    I do not know how frugal this might be in some areas, but we have a little paint your own pottery place near us where you can choose from an assortment of items to paint. Sean and I are slowly but surely working on a little collection of fun serving platters/bowls. :o )

    Stargazing is also a blast. Pick up a little book or constellation map and get out there and see what you can do. Everyone should do this at least once! It is really neat to look up and really focus on the night sky.

    I better stop blogging on your blog, Lindsay! Sorry about that! ;o)

  8. lizzykristine January 17, 2008 at 1:47 pm #

    My personal favorite date is to eat dinner at home and go out for dessert! It is cheaper than eating out a whole meal, and better than me baking dessert at home (because then we end up eating way too much of it :) Last week we had a salad supper, then went to Chili’s for their chocolate molten cake. Mmmmm.

    Another of our favorite together things is to go to a bookstore, pick out books to read, then sit beside each other on their couches and read for a while. Afterwards we chat about what we learned, and it opens up topics we otherwise would probably never think or talk about. :)

  9. Mrs. M January 17, 2008 at 1:21 pm #

    I can do the same thing when we go out to dinner. A friend of mine, with love, told me if my husband works for that money and wants to spend it on dinner then I need to zip my lips. It is an investment!
    This morning my hubby announced we (the family) were going out for breakfast and to my great suprise I said okay…. instead of some remark about how we have perfectly good food in the pantry.
    Enjoyed my visit here :o )

  10. Tia January 17, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    We have a date nite once a week. Even w/4 girls, this is 2nd priority.

    We go walking in the mall in the winter. We’ll have dinner at the food court, then get ice cream. Of course this is the most expensive thing to do. We always end up shopping!

  11. Ann at mommysecrets January 17, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    My SIL also raves about happy hour deals, but how do you find out about them?

    • Lindsay January 17, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

      I posted a link to where you can find happy hour specials in your area. Unfortunately, most of them seem to be brew pubs…but then again, I have heard that Applebee’s has a happy hour too. Portland City Grill is the nice restaurant in our city that offers this as well, so there are other options.