Monday, February 21, 2011

Marriage Mondays ~ Rare nights made sweet

It's rare that our kids are both away from home, but this past weekend it happened. Our teens were at a retreat; I think the last time Jeff and I were at home alone was last February's retreat! I remember when I thought this day would never come. Maybe you're in a place where you can't imagine a free night without someone down the hall to wander in, ask for a drink, or get sick after midnight. Planning a night away as a couple is decadent, but a night at home alone together has a sweetness all its own. Jeff and I are both in the middle of planning the biggest event of the year in our separate ministry areas, so it was great timing for us to take a deep breath and enjoy each other. Are nights alone rare for you? Are your nights alone sweet? Maybe you're feeling like you could use a night alone.

Both Friday and Saturday night we went out for two totally different experiences, but really good time together. I thought it would be fun today to give a light list of things that make rare nights out sweet nights. If you read Come Have a Peace regularly, you know I want all that I write to point to God's truth. You might wonder where date nights fit with this ... but this is a great way to make sure Mark 10:9 happens: 

"Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Nights out together, without kids or family or even friends to separate, are a valuable way of staying close, enjoying each other, rekindling your bond, and stirring your romance. It's countering all of the responsibilities and relationships and requirements of life that may be good, but might get in the way of our intimacy. Sometimes even good things can separate. Need permission for a date night?  Date nights are Mark 10:9 in action!!!! :)

Based on our 2 nights out together this weekend, here are 15 things that made for a great time:

15 Tips to Make Rare Nights Sweet
  1. Think about your night out together during the day. Anticipation prepares you for time together and helps you "shift" when it's time. This can be hard for mommies ... even "mommies" of teens. :)
  2. Even if you aren't going somewhere fancy (we didn't), change into something different than you wore all day.  It signals you're getting "ready" for something special & helps you get into a new frame of mind.
  3. Don't be in a hurry. Take your time and let the unexpected create spontaneity. We had to wait for a table, but we wandered down the street and had fun in an eclectic shop.
  4. If you see people you know, say hi, but don't let them distract you from your real focus: each other. ;)
  5. It's nice if one of you picks a restaurant before hand, knowing what pleases your spouse. (night #1)
  6. It's also nice (night #2) to go through the coupons and decide together what you're hungry for. :)
  7. Sometimes it's nice to go somewhere trendy and let the excitement rub off on you!
  8. It's also nice to go somewhere fun, (The kids said, "You went THERE?") because we need to laugh together.
  9. We like to sit across from each other ... .Jeff's more likely to tell me he loves my eyes that way. :)
  10. Keep conversation from settling on the top 2 temptations ... kids & work. Instead, talk about fun you remember, new things you're learning, future things you dream about, and people around you. :)
  11. A date is not a time to be stingy ... sharing your food encourages intimacy. Some people don't like this one ... know your spouse!
  12. Always share dessert, because that encourages closeness too.
  13. Go somewhere you'll have the opportunity to walk around after dinner, and be sure to hold hands.
  14. If it's going to rain (shower, not pour) don't take an umbrella; pressing into a doorway or jogging down the street together is more fun and worth getting a little damp.
  15. Go where you can hear well enough to talk ... this wasn't great for us at dinner on Friday, but it gave us an excuse to go somewhere else for dessert.

Just to give a glimpse of how much fun we had, here's a picture of the Boston Cream Crepe we shared. We had the cafe to ourselves as they closed for the night. Local friends, you can share this crepe with your sweetheart at the French Market. :)

Nights out together and time at home alone together may be rare, but they sure are sweet and worth some planning to make them happen. I could hope the sweetness of our weekend will last 'til next February, but honestly, it just makes me want to get another one on the calendar. Would anyone like to host 2 well mannered teens who do dishes for a weekend in March? ;)

I hope you're making time to spend time with the one you love. What tip can you share that makes your rare nights together sweet ones?
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3 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Lisa Grace said...

We do a date night once a week at home. And if we miss that, we sneak it in during the kids' nap. Yesterday, we played parcheesi. I've learned that simple is better than nothing at all, and often more fun than elaborate. Normally, we'll take a Friday night and rent a movie or a pull out a game, have a nice dinner, and stay home together on a date after kid's go to bed. It's all about (for me) just being with the love of my life!

Julie_Sanders said...

Sounds perfect. :) So wise to take advantage of the "windows of opportunity." Being flexible is key, and I know you guys are great at that. And what is it about coffee drinking that encourages us to slow down and stay long? :) Makes for a good date ...

Julie Sanders

Wendysnt said...

It shouldn't matter how long you've been in a relationship or marriage. Going out on special dates with the hubby should be on every woman to do list. It's really hard to spend one on one time with the hubby on weekends with a full house so I scheduled Wednesday to be our special time together when everyone is at school and work. Just like Jess said below, sipping our morning coffee together and hearing our canaries sing is super romantic to us. Thanks for the post and super happy that you had an enjoyable date.