I’ve been dying to share my personal creative date night idea with you for over a year now. Keep reading to find out how to make your own Year of Dating Your Spouse gift.
“We had to decide what we wanted at the end of life: two people who had grown old together as partners or two people who had grown old alone.
Of course, all marriages start with the intention of growing old together, but that means more than simply sharing the same street address.
Keeping each other a priority in the whirlwind of careers, activities, and responsibilities will not happen by default. It’s time to start growing old . . . together.” ~ via D. Rainey Family Life
Make this year, the year you will woo each other!
Decide today that you will set aside 12 date days out of your 365 days in the year to spend intentional time with your spouse. (You can implement this any month of the year it doesn’t have to start in January.)
This “Year of Dating Your Spouse” idea was started in our marriage about 3 years ago. Before then we dated each other but when life got busy our great intentions were forgotten. Dating each other has been one of the many things that helped us thrive in our marriage in the midst of chaotic, hard, and busy seasons of life.
There were days when the last thing we had the energy to do was plan a date. But because we had pre-planned these dates we made ourselves go out and remember how to laugh, play and talk with one another.
Every. Single. Time. we walked away thankful we made ourselves hit pause and enjoy each other’s company.
We’d end up laughing, sharing our fears, dreams, just playing, and sometimes I have to admit there were tears as we stopped to process the hardships TOGETHER.
Hands Down the Best Gift Ever!
My husband decided he was going to be more intentional with our dates one Christmas and he put this kit together after I gave him several hints that this would be the best give ever. Well, it was God’s grace that this was the year we were going to be intentional about our dates because it was a very hard year for us in our marriage and just life.
We didn’t know it then but it was absolutely what we needed for that VERY long year in the midst of stress, busyness, and chaos. I remember one date we were mad at each other and the last thing we wanted to do was go on a date. But we had committed to doing this and it was already planned so we went on that date and we had a great time. We needed that reminder in the midst of the hard.
These dates have kept us intentional even when we were up to our ears with piles and piles of stuff on our “To-Do List”.
In the picture below, my husband is reading the card he wrote me to go with that month’s date. It meant so much to me to hear him say those words of affirmation, admiration, and love that he had written months ago when he made these 12 months of dates for me.
In the midst of stressful and busy times, we often forgot to say these kinds of things to each other but it’s in this time when we most need to hear it and be reminded that we love, value and see each other.
The only way we can discover the beauty and strength to be found in the hard and stressful seasons of life is to be deliberate about connecting with one another, praying for each other, and then getting your boxing gloves on and fighting not with your spouse but for your marriage.
Where are you at?
We can all relate to stress, busyness, and chaos in our daily life. With deadlines to meet, laundry to wash, children to love and care for, bills to pay we can forget about the one who used to give us butterflies in our stomach every time they walked in the room.
I confess there have been times that I don’t even notice when he walks into the room. Heck sometimes the only time we are in the same room is when we are sleeping.
Between 1-10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high) where are you at in your intentionality with pursuing each other?
Notice I didn’t say how you’re doing in your marriage? Because often we gauge how our marriages is doing based on whether we are getting along or not. But guess what? When you’re only crossing paths in the bathroom and not seeing each other it is easier to get along.
Let’s get intentional and start pursuing each other today!
Creative Date Nights–How to do it!
Get your calendar out and plan it now! You don’t have to have every detail in place but go ahead and start writing a date for this month and let your creative juices go as you write out your date for the month of March, September or November.
If you struggle with coming up with ideas I have put together everything you need in this– 12 Months of Dates Kit HERE.
I know we all want to keep the spark going in our marriages so let’s start now. Let’s pursue our spouse! Don’t wait for him to do the planning (I know it’s lovely to be wooed but sometimes it just doesn’t happen) so why don’t you get it started and set it up yourself.
Make this “Year of Dating Your Spouse” a gift or email it to your husband and ask him to give it to you for Valentine’s Day.
I love this gift so much I now ask my husband to give me this as a gift.
A Year of Dating Your Spouse
You can make this at home without purchasing anything! But I do have a 12 Months of dates Kit in my shop if you prefer.
- 12 Index cards or blank greeting cards
- 12 envelopes
- Date Ideas printable (free link below)
- Calendar, scissors and pen
- Optional —12 Months of Dates Kit with PDF date planning sheet, 12 Months labels, date cards, 35+ date ideas, conversation starters, 10 Ways to Pray for Your Spouse and much more.
On each index card write the month at the top, so you end up with 12 cards.
Then write the date idea you have planned. Be somewhat specific but don’t get caught up in the details of it all. For example, if you know in July there’s an outdoor concert in your community but don’t have all the details you can write on the card–Concert in the park. Then figure to the details as July approaches.
Then stick it in the envelope and label the envelope with the month. Stick it in a large white envelope to keep it together, in a tin that large enough. Or you can punch holes at the edge of your envelopes and run a ribbon through it to keep it together. You’ll have to buy envelopes that are larger than your note cards.
Notes: If you choose to buy 12 greeting cards make sure to personalize the card by writing a short note and signing it. The first time my husband did this he bought 12 love-themed greeting cards and there was always a little sentence with his own sentiments. I loved reading his personal sentiments. This last year, he used index cards and fancy paper as shown above. Use ribbon to keep the dates together or place them in a box labeled 12 months of dates.
You’re done! See it was easy and now you’re set with 12 pre-planned dates.
Let’s remember that our kids are watching the example we set for them of what a healthy marriage should look like. Give them a peek into what it looks like to deliberately make time to play and love each other.
One thing I always hear from wives when I share this is, “My husband is not creative and this takes too much creativity.” or “I don’t know where to begin.”
Well, I just made it easier for you! No creativity is required just envelopes and a desire to date your spouse.
A Year of Dates Kit
You can purchase the 12 Months of Dates Kit to give as a gift to your spouse in my shop. It comes with 12 months of labels, 12 date cards, 35+ date ideas, a planning sheet, and conversation starters. I’ve thought of all the things we learned while doing this and put it together for you in this kit.
I encourage you to not wait around for your husband to plan all the dates. This year choose to invest in your marriage and you give him these 12 Months of dates.
I have put together a 12 Months of Dates Kit for those of you who love the idea but don’t know where to start. It’s the perfect gift to give to your spouse or to your married kids. You can find the kit in my shop HERE.
What is your favorite date idea? Share it with us in the comments below.
Update: We recently tried being very generic with our dates but that totally flopped. We realized that for us, the more specific we are, the more likely it will happen. Decide when you’re going to have your date day. So maybe it’s on the last Sunday of the month but be flexible in case things change. It works best when you have at least pre-planned the month and generic activity. So you can write: “Month April- Hey Love, Spring is in the air. Let’s go on a picnic!
Here’s the schedule: (Make sure to come back and check out the updated post.)
January 30— Inspired by Family shares A Year of Dating Your Spouse 12 Months 12 Dates
Paradise Praises shares her 5 Intimate Dates Even with a Houseful of Kids
Jan 31st— Beauty Through Imperfection – Game Night Date Night with some fun game ideas
The Gingerbread House – 6 Creative Date Night Ideas For Busy Families
February 1st—The Classy Chapter shares Date Night Ideas for Married Couples
Confidence Meets Parenting – Romantic Mini Date ideas
Feb 2nd–Pichea Place – How to Have a Monthly Date
Thinking Kids Blog – 100+ Screen Free Activities
Feb 3rd— Simple Acres Blog – 30 Frugal & Fun Date Ideas
Clarissa West – Make Every Night a Date Night
Creative World of Varya – Ideas for Dates When You Have Young Kids
The Educators Spin On It