Creative Date Ideas for Busy Parents: A Year of Dating Your Spouse

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.)

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. Before this, we dated each other but when life got busy our good intentions were forgotten.

Well, it was God’s grace that he gave me this Year of Dates gift because 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.

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.

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 ask, “How you’re doing in your marriage?” but instead “Where are you at in your pursuing each other? Because often we gauge how our marriages are 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! It doesn’t matter if you aren’t starting this at the beginning of the year. Let your year start from whenever you pick this up. 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 and being creative 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, birthday, or just because.

A Year of Dating Your Spouse

One thing I always hear from wives when I share this gift 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. You can purchase the 12 Months of Dates Kit to give as a gift to your spouse in my shop.

Supplies:

  • 12 envelopes
  • Calendar, scissors and pen
  • 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.
  1. There’s a brainstorming sheet for you to come up with all of your ideas and see them in one place. Grabe your “Date ideas” sheet from the kit to get your mind thinking. Fill it out and then schedule it on your calendar.
    We recently tried being very generic with our dates but that totally flopped. We didn’t pick a day ahead of time so it never got set aside for our date. The more specific you are, the more likely it will happen.
  2. Then grab your card in the kit that corresponds with the month you’re starting.
  3. Then write the date idea you have planned on it. Be somewhat specific but don’t get caught up in the details of it all.
    For example, “Enjoy a picnic in the park with our from our favorite restaurant.”
  4. Do it! Don’t make excuses even if your original plan falls through. Keep the date you set aside and still go out together. Make sure you use the conversation starter questions or the marriage check-in sheet to help you get beyond the same ol’ questions–How’s work? How are the kids?…

Notes:
Use a hole puncher and 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.

What’s in the “Year of Dates” Kit

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.

It comes with 12 months of labels, 12 date cards, 35+ date ideas, a planning sheet, conversation starters, 10 ways to pray for your spouse with scripture and Marriage check-in. 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.

Your Turn!

What is your favorite date idea? Share it with us in the comments below.

Here’s the schedule: (Make sure to come back and check out the updated post.)

January 30Inspired 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 31stBeauty Through Imperfection – Game Night Date Night with some fun game ideas
The Gingerbread House  – 6 Creative Date Night Ideas For Busy Families
February 1stThe 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 3rdSimple Acres Blog – 30 Frugal & Fun Date Ideas
Clarissa West  – Make Every Night a Date Night
Feb 4th
Creative World of Varya – Ideas for Dates When You Have Young Kids
The Educators Spin On It

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