Date Night In Marriage


Vitaliy and I are starting to feel the effects a little one can have on a marriage relationship.

The lack of energy left at the end of the day to give to each other, or the beginning of the day. Or the middle of the day! You get the point, always tired. The constant concern when leaving your little one with a babysitter. The little time available to just be “us” again. Me and him. Candace and Vitaliy. I miss it. I miss him.

Though it’s to be expected, I’m not giving up. We just have to think differently, we just need to get creative. I think one of the biggest lies in marriage is “once we get through this difficult season, we’ll be able to focus more on our marriage.” It’s a lie because life is hard no matter the season. Some seasons are just harder than others. It’s true that we are not able to invest as much in the current season we’re in, but we can invest something. Believe me, I’m tempted to wait until Rose is older, not as needy, sleeps better, etc. But the more I neglect my marriage, the more I neglect Vitaliy, the worse off our relationship is going to be. And when we do decide to face things, to do the hard work, it’s going to be a lot more work then if we simply tend to things now, bit by bit, date by date.

Date night is not about the activity. Date night is about making the investment, making the connection, doing the hard work to cultivate a healthy and strong relationship. Use the activity as means of connection, but don’t get stuck there. Depending on the season you’re in, do what your relationship needs most. It might be a fun night out or it might be having a necessary discussion or it might be staying home in bed (if you know what I mean!).

The goal is to think differently about date night. Date night as boyfriend and girlfriend is about getting to know each other and developing your relationship. Date night in marriage is about cultivating and deepening your relationship. Whatever you do, don’t wait. Do something, no matter how small, this week.

This is the second in a three part series to get us to Think Different About Date Night. You can read the first part, Pre-Planning For Date Night.

Date Idea: Find The Best Burger

I’m sharing this idea a little prematurely because it’s that good and I want you to enjoy it right away. And I don’t just mean tasty good, although it is that too!

Vitaliy and I recently shared our Summer Bucket List. On there, we said we wanted to find the best burger in San Francisco. Well, we’ve actually been using our date nights as part of our search and they have been some of the best dates since having Rose. Don’t get me wrong, our other dates have been great and reflective and absolutely necessary. But these dates have turned out spontaneous, adventurous, and a ton of fun. And when you are being stretched and often feel exhausted, sometimes fun is exactly what you may need to get through a difficult week and stay connected.

We took a poll on Facebook asking our local friends for their “best burger” suggestions. We tallied those in, with a few we wanted to try, and just started pulling from the list when we had a burger craving and a babysitter on hand. During our first taste test, we drafted the categories we believe every burger should be tested for and now we scribble down our rankings as we munch. I’ll share all of these yummy details and more once we have officially selected The Best Burger in San Francisco. But until then, let me share 5 reasons this is the perfect date idea for couples.

  1. You discover something you have in common. For us – burgers! Surprisingly enough, for some couples finding something in common can prove challenging. This takes the hard part out of the equation each week.
  2. Life can be exhausting, especially as new parents so one less meal to think about and prep is a win-win in our book.
  3. Deciding on a restaurant together can leave some couples in a disagreement before the date has even started. Knowing that you’re both going to be ordering the same dish will keep you on the same page when deciding on a restaurant.
  4. Finding new topics to talk about, outside of our responsibilities, can sometimes be difficult. This gives us a new topic to chat about right away. We’re sharing our critiques, taking down notes, and getting to know each other more in the process.
  5. Speaking of conversation, if you’re going through a difficult time as a couple, you might be avoiding date night because every conversation ends in an argument. You are, as they say, in between a rock and a hard place. You desperately need time together but it always ends badly. This idea allows you to connect while avoiding those touchy topics you might need a break from. A little fun and mutual connection might help put you back on solid ground to re-engage the difficult subjects the following day.

The best part about this idea is that it’s interchangeable to fit your passions. We happen to have a love for burgers. But you can fill in the blank to suit you and your city, “Find The Best ____________ in ____________.” Find the best pizza in New York City. Find the best tacos in L.A. You get the point! After burgers, I’m requesting we find the best chocolate chips cookies in San Francisco. I’ll start taking suggestions now.

Hope this gives you a new spin on date night! Enjoy!

If you know someone who could use some new date ideas for their relationship or marriage, please share this post with them! And if you’d like future date ideas sent straight to your inbox, you can subscribe to our blog here.

Date ideas for couples

2015 Summer Bucket List

Since Summer is our busy season, we have to be even more intentional about making time for our marriage and family life.

In the past, we have definitely let the business side of life rule during this fun season. But we decided not to let that happen again this year! We drafted a Summer Bucket List that we can easily reference when we’re trying to make plans. In fact, this is how we spent date night last week. We didn’t plan ahead of time so we had no babysitter. Instead of canceling it all together, we designated one of Rose’s nap times to us. We cuddled on the couch and dreamed about our summer together, as a couple and as a family. Below is how we hope to invest the next few months. We may not get to all of them, but I’m confident that having this list will help us enjoy this season a lot more then we have in years past.

2015 Summer Bucket List

  1. Plant a vegetable garden made up of tomatoes, zucchinis, and cucumbers.
  2. Take a 3 day family trip to Southern California.
  3. Drive-in movie with friends.
  4. Date night at Foreign Cinema in SF.
  5. Spontaneous beach days when the weather is HOT.
  6. 4th of July by the pool.
  7. Find the best burger in the city.
  8. Backyard BBQs with friends and family.
  9. Smore’s on our deck under string lights.
  10. Explore different farmer’s markets.
  11. Track down the Frozen Kuhsterd truck.
  12. Have a strawberry shortcake night at home.
  13. Go berry picking and bake a pie.
  14. Camp at Yuba Gap with Vitaliy’s relatives.
  15. Take a boat ride on Stowe Lake.

We’ve already gotten started! Sunday afternoon we stumbled upon the Frozen Kuhsterd truck at the West Coast Craft show. It was so, so good!

Two things – what are your summer plans this year? And for the locals – where is your favorite burger in San Francisco?

Summer Bucket List Date Idea