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You Know It's Time For a Romantic Night Out When...
Fanning the Flame of Romance
Every married couple gets there. Dating used to be frequent and fun, but now it's uncommon and uneventful. Things are busy, kids get in the way, the "to do" list keeps growing... you're in desperate need of a romantic night out. There is no shame in admitting it! Both people in the relationship must recognize when this time arrives and be prepared to re-kindle the romance. Take a look at the following red flags that may indicate it is time to get a babysitter and go enjoy a nice evening alone.
When is the Last Time You Had a Romantic Night Out?
You Know It's Time for a Romantic Night Out When...
1) You spend more time watching TV than you do talking to each other. Even if you're in the same room watching the same show, this activity does not count as quality time. Make an effort to engage each other in some real conversation, even if it's about the weather! A night out may be just what you need to open the lines of communication back up.
2) You can't remember when you last went to bed at the same time. Something as simple as lying in the same bed together (when you're both awake) is a form of intimacy. If you feel distant in bed, you're probably also distant in other ways and need to reconnect.
3) You've stopped buying each other gifts on Valentine's Day. Absence of gestures reflect absence of thoughts. If you can't even muster enough courtesy to buy each other Valentine's Day cards, you are in desperate need of a romance revolution.
4) Your idea of a romantic night out is grabbing some appetizers at Applebee's. Pigs were not made to fly, birds were not made to swim, and Applebee's was not made for romance. Class it up a little bit and put your money where your heart is.
5) Your conversation is 90% about kids and 10% about what's for dinner. When's the last time you paid your spouse a compliment? Or really listened to their answer when you asked them how their day was? Active listening and uplifting, positive discussion is romantic.
6) You can't remember where that nice outfit is. Mix it up a little. It's time for some wardrobe spontaneity. Variety is the spice of life, and this relationship needs some chili pepper pronto. Have some fun dressing up for a romantic night out.
7) Your Friday night consists of scraping Macaroni off the floor and going on wild goose chases for lost sippy cups. Kids are great, but everyone has their limit. Don't let your relationship with your spouse suffer when it doesn't have to. Make the investment in your marriage and your health to get grandma or a babysitter to take over for the night.
What to Do?
So you've recognized that a problem exists, but what do you do to fix it? Date night does not have to be expensive. First, if you have kids, consider reaching out to a friend or family member who would be willing to babysit at a free or reduced price. Then, find a place that is classy, but not so much that either of you would feel uncomfortable. You may even want to throw in a small gift to make the event extra special. And lastly, no romantic date is complete without a healthy dose of courteous gestures and unsolicited compliments.
But maybe a romantic night out isn't your style. Maybe you'd prefer to do something simpler (and cheaper), like play a card or board game together. The answer to the question of "how to rekindle the fire" is to simply spend time doing something together that you both enjoy. Whatever it is, make sure it involves talking and listening to each other. The more open the lines of communication are between the two of you, the more intimate the relationship will be. A fine dining experience is not always the answer. Sometimes just taking the time to be quiet and alone together is all that the doctor ordered.