I am not sure how we ended having date night on Mondays. I think it all started when we moved down to SoCal and we realized that we spent the first year of our marriage not actually having a date night. Basically every day was date night. As time went by, we started getting busier and busier. We thought we could have date night on the weekend but we realized that we are often more busy on the weekends.
My weekends can be a little crazy sometimes. Saturdays usually involve an exaggerated breakfast/brunch- homemade of course. Then I catch up all on my “chores”- meaning all the clothes that I have piled up in the corner has to go! Oh, this also means cleaning the fridge, which usually is crowded with leftovers and whatnot. Saturdays are never a day off, it usually involves us singing at an event, recording, a church function, or traveling. This also means I’m in bed really early because we are usually up and going by 7:00 AM on Sundays. If you don’t already know, my husband and I are have a music ministry. So this takes up most of our time.
Why am I telling you this? Well it’s because we found ourselves “being” together but not actually “spending time" together. From doing music, working, churching, and hanging, we found that we were not actually going on any dates. Obviously for everyone else date night will look different. So after a brief chat, we decided that we wanted to do Mondays. This decision came from being in Paris and realizing that we needed to enjoy our week more instead of living for the weekend.
So here’s how we decide what to do on “Date Nights”. Every week we switch off. If it’s my turn to plan, I have to make sure that we do something that HE would like to do. This takes the attention off of what I want, into -what would make him feel loved and happy. So when I plan, it usually involves- the movies, LA Nights (which I enjoy too), long strolls, and junk food (yes this one's not easy for me, as you know, I have a very weak stomach, but for him, i’ll do it- just a bite). If it’s his turn it’ll usually involve: dressing up, relaxing evening, a nice dinner, NOT cooking/ cleaning, and something girly like paint night or a cafe.
For the most part this the whole night is a surprise. We just need tell each other at the beginning of the day what to wear (comfy or cute) and what time ( we have day jobs so we need to know before). By 5, we send the location of where to meet and we enjoy the evening together. Sounds nice right? Okay let me stop there because we all know that there are two different kinds of date nights: "Nachos and Dollar Theater" night and then 5 Course Meal etc- kind of date night. There are times when we have a little teeny tiny budget and there are times when we go all out. For the most part, we are usually on the teeny tiny side. For these nights we keep it simple or even use Groupon!
For example for one night while were working on a bigger project and all our budget was going towards that, it happened to be my turn to plan and I remember feeling so heartbroken because I wanted to do something very special for him. So I got creative. I remembered he had been asking for Chinese food for like about a week. So where did I go? PANDA! I grabbed some lo mein and orange chicken, and got home before him. I set up the table with a deck of cards (the week before he told me he had never learned card games as a kid, so I wanted to learn a game together), and then I set up his Ipad. The Ipad was because there’s this vlogger he really enjoys and he’s constantly talking about how he loves his filming. We watched one vlog together and then I ended the night with a final surprise- when he turned on the tv his favorite movie was ready to be watched… "The Last Samurai". You guys, this is a huge sacrifice for me because for one, I am not a movie person and two, I had watched this movie before and I was SO bored but I knew it would mean the world to him. Honestly, it was one of the date nights I will never forget and we never even left the house! All together I spent under $8 for a fun and meaningful date night with my best friend.
Sometimes you just have to move things around, sometimes you may not have a budget but at least you have your partner there to enjoy. Get creative! I’ve also learned to listen, to listen to his requests and take the time to make his day. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing that twinkle in his eye and seeing him happy and knowing he feels loved. With all that said, whether it's "wear bae's jacket" kinda night or if it's "little black dress" night, make it special and make it count. In the end the person you are with is more important than what you are actually doing!
Here are some fun Groupon ideas that we've tried that are fun AND affordable!
All under $30!
1. Movie for TWO for the price of ONE
2. Paint Night
3. Whale Watching in Newport