When was the last time you went on a date?  For some of us, it’s easier to remember this than others.  If you’re in a long-term relationship or married, you might have to dig back into the brain archives to remember the last time you and your partner had a night out alone.

I have to admit that although I’ve been in a fair amount of relationships, I’ve never really been on that many dates.  When you’re with someone for a long time and living together, the concept of going out for a date becomes a foreign concept pretty quickly.  And forget about when you’re planning a wedding like Jared and I are.  Between my work schedule and all of the activities we have to check off the list, quality time is few and far between.  And when it comes to keeping a relationship healthy, that’s just not a good thing.

My sister and Owen started doing date night once a week, and I have to admit, after several weeks of me coming home crying over how busy we were and making myself crazy that I wasn’t paying enough attention to Jared, the idea became appealing to me.

The deal was this:  each week, no matter how busy we are, one of us will plan a date night.  We’ll alternate weeks so each person ends up planning 2 per month.  The best part is, there are no other rules.  Date night can be as simple as cooking  a new meal together or as lavish as going to see a show.

So far, we’ve each had the opportunity to plan 2 date nights.   Here’s what we’ve done so far:

Jared:  Dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant I’ve been wanting to try with a stop on the way home at a great bakery; honey kabobs on the grill eaten outside next to our fire pit, finished with s’mores

Me:  Picnic at a local park, complete with a Nalgene full of wine ;); Somerset Patriots minor league baseball game

Date night has helped us to stay grounded and remember that no matter what else is going on around us, it’s crucial to make time for each other, no matter how busy things get.  And keeping the spark alive and keeping each other happy is just as important to our health as all those crunches I do!