Below is a follow-up question I received in reference to the Date Night post I published a few months back. This writer raises a good point! Here’s the whole scoop, along with my response:
I really love this [Date Night] post! I’ve been reading your blog for a few days now and using your “praying from head to toe” printables daily. They’re really helping change my attitude towards my husband in a good way!
I do have a question about the planning it yourself aspect — my husband REALLY doesn’t want to go out and has told me so. So what if I take the initiative [to plan a nice date], and then he gets upset at me for “forcing the issue”? I could see it going either way.
I understand your concerns and agree: There is a big difference between planning a date for a husband who is willing but busy, and forcing the matter with a husband who has made it clear he prefers not to go out under any circumstances.
Some husbands are extremely introverted and do not enjoy being in a crowd. Others are stressed by financial burdens, and don’t see how they can find money for expensive dates on a regular basis. Still others are just tired after their long day at work and would rather relax at home.
If something like that is at work in your marriage, I suggest you discuss with your husband some acceptable alternatives.
- If he doesn’t like crowds, pick something isolated.
- If he’s concerned about spending money, pick something cheap.
- If he’d rather stay at home, find something you can do together there that will draw you closer together.
Dates do not have to mean candlelit dinners or blockbuster movies. Consider his interests. Would he like to go fishing, just the two of you? Does he like cars? Maybe you could go to a local showroom and take a test drive. Gardening? Pull weeds together and visit while you do. Monday night football? Learn the rules of the game, make a big bucket of popcorn, and sit on the couch beside him cheering on his favorite team. You get the idea. Adapt yourself to him, and learn to take enjoyment in the things that interest him.
Want more ideas for date night at home? Here are fifteen of our favorites:
- Cook a meal together.
Throw something on the grill for a casual picnic on your patio or go gourmet and serve it on fine china with fresh flowers and crystal stemware.
- Read a book together.
Take turns reading aloud from the same book or sit side-by-side reading different books and discussing the best parts.
- Take a walk together.
Amble around the block, through the gardens, or just to the mailbox and back. Hold hands and enjoy each other’s company.
- Play a game together.
- Watch a documentary together.
Pick a topic that interests you both and learn more about it. Or if documentaries aren’t your thing, try a foreign film with subtitles.
- Set some goals together.
Where would you like to find yourself in twelve months? Five years? Ten years? What should you do now to make those dreams a reality?
- Do a project together.
Whether it’s changing the oil in your car, cleaning out the garage, or taping off a room and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, find a task that needs to be done and tackle it as a team.
- Get some exercise together.
Try a new workout video or see how many jumping jacks and sit-ups you can do. You can hold his feet and count for him, then trade places and let him do the same for you.
- Reminisce over old times together.
Break out the photos albums, scrapbooks, or family movies and go through them page by page and frame by frame. Which memories are your favorites? Which do you hope to never go through again?
- Take a bath together.
A long soak in a tub of warm water (bubbles optional) is very relaxing and provides a great opportunity for talking about your day. If you don’t have a bathtub big enough for two, try taking a hot shower together.
- Gaze at the stars together.
Head outdoors once the sun goes down and admire the full moon or watch for shooting stars. Sit on the porch steps, break out the lawn chairs, or relax in a hammock and soak in the sights and sounds of the evening. If you have access to a good telescope, so much the better.
- Plan a vacation together.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Get out a map and chart a course. Google your destination and discuss what kind of activities you’d do once you got there. Planning a trip is half the fun of going, so enjoy this process, even if it’s unlikely you’ll actually take it anytime soon.
- Say your prayers together.
Did you know that couples who pray regularly together have less than a 1% incidence of divorce? If you and your spouse have not already made it a habit to pray together, start now — date night or no.
- Do something creative together.
Paint some pictures. Sculpt with clay. Compose a song. Take up whittling. Write something from the heart, then trade what you’ve written and edit each other’s work. Sign up for an online class and learn a new craft together.
- Get naked together.
Throw the lock on the bedroom door and do what married couples should do — enjoy that one-flesh union God so marvelously designed, every chance you get!
As you read through this list of suggestions, you will see that together is the optimal word in all of them. Our lives are full of mundane activities that can be magically transformed into memorable dates when we do them alongside the one we love. The trick is to keep your eyes open and look for opportunities to cultivate that sense of togetherness and belonging.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but is designed to get you thinking in the right direction. What activities would you add for spending time with a husband who doesn’t like to “go out”?