Posted by

Michelle Fern Michelle Fern
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
edge staff writer


Date night on a budget

Rate this item
(0 votes)

My husband and I have been together for 25 years. We spent a lot of time together in the beginning, but as we progressed in our careers and the kids came along we found it increasingly difficult to find time for each other.

We worked. We ate. We went to bed.

I'm not sure how we even found the time to fit the kids in over the years. There was also a period during our marriage when he traveled quite a bit and we barely saw or talked to each other. And as the kids grew older, our schedules were pressured even more due to activities, sports and the many other things kids do.

To combat what many consider the ho-hums of a lengthy marriage weighed down by the stresses of life, we decided we would carve out at least one night a month for us in essence a date night. It was amazing how simply sitting together for dinner sans kids was able to bring us closer.

Great conversation and dedicated time together or lack of can make or break a relationship. If you have a healthy one, you need regular date nights to spend time alone. It's a time to refresh as a couple, reevaluate what's working for your family, and a time to discuss big ideas together.

Our date nights come in a couple of different varieties. One such night includes a couple of good movies, some drinks and the comfy sofa. Another will be a night out on the town. Regardless of how you structure it, it's the time you set aside to remember the romance of what brought you together.

If you decide to go out it can be a bit costly. It's hard to remember the good old days when a dinner and movie was actually an inexpensive evening. A babysitter for the kids adds to that expense. However, you can ease the financial burden of your dates by having dinner at home and then catch a movie afterwards, or swapping sitting services with a neighbor, family member or friend. If you're going out with another couple, you could also share the sitter and split the cost.

Here are some frugal ideas to have wonderful date nights:

  • Get to know your own town or city. There is so much to do in your own region that you can be a tourist. Hit the trails or do the city life. In the summer, look for outdoor markets, movies and fairs.
  • Act like a kid again. Many of us were on smaller budgets as teenagers, so check out activities like bowling, roller skating, hiking or just going out for pizza.
  • Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine, and spread that blanket out on a warm sunny day or even later to gaze at the stars on a clear night.
  • Check out the local drama theaters you'd be amazed at the talent in the greater Bangor area.
  • Instead of an expensive dinner at a fine restaurant, try heading out for happy hour for discounted drinks and appetizers and many times a fun atmosphere.
  • Build a campfire in the back yard (if possible), make s'mores and cuddle up. If you feel adventurous, pop up a tent and camp out.

However you spend your date night, leave the baggage at home. We try to make the evening special by keeping the conversation fun and not talking about problems. You're bound to have an enjoyable time and feel closer to each other.

For those with kids, this also sets you up for the eventuality of the empty nest if you've focused completely on them over the years to the exclusion of your own relationship, you'll have a difficult time reconnecting once they're grown and out of the house. Date nights now ensure that you stay happily married both now and later.


The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine