About 13 years ago, everyone around me was falling in love and getting married. Several years later, everyone around me started having babies. Such good, good times of bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, new babies, and 1st birthdays. Sadly, in the last several years, I’ve seen many, many broken hearts, broken homes, separations, and divorces. It’s really a terrible stage in life to see so many marriages and homes torn apart. My heart is heavy and sad.
There are many, many reasons for marriages that have taken a turn for the worse. I am in no position to judge anyone, point the finger, or look “down” on anyone or any couple. Nobody is perfect, even those many years ago when everything seemed perfect for those around me.
Tips to a Strong Marriage
Last Valentine’s Day, my husband and I went on a marriage retreat where we were reminded about love, how it changes, and how to stay focused on each other. There were 3 key tips to a strong marriage that I took from that retreat that my husband and I are trying to incorporate into our love lives.
- Talk one-on-one with your spouse at least 10 minutes every day
- Have a date night once per week with your spouse
- Have an overnight trip with your spouse once every 3 months
I want to encourage you to implement these tips into your marriage too. I know times are tough and having a date night can add more stress to marriages when it comes to reaching for the wallet. Date nights don’t have to be such a challenge or expense when you do a little savvy planning. If you are local to the Akron area, check out my Date Night Ideas in Akron post.
Date Night Tips for Parents
Andrea Woroch is an expert on teaching consumers how to “live on less without radically changing their lifestyles.” She has compiled a Date Night Tips for Parents that are easy on the fun and heavy on the romance and fun.
- Babysitting Costs
Babysitters can be very expensive, hiking up the cost of your date night. One way to save babysitting costs for date night is to swap services. Baby sitting swaps are popular with neighbors, family, churches, friends, etc.
- At-Home Date
Try to get your kids to bed early and create a romantic date-like experience at home. Enjoy a candle lit dinner & dancing for two under the stars in your backyard. How romantic is that!
- Banish Booze
Even if you get a deal on your dinner with a coupon, adding drinks to the meal will quickly skyrocket the bill. Plan to drink and dine at a restaurant or bar that offers happy hour prices or bring home a nice bottle of wine to enjoy at home.
Date night doesn’t always have to be expensive and commercial. Use a little creativity for a truly romantic experience. Plan picnic and pack bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers, and portable speakers with your date’s favorite music uploaded to your iPod.
- Online Discounts
Get up to 50% off with a little planning using online deal sites like Groupon and Living Social. You can find deals on restaurants, wine tastings, boat tours, museums, comedy clubs, and so much more. Buy a gift card at a discount from sites such as GiftCardGranny.com or at Giant Eagle to earn fuel points for the gift cards you use. They will save you anywhere from 5 to 50 percent on restaurants and other entertainment activities.
- Find Freebie Dates
Consider events and activities in your area that are free like hiking, biking or browsing a local flea market. Many libraries and coffee shops offer free poetry readings and musical entertainment. Look for art gallery tours or free museum days to improve your cultural IQ while impressing your date.
- Seek Smart Advice from Your Phone
Use your mobile phone to find local deals and date ideas. The Date Night iPhone app for example will help you find unique, interesting and affordable events that are sure to impress. The app randomly selects a “thing to do” for your next evening on the town, some of which won’t bust your budget.
- Makeshift Movie Night
Movie night at home can be just as fun as the theatre at a fraction of the price. Recreate the theater expeirnce with fresh popcorn, you and your date’s favorite candy, dimmed lights, and no cell phones. Grab a movie for free from the library or $1 at Redbox.
The trick to a successful date is having fun and not stressing out. With a little creativity, it doesn’t matter how much you spend or what you do, you and your spouse will enjoy spending time together.
Andrea has been featured as a media expert source on NBC Today Show, MSNBC, FOX & Friends, CNN.com, ShopSmart Magazine and many more. To view interviews or for more savings tips visit AndreaWoroch.com.
I hope this post encourages you to go on a date with your spouse. Carving out this time for the 2 of you is not only good for your marriage but your entire family.