How many of you have found yourselves ‘settling’ into your relationship after moving in together or getting married? As much as I hate to use the words “settling” and “relationship” in the same sentence, I am totally guilty of doing this in my own relationship.
It’s natural. People get older. Our lives get busier and we start to fill them with more things. While unintentional, we start to take each other for granted. Over time, the idea of cozying up on the couch and watching TV in sweats is so much more appealing than getting dressed up (and this can happen even long before kids enter the equation!).
But oh, don’t we all miss the honeymoon phase at the beginning of a relationship – the feeling of excitement to see each other and going on fun dates?! There is a reason why it’s called the “honeymoon phase”. At the start, people put their best foot forward to impress the other person and to create a long-lasting bond. Growing out of the honeymoon phase isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it just means our relationships have evolved. But, it most definitely IS important at all stages of our relationships to not lose our quality one-on-one time.
Why We’ve Started Having Date Nights
Recently, my husband and I have initiated regular date nights in our relationship. We’ve been together for just under 5 years, living together for 3, and married for almost a year. While Alex’s schedule has remained fairly consistent over all this time, my circumstances have vastly changed since starting to blog full-time and quitting my corporate law job. Now that I work for myself, my hours are extremely irregular and it’s easy to allow work to creep into evenings and weekends. As the travel blogging side of my business has flourished and more opportunities have come my way, we’ll be spending a lot more time apart this year. So, we thought it was necessary to establish a date night as a habitual practice now.
What To Do On Your Date Nights
So, the idea behind having a date night is not to Netflix and chill! It’s to break out of your usual routine and get out of the house. You need to be in a different environment, remove all distractions (which means phones off or away!), so you can create a special space for just the two of you. That being said, your date night doesn’t have to be a fancy affair.
Dinner and a Movie
Dinner and a movie is the classic date night, so why not start there?
On our last date night, we had a casual dinner at Boston Pizza’s new location at Yonge & Gerrard before heading to the movies at Yonge-Dundas Square. You guys know I have a weakness for pizza, so this was literally the perfect way to spend a Saturday night for me! The new Boston Pizza location is close to home and the theatre, so we could walk, instead of spending money on an Uber. Not only is the new restaurant in a prime location (close to the Eaton Centre, The Shops at Aura, Ryerson University, and the TTC), but it’s also huge! With 167 seats on the upper level alone, we didn’t have to wait for a table. It also has a fully-enclosed, all-season rooftop patio with a retractable roof, floor to ceiling windows, and views directly onto Yonge St. As a blogger, I appreciated all the natural light (because we all know I can’t eat a meal without documenting it).
Apart from having amazing pizza, another reason we like giving Boston Pizza our business is because they’re socially responsible. Last Valentine’s Day, I partnered with Boston Pizza to help spread the word about the Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects (which raised more than $24 million to give Canadian kids access to mentors). The Yonge-Gerrard location has added 100 more jobs to the community and supports Covenant House—a local charity that provides shelter, healthcare and rehabilitation services to at-risk youth.
5 Reasons Everyone Should Have Date Nights
If the idea of going out for pizza and a movie on a regular basis isn’t enough to convince you, here are 5 more reasons why a date night is essential for your relationship:
- It shows your commitment to the relationship. Relationships require work, otherwise our participation in them can slip and we can take each other for granted. Having a regular date night strengthens and nurtures your bond, and it’s a way to show up to the relationship in an active way.
- It maintains your identity as a couple. Before all the additional things, pets, babies etc., there were the two of you. So, it’s important to carve out time for the two of you to preserve your unique identity as a couple (rather than as parents or anything else).
- It allows you to grow together, rather than apart. It’s easy to get pulled in different directions over time. Scheduling a regular date night, distraction-free, allows you to have meaningful conversations, be present in each other’s lives, and grow in the same direction, rather than apart.
- It’s a way to introduce more romance into your relationship. Whether you choose to go casual or fancy, getting dressed up and making yourselves look good for each other can help keep the spark alive.
- It allows you to start a ritual. If you establish this as a practice, then it can become a sacred thing in your relationship and will be easier to continue doing once kids enter the picture.
Do you have regular date nights in your relationship? What are some things you like to do on your date nights?
This post was done in partnership with Boston Pizza. However, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.
Photography by: Laura Clarke Photography