There are three things that sometimes prevent us all from having a “date night” with our firefighters weather we are married or in a long term relationship. We recently had this come up in the SISTERHOOD . Time, money and for those of us with children, babysitters! Some of us are blessed enough to not have much problem with any of those things, consider yourselves lucky. I hear from some women who are never kid-free and even if they manage a sitter and a free day with the firefighter, money is too tight to actually go out. I don’t want anyone to let that stop them from having a fun, meaningful date!
Dating, even after marriage, is super important. Especially in lines of work like the Fire Service where spouses spend on average a third of their time or more apart from each other. Sometimes we just have to make the time or pinch a few pennies here and there to make some quality alone time happen. If you have an extreme sitter issue, I promise it won’t always be that way. It’s just one season of parenthood and soon enough we’ll wish they were all back small. Maybe reach out to family, friends or even other fire families that you trust and try to swap out sitting services. Help and be helped.
I don’t like spending a ton of money just to enjoy my husband, I want to run through some easy and cheap (or even FREE) date ideas. Spending time doesn’t have to mean spending money and it doesn’t even mean you have to leave your house. Dates are about making time to catch up with each other, staying connected and keeping your relationship growing together. If you still don’t know how to manage a sitter, I’ll list some fun ideas for you too!
Dates don’t have to be AT night. Are your children in school? DAY DATE!!! Day dates are my favorite, there are usually no crowds, lines or kids running around! Even if you work during the day, you can still fit in a few of these for a lunch date.
Movie theaters usually have discounted pricing for daytime hours.
Lunch menus are less expensive than dinner.
Picnic in the park or even on a tailgate!
Tour historic areas.
Find your local museums.
Go to the Zoo.
Cook lunch together.
Go to the Library. (Did you know libraries have movies you can check out? No? Now you do! They aren’t last week’s block busters but hey, it’s a free rental)
Coffee shop and a long talk.
Try a new restaurant.
Grab an icecream.
Lunch date- doable even if one of you are working!
Dates that might require an evening or weekend time slot but are free or relatively cheap. You’ll have to check around and find out where the best things are! Be a date detective!
Take a class at an art studio, craft supply store or even home improvement stores!
Performing arts- catch a show!
Grab dinner or a drink where there is live entertainment.
Get up early and visit the Flea Market or Farmer’s Market.
Watch the sunset.
Visit a comedy club.
Recreate your first or favorite dates.
Catch local school sports events.
Geocaching. More here: http://www.geocaching.com/
You don’t even have to leave the house or find a sitter. Sometimes you can fit in dates in your own home, after you put the kids to bed! Ok, at first thought it might not sounds as fun as actually going out but sometimes we have to take what we can get!
Plan out a movie and pull out all the stops. Candy, popcorn and don’t forget the blanket to snuggle.
Lay a blanket outside and stargaze.
Have a spa night with pampering and massages.
Picnic in the bedroom with your favorite meal or wine and cheese. (Hey, maybe beer and pretzels)
Have a drink by a fire inside, or out.
Break out your favorite board game.
Start a new TV series to watch together.
State parks are a great idea.
They are gorgeous. If you have any relatively local state parks (and I know some activities are only fun during warm weather) USE THEM! Here in Georgia there is a $5 all day parking tag. Depending on your location there could be walking/biking trails, bird watching, fishing, swimming, boating, canoeing, paddle boats, geocaching, camping (here is usually $25/night) and games throughout the park. Find out all you need about finding state parks near you HERE.
I know there are several on these lists that my firefighter would turn his nose up at, so work with what you know yours will go for. Maybe put a spin on it like the beer and pretzels to make it fit him. Maybe give HIM a list of things and have him plan the date. No matter what your kid, time or financial situation is you can fit something in. It’s crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship. You may have to search and investigate, but there are plenty of opportunities near you!
What are your favorite inexpensive or free dates?
Let’s take a break from the busy-ness of life and date each other again!
Whether you’ve been married for 1 day, 1 year, 10 years or 50 years, marriage requires constant attention. And when work and kids and finances and calendars seem to take over all your discussions and time, it’s easy to forget that you used to be head over heels in love with constant butterflies around your husband / wife. Why does that need to end?
Marriage on Fire can help you be your best, together. Connect with your spouse on a journey of intentional focus on your marriage. Marriage on Fire is a couples program designed by a first responder and his wife. They’ve been through the fires of of marriage and have brought healing and growth to a community of fire families.
Remembering when and rekindling those flames. You’ll giggle and maybe even blush as you recall those feelings that got you off on this path of marriage. And you’ll reignite some of those feelings for sure… all you have to do is register!