The Date Night Jar

Written by: Ashley Gibert

Edited by: Becky Tankersley

After the birth of our first daughter Caroline, my husband and I had a hard time connecting. She had bad colic, so we were up to our elbows in diapers, Windis, and gas drops. That summer, we went through the entire series of Top Chef. Night after night my husband sat holding her while bouncing on an exercise ball. This was the only thing that seemed to calm her down.

Pretty soon, our regular date nights went from staring into one another’s eyes over long cups of coffee to staring catatonically at the TV while munching on ice cream (I’m still trying to work off those pounds, but I digress….). When we did talk, it was generally about our daughter or the content of her diapers! I vividly remember crying in the car on our way from one Thanksgiving Dinner to another because we just {sob}…weren’t {sob}…connecting {sniffle}!

ENTER: The Date Night Jar. My husband says he’s not romantic, which may be true in a Barry White & candles sort of way. But when it comes to being thoughtful in ways that really set my heart aflutter, he TOTALLY gets it. He took to Pinterest and came up with a jar full of date ideas. He wrote them on individual hearts, which he cut out of construction paper!—and almost all of them could be done at home, no babysitter required.

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We set aside Tuesdays as our date night. Each Tuesday, we picked a date idea out of the jar for the following week, giving us time to plan ahead and purchase items as needed. Getting time together to talk and laugh, and hang out over something OTHER than Netflix, did wonders for our marriage.

These were a few of my favorite ideas from the jar:

·       Pick a RomCom from our collection and watch it together.

·       Make homemade pizza together.

·       Pick out three types of cheese, crackers and cheap wine—wine & cheese party for two!

·       Play a favorite board game.

·       Picnic on the front porch.

·       BLACKOUT! Turn off all the lights and devices; light candles; see what happens (my personal favorite).

Three years and another daughter later, we’ve managed to find a new normal. These days, it’s just naturally a little easier to connect in the midst of the chaos, so we haven’t dipped into our jar in a long time!  But we still set aside one night a week for an at home “date night” (which may still involve ice cream and Top Chef—why does watching that show make me so hungry?!).

What really touched me about the Date Night Jar was the time and thought my husband put into creating something that would make me feel loved. It really warmed my heart, and helped us connect in a whole new way. Maybe your sweetheart doesn’t need a Date Night Jar…but figure out what makes them feel truly loved. That’s romance. 

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