Date Night – The Rules

We said it was coming. We talked a bit last time about Date Night – what it is, why we think it is a great thing to keep relationships healthy, and what we’re going to do about it.

So before we get into some of our dating misadventures, we want to lay down some ground rules. Some are self-explanatory, some less so. We’ll go into a bit more detail after the list.

The rules

1 – No kids

It’s not a date if your kids are there. If you have kids, it’s going to be tough to get a babysitter and go out every Date Night, so think of things you can do in the house. Just make sure the little ones are tucked up in bed, and let them know they aren’t welcome to join you.

2 – No chores

Date Night is not there for you to look at your budget together, or do laundry, or sort out your blog header. Those things might need doing, but Date Night exists for you guys to spend time together, to remember all the things you love about each other. The laundry will wait.

3 – No social media

No tweeting. Or quickly checking your Facebook. Or texting. Or calling your mum. Tonight is about you and your spouse. Nothing says, ‘I’d rather be elsewhere’ than engaging more with your phone than the person next to you.

4 – Talk to each other

Now that you’ve removed some of the barriers, get to talking. If there’s any night of the week to talk about your feelings, hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, whatever, then it’s Date Night. Sure, it’s nice to relax and catch a movie together sometimes, but if you aren’t talking then you aren’t dating.

5 – Do something different

So, you like eating steak and watching movies? Great, we all do (except vegetarians). But there are a million and one other dates out there. Doing something that’s new for both of you creates a shared experience that’s all yours. And planning something a bit out-of-the-box shows your partner that you’ve put in a bit of thought and effort, which makes them feel special. Win.

6 – Take turns planning

This gives you both a chance to make the other feel special. It also reduces the chance of one person feeling like they’re doing all the work, and it increases your chances of having a varied date repertoire.

7 – Put it on the calendar

Serious. Get the calendar. Put it on.

We sit down at the start of every month and put in our Date Nights. We aim for one a week. Then we fit everything else in around it. By doing that we’re saying to each other, ‘Yes, we have loads of stuff to do, but we are both committing to put the health of our marriage before all the other stuff.’

8 – Don’t cancel

Conversely, cancelling Date Night says, ‘Having a strong, healthy marriage sounds great, but it’s not as important to me as going to the pub with my friends.’ And we don’t want that, right?

Sounds harsh, I know. But we try not to cancel Date Night, even for things which are really good. Because then it gets easier to cancel for things which are just pretty good. And then for things which are just kind of good. And then for anything at all.

9 – Save conflict for tomorrow

Airing your grievances, and handling conflict maturely and sensitively, is super important in marriage. But it’s not usually fun. You can schedule in another time to argue and talk about what’s bothering you about your spouse (I’m serious), but tonight is Date Night.

10 – Have fun

Because marriage should be fun! It isn’t fun 24/7, but if you’re going to be married to this person for the rest of your life (and we’re aiming for our 80 year anniversary), then you should invest in having fun together.

And there you go. Those are some rules we’ve come up with, based on wisdom we’ve gained from friends and mentors, and a few that we’ve nicked from The Marriage Course, which we’ll talk about another time.

We don’t always get it right, but we’re committed to keep trying because we think Date Night can make a huge difference to how our marriage is doing.

What do you guys think? Too harsh? Any we’ve missed? 

Let us know in the comments. And happy dating!


You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, or connect with


12 thoughts on “Date Night – The Rules

  1. 30yearswiser says:

    Great advice! I’m dying for a date night. Can’t wait for a no-kid trip we have coming up. Love the idea of no social media though it could be tough. Sadly, I’m the worst when it comes to putting my phone down.


    • Adam Kirkup says:

      That sounds incredible. We had a kid-free week during the school holidays. It’s a bit of a shock to the system.

      We can be pretty bad with phones too. Especially with blog notifications – but we’re working on it.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joanna says:

    These rules are great, I need to set this up after reading Date Nights can still occur at home with children upstairs in bed. Easy to put off but important not to.


    • Adam Kirkup says:

      Thanks so much! Usually once we get our kids to bed we’re too tired to plan anything special, but if it’s already on the calendar and planned in, that makes it easier.

      It’s great to sit and have a nice meal together. Doesn’t have to be fancy, but it’s amazing to be able to talk without kids shouting and throwing sausages at you.



  3. acornishmum says:

    I definitely agree date nights or days are important! We sometimes go for a child free walk across the cliffs here, have a night at the cinema etc. Before Xmas we had a night away in a hotel just the two of us and it was brilliant so think we’ll be doing that again soon( I hope!) Stevie 🙂


  4. plaguedparents says:

    Totally agree! When our oldest was first born we committed to each other to do 2 date nights a month. They can be as simple as a gym date, or a quick coffee but your #1 rule is ours too, no kids! In 18 years of kids we have only missed twice 🙂


    • Adam Kirkup says:

      You’ve only missed two in 18 years?! We obviously need to up our game. What an inspiration.

      Thanks so much for commenting. We’ve not had a gym date, but we did do a fitness DVD together for a while. I wouldn’t let just anybody see my squats.


      Liked by 1 person

  5. Caroline says:

    Great list. I have started a date night monthly linky (yet to be successful) to try and make sure we are having a date night at least once a month.
    Enjoy dating, couple time is so important.


    • Adam Kirkup says:

      Thanks, Caroline! I couldn’t agree more. Even though (confession) we missed our Date Night last week.

      I’m off to check out your linky now. Maybe we could work together on one in the future?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s