We all know that we need to spend time with the people we love if we want our relationships to grow. And we’ve probably all heard over and over again that we need to make date nights with our partner a priority.
But why? Why do we need these intentional times of connecting with our partners?
Because if we aren’t being intentional, the time we are spending with them probably isn’t quality time.
The fact is, we know that relationships take work in order for them to survive, and yet so often we fail to make quality time with our partner a real priority.
A Redbook survey of the magazine’s readers found that 45% of couples said they rarely go on dates. And only 18% said they go out around once a month.
Another of Redbook magazine’s surveys found that 50% of its readers say the number one reason date night gets canceled is that they are too tired to go out. So the good news is…you’re not alone!
The bad news is, this is super sad for relationships everywhere. People just aren’t making quality time with their partner the priority that it should be.
Why Does Quality Time Matter?
Spending regular quality time with your partner grows the relationship. When you spend quality time with them, you are taking intentional steps toward them. You are getting to know them better, you are caring for them, and you are being vulnerable with them.
Sadly, if you aren’t taking steps toward your partner, you are drifting apart.
Before I get into the ways to prioritize quality time with your partner, I want to discuss what makes the time quality. The time you spend with your partner is quality time if it gives both of you the ability to connect.
You want to try to connect with each other on a deeper level than you are able to during the routine of your days.
You should be able to talk about deeper things than normal, touch each other more than normal, or see each other more than normal.
I believe that meaningful talking, listening, and touching are the key ingredients to quality time. They don’t have to all be present, but when they are, you are able to make the most of your time together.
I also think that some of the time, quality time with your partner should be fun. You should laugh and let loose a little!
4 Ways to Prioritize Quality Time With Your Partner
1. Change Your Expectations
This is embarrassing to admit, but there were times when my husband and I wouldn’t go on dates for a long time because I would be waiting for him to plan one. For some reason, I thought it was his job.
This is never something we discussed. I think I just assumed that role for him based on what I saw others doing.
And, don’t assume it’s your partner’s turn because you planned a date last time. Make sure you are clearly communicating your expectations.
Here’s the point: don’t assume that it’s your partner’s job to set a date night or it may never happen.
Additionally, you may need to change your expectations if they are based on what other people you know do to spend quality time with their partner. You have to do what works for your relationship.
Let them have their fancy opera and cocktails. If hanging out at a bar is what suits you as a couple, go for it. If you want to pay a babysitter just so you can go on a walk together, more power to you.
There is absolutely no rule about the amount of time or the type of activity that counts as quality time.
2. Keep It Simple
Obviously, it wouldn’t be the Practigal way if I didn’t remind you that it’s important to keep things simple. Don’t make spending quality time with your partner harder than it needs to be. You do that to yourself enough already.
Simply plan to connect with your partner every day. It doesn’t have to be huge or life-altering. It doesn’t even have to be very long if that just isn’t what your schedules allow.
Really, it’s just about being intentional with the time you already have together. Take advantage of those moments. Make eye contact, hold hands, and really listen to what your partner has to say.
Learn how to declutter your entire life!
3. Do What Works For Your Current Stage of Life
One or both of you may be in a really busy season, and that can be okay…for a season. If that’s you, you will have to be EXTRA intentional about the moments you have together.
Or maybe you have 5 kids under the age of 5 and you don’t have the time or the money to make regular date nights a priority. Then, it may be essential that you find ways to get alone time at home, find free childcare, or teach your kids to give you regular alone time.
The point is, you need to do what works for your current stage of life.
Otherwise, quality time with your partner will just add to your frustration and exhaustion, and it will start to feel like just another item on a to-do list you can never seem to finish. I promise you, you don’t want that.
4. Get Creative
Again, if you are in a difficult or busy stage of life, you may need to change your expectations of what date nights look like.
They don’t have to be fancy or expensive to be considered a date night. They don’t need to be 3 hours long to be considered a date night. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your home for it to be considered a date night.
In order to make regular quality time with your partner a priority, you may need to get creative. Depending on your stage of life…heck, depending on the day!…you may need to come up with a new date idea that simply works better.
For example, you may need to find things you both enjoy doing that are inexpensive, don’t take much time, or can be done at home.
Good news! I have compiled a list of 51+ simple date night ideas to get your juices flowing. There are over 31 date night ideas for the times you want to go out, and over 20 date ideas for the times you just want (or need) to stay home.
Spending quality time with your partner needs to be a priority. And when you make it a priority, you will always have time for it.
How much time and what you choose to do for your quality time is up to you, as long as it gives you and your partner a chance to connect.