As creative biz owners, we schedule + plan + organize + write lists + cross things off those lists + put things back on those lists… well, you get the idea!
We have planners for meals, meetings, chores, birthdays, celebrations + holidays… but do you have a planner for your love life?
It can be if you choose to go overboard with every little detail – love should be spontaneously celebrated, but a love life & marriage also takes work. It can’t be left to simply coast along and be relegated to auto-pilot.
Well, it can, but you may find yourself being the only one left in the cockpit!
Whether you’re single + dating or married for over 30 years, planning a date night can be both beneficial as well as cathartic. One thing it shouldn’t be, though, is a drag. If you find yourself dreading coming up with an idea or something new and exciting or simply a date in the calendar… ask yourself why that is. Chances are, those answers will help you find a solution so that you can get back on track to enjoying looking forward to spending quality ALONE time with your spouse, significant other, lover or suitor/ress.
Oh, and by the way, a date can be as long or short, super-organized or somewhat spontaneous, fun or romantic as you need it to be. You’ll have to figure what works best for you both and nurture those ideas!
PLAN & CONQUER
Ok, so to start off, it’s helpful for us creatives to have a calendar or planner to help us schedule stuff, so here’s a small 2013 desktop calendar** that you can print off yourself. It’s designed to fit into a CD Jewel case (I tend to use Memorex, but it should work with most brands) and it’s small enough to fit on a desk, by the bedside, where you pay your bills… anywhere that will help you to remember to schedule in those dates!
You should figure out a realistic schedule and set it out with confidence, so that you can both stick to it. If you schedule it for once a week and you find that that just won’t work, then unschedule it and start again. Constantly cancelling & shifting the date will diminish its importance & will only bring a negative aspect to it!
Conversely, there should be a little room for flexibility & spontaneity; after all, we’re people, not machines.
I find that once a month works best for my husband and me. The date and length isn’t set in stone and changes every month, but it’s there on the calendar as a reminder!
I have a digital calendar as well as a giant annual calendar (42″x31″ that hangs on the back of my studio door so that I can give myself high-fives when I accomplish something!) that I use for my biz, but I use this little desk one ONLY for dates with my husband. I like looking at it & seeing our upcoming date there all in red with a wee heart to get myself all excited about it!
I’m a crazy, creative biz owner & he works as a Director for a busy hospital. Not a lot of free time. But, we have found that committing to our schedule not only helps, but gives us something to look really forward to in our hectic lives. Then, we are also diligent in scheduling our vacations away, as well, for our own peace of mind and their recharging abilities, but that’s another post.
DATE NIGHT IDEAS JAR
Secondly, it’s a good idea to have some… well good ideas! Some of these are hard to come up with, especially if you have a LOT on your plate, a full household or young children.
Since these dates involve both of you, both of you should be considered. For example, one of you may want to get all dressed up and go out for dinner, the other may want to sit quietly by the fire and watch “Die Hard”.
Hmmm… not exactly a meeting of the minds!
So why not have a Date Night Ideas jar? Okay, it doesn’t have to be a jar, but you get the idea.
That way, once a week, both of you have to put your ideas to paper (after all, we often feel like different things depending on what’s going on that week), say every Wednesday. If you can only find time to have a date once a month, pull all the ideas out and make a compromise of them all. Say, order a fancy meal in & watch “Die Hard” all dressed up!
Be prepared: some ideas will fall into place relatively easy; some will take a little more effort.
And, if you’re single, you get to have ALL the ideas and choose which one best suits your suitor!
To help you get started, here are some initial ideas for you to try on for size:
- Try brunch and a matinee; fancy restaurants are way more affordable in the a.m.
- Take turns singing cheesy out-of-tune ballads from your own collection (hint: alcoholic beverages help this greatly!)
- Get in your favourite take-out, but set it up at your dining table with candles, napkins (not papertowel sheets) & a romantic music playlist.
- If you can swing it, stay in a local bed-and-breakfast for one night.
- Curl up with the Sunday crossword puzzle.
- Find local natural beauty spots, such as a covered bridge or hidden park & take a leisurely walk.
- Head to the highest point in town. Spend an early evening watching the twinkling lights turn on & sharing your wishes for the year.
- Make the biggest ice cream sundae (or other delectable dish) & feed each other**
**Bonus points: with each spoonful, say what you love about the other person (this can be as silly or poignant as you want!)
These aren’t set in stone and you can cater them to fit your lifestyle and situations pretty easily. The important thing is to make it a priority. Or at least, lump it in with the other 500 priorities you have in your life!
Remember: this should be a fun exercise.
This shouldn’t have you pulling out your hair or worrying about performance or whether or not it’s going to bomb or what you’re going to do with the kids… if it seems insurmountable, pare your ideas down. Start basic. One idea I put in the jar was a shared nap with my husband. Seriously. And it did us both a world of good.
Go on, try it yourself & get your love on!
**I haven’t included any holidays or set dates with the calendar, as they can differ greatly throughout the world, but no matter where you are in the world, you can get that info here!