During the final months of my first pregnancy, my husband and I started a Friday night date-night habit. Every week we would pick a different restaurant and enjoy a meal out, just the two of us. We had been warned that once the baby arrived, we wouldn’t be getting out for a while, so we tried to make the most of our freedom.
But, while we accepted that the new little soul we were bringing into the world would impact our social life, we assumed that the disruption would be temporary. Now, nearly ten years on, we’re still reminiscing about those Friday night dinners.
Struggling to find time for date night?
A recent poll from Legal & General in the UK found that 67 percent of couples believe that regular date nights are important, but once kids come along, a lot of parents struggle to make date nights a reality.
46 percent of parents surveyed said that, since having kids, they were too tired for date night. And for those that can stay up past 9pm (not me), a further 41 percent said that the cost was prohibitive – dinner for two plus $25 an hour for a babysitter adds up pretty quickly.
Could micro-dating be the answer?
Micro-dating is about capitalising on the little moments that couples share throughout the day. For example, having a quick cuddle before getting out of bed in the morning, or holding hands while you watch TV.
Personal evolution coach Danielle Colley says that micro-dating is a good way to stay connected with your partner until there is time for a more traditional date. “Our lives seem to be getting busier, not quieter, and often the first thing to go is the special time we should set aside for those we love,” she explains.
“Finding small pockets in your days to have some quality time with your partner can be a great way to ensure you stay connected.”
Danielle also notes that many of us make the mistake of thinking that a date-night has to be an entire evening or a whole day. “What makes the time ‘quality’ is your intention,” she says.
“Set aside moments where you reconnect with your partner, focus solely on the moment and be present for each other.”
So what are some other ways of micro-dating?
Danielle has a few ideas. “Sharing a coffee and a chat, a video call during your lunch break or even flirtatious texts can ensure you remain at the forefront of each other’s mind, no matter how busy life is,” she says.
Look, micro-dating isn’t ever going to replace actual date night – but, if you’re struggling to get out with your partner, then it is definitely better than forgoing date night altogether.
“Micro dating is a way we can keep the thread of intimacy connected with our partner,” says Danielle. “At least until we can make the time for a longer date or hangout.”