After our first two years of marriage, which coincided with Rob’s two years of all-consuming business school, we settled into a new routine in our new city. Life had been a bit of a whirlwind, and so we decided to prioritize weekly dates to ensure we had regular, quality, dedicated time with each other and to ensure we experienced our city (and life in general) to the fullest.
After jointly coming up with an ongoing bucket list for things we wanted to see and do in New York, we decided that each week one of us would plan a surprise date for the other. It could be something as simple as renting a movie and popping popcorn at home, to hitting up free-admission hours at a museum, to trying a restaurant that’s been on our list for ages, to a performance at Lincoln Center. The best part of this system is that planning dates for my husband is just as fun as receiving a date that he has planned for me. It’s a great way for us to focus on the other person, check things off our bucket list, and have something special to look forward to every week.
If you’re hesitant, I will add that Rob was, too, in the beginning. He was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to keep coming up with date ideas week after week. I admit that it’s helpful that we live in a city with more than a few things to see and do. But I assured him that the point of the dates is more about spending time together than “topping” each week’s dates. Because it’s true — it never matters what we’re doing. Devoted time together is what keeps us deeply connected. Now, two years since we started this tradition, both Rob and I believe this has been one of the best things we’ve ever done for our relationship.
(Note: I understand that everyone has vastly different schedules, obligations, resources, and commitments. As a couple without children and with weekends free, this system works really well for us. Overall, I think it’s important to prioritize quality time together when it comes to any relationship.)