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Today’s guest post is by Laura Radniecki. She blogs about an intentional living over at www.lauraradniecki.com.
You may also recognize her for her other guest posts as well. One of her posts, We’re So Different- Date Night Ideas of Opposites, was a huge hit! She also wrote another guest post 5 Places to Hide a Love Note.
The next time you are at a restaurant, or anywhere in public for that matter, take a look around.
What do you see?
Chances are a large majority of people will have their eyes on their cell phones, texting or checking Facebook. Maybe checking sports stats or pinning things on Pinterest.
You’ll see couples out on dates, each with their nose buried in their cell phone, oblivious to each other and what’s going on around them.
I’m just as guilty as the next person, so no judgement here!
But with my 2014 Word being Intentional, I have been on a quest this year to run a more intentional business and live a more intentional life. Being intentional in my relationship goes hand in hand with that.
When we aren’t intentional about our time and thoughts, we reach the end of our date night feeling no more connected to our spouse than we did at the start. We are just as tired as we were before, and maybe in a more negative mental space if our sports team lost, or we saw some amazing photos of someone else’s life and started feeling inferior about ourself.
This isn’t how Date Night should be.
Here are 7 Tips for Being Intentional on Date Night:
1. Do a little extra.
Before your date night, do something out of the ordinary to get you in the right mindset for date night. Even something as simple as putting on your fancy shoes, dabbing on a little perfume, or adding a little more makeup than you normally wear will help remind you that this isn’t a run to the grocery store. This is special.
2. Prepare your mind.
Pray before date night. If you’re comfortable praying together with your spouse, great. If you’d rather pray alone, that’s fine too. Pray for the gift of being present and being able to fully appreciate and soak up your time together.
If you’re not the praying type, close your eyes and quiet your mind for 30 seconds. Set an intention to be present and appreciative during Date Night.
This helps get your mind ready to relax and engage.
3. No Cell Phones.
Turn off your cell phone. Or at the very least, put it on silent and away in your purse. Better yet, leave it in the car.
Commit to no distractions – no checking your cell phone.
If you’re like me and value having photos to document your life, you might want your cell phone to take pictures.
Take a photo at the start of Date Night. Before you head out for the evening, or at your table at the restaurant.
Once you have your photo, turn your phone off and put it away.
4. Look him in the eye.
Instead of staring at your phone, look at him. Make eye contact. Appreciate what you see.
Chances are, it’s been awhile since you’ve really looked him in the eye.
5. Listen first, then talk.
Often, our conversations with people involve us half-listening to them talk, while we think about what we’re going to say next.
This time, listen first. Especially if your spouse isn’t a talker. What they say is precious.
Listen first, and then talk.
6. Hold hands.
Connect both with your conversation and with your touch.
Hold hands. Show affection.
7. Keep your mind present.
If your mind begins to wander to tomorrow’s to-do list or any other interfering or distracting thoughts, don’t ridicule yourself. Instead, gently bring your mind and heart back to the present moment, to your date night.
You might need to do this frequently, but that’s ok. It’s just like meditation – don’t beat yourself up for distracting thoughts. Just gently come back to where you are and what you are doing. Really look across the table [or whatever you are doing for date night] and give thanks for your spouse.
These tips can and should be done by your spouse too, to get him in the right frame of mind for the best date night possible. But even if it’s just you following these tips, you will experience benefits. You will be more intentional and more invested in your date night, and whether he knows it or not, your spouse will notice and respond. Here’s to many happy, fun and intentional date nights for all of us!
What is one way you can be intentional on date night?
Laura Radniecki is a photographer and inspirational blogger from Minnesota.
She writes about how to run a successful business that blesses your life, and how to live an intentional life and be grateful and present.
You can download her free e-book, 10 Tips for Living an Intentional Life on her website, by entering your email in the teal bar at the top of the page here.
Laura lives with her high school sweetheart-turned husband, Matt, and their feisty toy poodle, Remy, and they dream of traveling the country in an RV. Visit Laura at www.lauraradniecki.com.