When is the last time you spent time alone with your spouse where you weren’t asleep or completely distracted?
Married couples can start to feel like roommates after you have kids. Your days are filled with taking care of others or putting out fires at the office. And you feel like there isn’t much time or energy left at the end of your day for your spouse, let alone yourself. Before you know it, you realize you are running the kids here and there and things are getting done, but something is missing in your relationship.
Obstacles to Going on Dates After You Have Kids:
You try to re-connect by carving out time to be alone together in a relaxed and playful way. But whenever you think about planning a date, all you can think about is having to pay the babysitter and for the dinner! So it’s time to find creative solutions, like swapping free with friends who have kids your age. Or maybe your kids are old enough to be alone for a few hours and you work up to a full date night. Or you find a family member that will watch them all night. However, you manage the childcare obstacle, don’t let it get in the way of finding ways to be alone again.
The next obstacle is usually figuring out what you want to do together. Before you say, but we don’t have anything in common anymore, try taking turns planning the date nights. In doing so, you both get to take turns doing something you enjoy or trying something new. And then focus less on your expectations for the night, and more on being present and in the moment.
Date Ideas in Lee’s Summit MO:
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about fun and creative things you can do on date night. (As a resident of Lee’s Summit, MO, I know this city the best, but I hope these 10 ideas can spark ideas in any city.)
- Dinner & Movie: If you like traditional dates, there are always new restaurants and movies to try. Now, you can even bring a blanket into the theaters and recline in the new seats.
- Fishing: For a chill time, cast your fishing line at James A. Reed Wildlife Area.
- Lazer Tag and Frozen Yogurt: Work up a sweat playing laser tag at Paradise Park. Then cool off with your favorite frozen treat.
- Art Walk or Live Music: Depending on the season, many Friday nights you can enjoy live music and/or an art walk in downtown Lee’s Summit.
- Picnic and Frisbee: If the weather is warm, bring a picnic lunch to Lowenstein Park. Then, enjoy tossing a frisbee in the big open areas.
- Bike Ride and Smoothies: If you are a bike rider, take a ride around one of the many lake communities and enjoy the view. Cool off with a smoothie.
- Exercise or Nature Walk: Exercise together at Legacy Park Community Center or by walking around the trail.
- Concert or Symphony: Enjoy the music of the Lee’s Summit symphony several times a year.
- Theater or Musical: Watch one of the high school musicals or community theater productions.
- Bed & Breakfast: If you are ready to try an over-night date, check out The Browning B-n-B.
Enjoying time together without the kids is a great habit to start or revisit. But feeling less like roommates is also more about how you connect during the week. If there are negative interaction patterns, anxiety, or stress that are getting in the way of connecting better, consider working with a counselor. And learn to manage your reactions so you can start connecting again.
What is your favorite date idea? Schedule it on your calendar today.
Marci Payne, MA, LPC is a resident of Lee’s Summit, MO who is always looking for creative date ideas. She specializes in counseling for anxious and stressed individuals who want to enjoy their lives and relationships again. Counseling is available at her office in Independence MO or online for Missouri residents. Are your anxiety and stress making it hard to connect with others? Schedule your free 15-minute phone consult with Marci to determine if working with a counselor near you can help you find the confidence you desire.