Date nights when you’re married are awesome. But do you know what might be even MORE awesome? Double date nights!
My husband and I have been thinking lately that spending time, just the two of us, isn’t always our biggest need. Sometimes we just need more friends! And that’s why we’re getting more intentional about double dating as a couple.
I ran into Ashley Durand from Dating After I Do on Twitter, and found some awesome stuff she writes about date nights. And I asked her if she’d be willing to write a post for me on using double dates as your date night ideas! So she thought about it and came up with some great thoughts that I want to share with you today.
As a Millennial in a world permeated with social media friendships and instant global communication via Facetime, texting and snapchat, it is refreshing to have real face-to-face hangouts with friends.
Our world is clearly so thirsty for community and yet, getting to know someone in real time can be so tough because it pushes us outside the comforts of crafting conversation through well-thought Tweets and Facebook chats. Asking another friend or a couple to hangout feels a bit risky because- what if they don’t like you? You can’t just close out a chat when things start feeling a bit awkward.
But we were not made for isolation, especially in marriage. We need people around us to remind us of truth and to just have plain old fun in the midst of the stresses of life. So, just like when you first asked your spouse on a date, you have to take a risk and put yourself out there to make couple friends.
Double dating can be intimidating sometimes—but the only way to move past that is to plunge ahead.
My husband and I, who have been married a little over a year, have recently seen an uptick in our couples dating calendar. We have seen both success and failure as we navigate the arena, but have found every minute worth it. Here are four reasons why you should give it a try:
1. Double-dating allows for activities that you can’t do with just two people
It is amazing how many new doors open when you add more people—sometimes literally. For instance, we once went to an escape room with two other couples, and we were able to figure out the clues and open doors by putting all our skills together. Other date nights that you can’t do with just your spouse include playing sand volleyball, playing most board games, or doing a progressive dinner at which each couple hosts a portion of the meal at their home. A few things on our list of future couples dates are hosting a murder mystery party and having everyone dress in character, going to a water park on a hot day, getting a fan group to attend a favorite band’s concert, or doing a couples camping trip. The possibilities are endless!
2. Double-dating reminds you that your marriage is normal.
Life is crazy and sometimes you just need an outside perspective to recognize the humor and normality of it all. We once went on a double date right after I had purchased a pair of new shoes for my husband. In passing he must have mentioned something about his new kicks, and I said something along the lines of “if I didn’t buy him a new pair, he would never get a new pair. Every other shoe he owns has a hole in them.” The wife chuckled and said they had just had that conversation about her husband’s t-shirt collection. We all had a good laugh about how our dear husbands hated shopping, but how we appreciated their sweetly selfless and frugal hearts. Other times we have had fun conversations about the hilarity of our morning routine…how I set three alarms and we both end up running around the room like headless chickens. We have compared notes with other couples about similar job crisis, baking fails, silly arguments and best dates. It has been a great way to realize than in our imperfections and successes, we are not alone.
3. Double-dating allows you to encourage and be encouraged.
We recently went on a double date with a couple who is engaged. As we sat around a bonfire, roasting marshmallows, they asked us what it is like to be married, and shared that they had heard a lot of negativity about marriage from others. We were able to honestly express that though aspects of marriage are sometimes hard, marriage is really wonderful and a lot of fun. After being married for one year, we certainly were no experts, but we had genuinely enjoyed being together every day, going on married dates, making new traditions and establishing our own family.
They were so relieved!
In addition, we have gone on dates with couples who have been married much longer than we have, and who have been through things we are now facing. They encouraged us to keep pursuing each other and Christ, and told us that we were doing a good job honoring marriage. It was nice to get an outside perspective.
4. Double-dating helps you make friends.
We have discovered double dating to be a great way to get to know new couples at church or work. But If you are an introvert (as my husband is) it can be intimidating to sit across from someone new at a dinner table for two hours and come up with questions, facing a potentially dead-end conversation. But what we have found is that inviting a couple you don’t know very well to go mini golfing, bowling or hiking–with dessert to follow–is a great way to do it. Being side-by-side takes the pressure off having an amazing eye-to-eye conversation and gives you something common to focus on. After everyone has warmed up to each other, grabbing dessert is a good way to have a deeper, more focused conversation without the stuffiness of a formal dinner setting. If it goes well and you hit off, have them over for dinner next time!
If you are short on ideas for double dates or for your regular date night with your spouse, please check out my blog at “Dating After I Do” which captures our date night adventures and offers tips and tricks to a great married dating life.