Always strive to give your spouse the very best of yourself; not what's leftover after you've given your best to everyone else.  Dave Willis

Oh how I used to love getting dressed up and going out to dinner with my guy. Who am I kidding- it's like my favorite thing to do.  Life gets busy, kids get older and sometimes getting out of the house is virtually impossible.  

It's no secret how important I think Date Nights are, however-so sometimes we have to improvise.  Keeping that candle burning bright takes constant effort.  It's so easy to let it dim-truthfully that takes no effort at all and can be the easier, not best, option.  Therefore getting creative is a 'must'.

In our house, my moods, if charted, would directly correlate with the frequency in which I get out with my guy and have a real conversation.  That's me- a big Date Night snob- and quality time is, as I've said before, one of my love languages-so it's a requirement not an option.

So what do we do when we can't get out of the house- besides pout?  I mix it up.  I'm not afraid to break out the china, crystal, or paper plates- kind of a chameleon like that.  (Maybe I'll use them all at the same time.)  Back on track...I believe that it doesn't matter where you go, how expensive it is, or what you are doing- it's the quality time that counts.  Carving out time for them, and them alone, shows them that you value them and your time with them.  I don't care if you've been married for 7 days, 7 years, 17 years or 70 years- I'm here to tell you that the need to be valued and show value to your spouse doesn't go away.

I set the table, light the candles, make a meal, or place carry out on our plates.  (After all who wants to cook on date night?)  We 'pretend' (or maybe we don't) that we are out to dinner. (THE KIDS ARE NOT ALLOWED DOWNSTAIRS-there may or may not be threats involved.)  Doing things like this creates a tone.  First of all one of romance, but secondly (and equally as important) it tells your spouse that you appreciate the quality time that you get with them and you will protect and create it at all costs.

At the end of the proverbial day, it doesn't matter what you do or where you are (grocery shopping could still be considered a sort of date-but don't tell my guy that) what matters is the quality time spent with your mate.  Yes, I love to get dressed up and go out to dinner, but circumstances dictate otherwise sometimes- so I get dressed up and we stay home.  It's where the heart is-so I've been told-and it can be just as fun and romantic as a night out on the town- even more so actually (WINK WINK).