Four Ways to Take Advantage of Date Your Mate Month

May is National Date Your Mate month, a holiday that encourages couples to be more intentional when it comes to date night and pursuing the one you love. This is one of my favorite holidays, and I look forward to it all year long. I love it almost more than Christmas! The best part about it is that it lasts for an entire month, it's not just one day like some of those other random holidays that are so fun to celebrate. Relationships need date night and they need dedication and constant pursuit to work.

four ways to celebrate date your mate month

When we started dating each other, my husband and I were on each other's minds constantly. We would text each other throughout the day, go on a long walk every night, hold hands any opportunity we had and you could often find us cuddled up on the couch. These things happened even when there was homework to do or we weren't able to see each other because our schedules were so opposite for the day. Now, more than seven years later, there are some days when I fall asleep realizing that, other than our good-bye kiss in the morning, we didn't do anything very couple-like that day.

Last year we committed to be more intentional with date night for the month of May and I can honestly say that because of that, and because I started this site, date night is more of a habit in our marriage now than it has ever been before. Not only are we setting aside time for date night every week, we're keeping things fresh and fun by looking for new places to each and unique activities to do together.

how to use date your mate month to strengthen your relationship

Celebrate Date Your Mate Month

Aside from date night, there are things that we try to do on a daily basis to continue to date each other like we did early on in our relationship. I shared four ideas on A Prioritized Marriage yesterday for continuing to date your partner for years to come. your relationship will be more enjoy and last longer if you do. Click here to read that post and make the most of Date Your Mate month!

Photography by Sadie Banks Photography

Four fun ways to celebrate Date Your Mate month!

Create Your Own Davis County Date Night Bucket List

A few years ago we put together our first date night bucket list, and we've created a new one every single year since. Having a list of activities we wanted to do and places we wanted to eat made coming up with what we were going to do for date night each week just a little bit easier. We've loved it so much, even when we haven't quite completed our list, that we've decided to make it an annual tradition in our marriage. This year we're making our bucket list specific to Davis County and I wanted to share it with you! But before I do, I thought it might be helpful to give you a few tips to creating your own.

farmington station park fountains

Create a Bucket List for Date Night in Your Hometown

1. Make a list

Sit down together and make a list of all of the restaurants, activities, attractions, etc. that you have always talked about doing together. We like to keep ours on a shared Google Spreadsheet so that either of us can add to the list at any point in time. As you find new things to do, add them to your master list.

2. Divide the list into categories

Create categories depending on the types of things that you've included on your list. I've chosen to break ours up based on the date night types here on the site; play, dine, see, relax, romance, free/on a budget, at home and worth the trip. Some other ideas for categories might be kid free, family date night, active dates, dessert, season/holiday specific, etc. I try to rotate through the types of dates to add some variety to our date night routine.

3. Pick six to ten dates from your list

Choose your top date night ideas and use them to create a Date Night Bucket List for the coming year. I've found that committing to more than one date every month or two can be a little overwhelming. If you have restaurants on your list, you could pick one per month or one every other month so that you're sure to have time for your favorites. If you have a good date night routine going and know that you have time to cross more off of your list, add more!

4. Put your date nights on the calendar

The last couple of years I put our bucket list dates on my "to do" list for the month that it seemed most fitting for. This definitely brought more success as we worked to cross everything off of our bucket list. The year that we didn't do this, those date night ideas sat on our list and were forgotten about after a few months or until we were past the event or seasonal activity that we wanted to participate in. 

World's Best Corndogs

*Tip* You can refer back to your master list for other dates throughout the year, even if they're not on your official bucket list for the year. That master list is a great resource for when you're having an "I don't know, what do you want to do?" emergency or those times when you want to surprise your partner for date night. If you're planning a surprise date night, try picking something from the list you know they really want to do or that they added to the list since the last time you two talked.

Now for my favorite part, our bucket list for the year! I had the hardest time narrowing down our master list, and this bucket list is bigger than I'd usually set, but that's because of this little space and the content and date ideas that I want to provide for you. And those dates that we don't get to this year will be great for future years. We still have an entire list of date night locations to pull from for other dates as well. Having these different activities to look forward to makes date night that much more exciting and motivates us to make date night a priority, no matter what our schedule looks like each week.

CenterPoint Legacy Theatre

Play in Davis County

  • Ice skating at Farmington Station Park

  • See a couple of shows at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre

  • Family day date at Cherry Hill, then an evening us date for mini golf and pie pockets

  • Corn maze, hayride, burgers and donuts at the Cross E Ranch fall festival

Dine in Davis County

  • Chile Amor in North Salt Lake

  • Cafe Sabor in Layton

  • ti amo wood fired pizza in Bountiful

  • Gabor Brothers Pizza in Layton

  • Holy Smoke BBQ in Layton

  • Black Bear Diner in Layton or Woods Cross

See Davis County

  • Spend the night enjoying live entertainment and fountain shows at Farmington Station Park

  • Hike on Antelope Island

  • Explore parks in Davis County as a family and make a list of our favorites

  • Hike the Farmington Creek Trail

  • Hike the Wild Rose Trail in North Salt Lake

  • Go roller-blading on the Legacy Park trail

  • Antelope Island Dark Sky Party

  • Burly Burger in South Weber

Worth the Trip

  • Elk viewing at Hardware Ranch

  • Hot chocolate at Hatch Family Chocolates

  • Deer Valley summer concert

  • Sundance full moon lift ride

  • Dry Bar Comedy

  • Wise Guys Comedy Club and Slackwater Pizza

  • See Phantom at Hale Center Theater

  • Morning date at Top Golf

  • Ice Castles in Midway

Farmington Station Park Skating Rink

I'd love to hear what's on your date night bucket list for the year! Comment below and let me know! We'll be sure to post about our dates after we've completed them.

Davis County date night ideas plus how to create your own date night bucket list.

Setting Guidelines for Your Date Nights

When we started making date night more of a priority, we noticed that there were habits we'd fallen into that were keeping date night from really making a difference for our marriage. We set what we considered rules for our date nights to keep us in check. I don't like to call them rules anymore, I consider them more of guidelines. Guidelines that make date night count and help us grow closer as a couple. The guidelines we set help us think more intentionally, and set aside the habits we might not realize had come between us when we were on dates in the past. 

date night rules

Fall 2018 Wife Life Workshop

A year ago I joined forces with Amy at Freshly Married and put on a workshop here in Davis County, just for wives. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot of great things from the other speakers and all of the wives in attendance. This year I'm not helping put the event together, but will be speaking at Amy's workshop being held in Sandy, UT this coming September. I would love to see you there!

When: Saturday, September 29th, 1pm to 5pm
Where: The Miller Conference Center (Sandy, UT)
Cost: $45 per wife. (Use the code AMBERLY15 for 15% off your ticket) Ticket sales end August 31.

Wife Life Workshop

The cost of each ticket includes a seat at the workshop where you will hear from different speakers in the marriage and family relations field. The afternoon will end with a Q&A panel featuring all of the speakers and you will enjoy catered refreshments from Miller Catering. You will also receive a swag bag full of goodies and deals from the event's sponsors. Your ticket includes an entry into the raffle for giveaway prizes from sponsors.

family life education

I have a degree in Family Studies and a passion for marriage and family relationships. I love workshops and education opportunities like this! It gives you a great opportunity to learn and grow in the role that you play in your relationship. I know that everyone has goals for doing better in life, what goals do you have as a wife? I come away from workshops like this feeling excited and motivated to make changes and be a better spouse. I know that you will too!

girl's night out

Grab a friend or two to come with you and enjoy a girl's day out. Click here to purchase your tickets and don't forget to use code AMBERLY15 for 15% off of the regular ticket price.

Will you be attending this year's workshop?

Tips and Tricks for Babysitters and Date Night

One of the biggest challenges couples note when trying to plan a date night is the babysitter. Finding room in the budget to hire a babysitter, finding the right person to watch your kids while you're out, and not feeling guilty for leaving your kids behind while you go out are all things that couples have mentioned are an obstacle for their date nights.

I wrote this e-book for prioritizing date night in your relationship and in it, I shared a few tips and tricks for those couples who aren't able to get a babysitter for date night the traditional way. Then, as part of my Date Your Mate Month, I wrote five different articles for those couples who want to make date night more of a priority but have a hard time leaving their kids with a sitter for one reason or another. Below you'll find a brief synopsis of each topic and a link that will take you to the post on A Prioritized Marriage so you can read all of the tips and suggestions that I had to share.

Tips and tricks for hiring a babysitter for date night

Six Tips for a Smooth Transition with the Babysitter on Date Night

One of the toughest parts of leaving our kids with a babysitter while we are out on a date is getting out the door. There have been a lot of time when our kids are crying and begging us not to leave. I'm left feeling guilty for the first half of our date night and wondering if we should have stayed home. But we know that our marriage needs date night and we spend a lot of time with our kids and as a family so we don't feel guilty about leaving our kids while we go out. Luckily for us, those nights of our kids crying while we walk out the door for date night are over. Both of our toddlers look forward to the nights that we leave them with the babysitter now. If leaving your kids with a babysitter is hard for you because of the emotions and guilt, these tips will hopefully help relieve some of that pressure and make going out for date night more of a happy occasion for all parties involved. I know that seeing that my kids are happy and having fun makes it easier for me to enjoy date night to the fullest and not feel bad that we left the kids home.

Click here to read the full post on A Prioritized Marriage.

six tips for a smooth transition with the babysitter on date night

Three Tips to Make Date Night Fun for the Kids Too

Leaving your kids at home while you go out on a date can be difficult. Making the night with a babysitter more fun for the kids could make it just a little bit easier for you to go out on a date. If you aren't worrying about the kids back at home, you will be able to enjoy the quality time that you have together on your date. There are a few things the two of you can do that will help your kids (and the babysitter) have more fun while you are gone on your date. Your kids will begin to look forward to date nights, rather than begging you to stay home. The two of you will get to go out on a date more often and the entire family will benefit from the effort that you are putting into making date night a priority in your marriage.

Click here to read the entire post on A Prioritized Marriage.

three tips to make date night fun for the kids too

Six Tips to Keep Your Babysitters Coming Back

In the three years that we've been parents, we've only ever had our nieces, parents or siblings tend for us, but I've still worked hard to make the experience a positive one for them so that they'll want to continue tending our kids. Now that we're looking to diversify our babysitter pool, I have been thinking about these things more than ever. What are the things we can do to make babysitting our kids a fun experience and make our home one that sitters are excited to come back to? These are just a few of the things that we've done or are doing to make babysitting a positive experience for anyone who enters our home.

Click here to read the full post on A Prioritized Marriage.

six tips to keep your babysitter coming back

How to Make the Best Use of Your Date Night Time with the Babysitter

I know that hiring a babysitter for date night can be expensive, and that those kid free date nights can be far and few between when you're on a budget. That date night time is precious and you want to use it in a way that benefits your relationship. Date night allows you to escape your responsibilities for a few hours and really enjoy your time together. While I'm not against kid free grocery shopping or errand running, and have done a bit of that myself, we really try to spend the majority of our babysitter nights doing something fun and memorable together. If you're at a loss of what you want to do on your next kid free night, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Click here to read the full post on A Prioritized Marriage.

how to make the best use of your date night time with the babysitter

Are You Paying the Babysitter Enough?

I have wondered on multiple occasions, how much I should be paying our babysitters while we're out on a date. And it's a question that I revisit time and time again. Once I settle on the hourly rate that we pay our babysitters, I start to wonder if that should vary based on the time of day they're at our house, whether the kids are napping or not, if the sitter has to put together a meal, how late at night we're gone and whether or not they had the kids pick up their mess before we got home.

Click here to read the full post on A Prioritized Marriage.

are you paying the babysitter enough?

I hope you have great success getting a babysitter and going on a date! We shoot for at least one date night out a month, preferably two and if we're lucky, we sneak out a time or two after the kids are in bed to grab dessert or go on a walk. Date Your Mate Month is coming to a close, make date night a priority in your relationship and get out together this week!

Photography by Sadie Banks Photography

Tips for parents with young children who want to make date night a priority!