Date night gratitude challenge: 30 days to appreciate your partner
It’s been a tough year and we could all use a refueling of our love tank. I know how good it makes me feel when my husband tells me out loud something he notices or appreciates. Too often we don’t say out loud all the things we love about our partner. The busyness of life gets in the way and we overlook the little things. The date night is actually 30 days to appreciate your partner with a date night to start and to finish the 30 days.
Five Love Languages
Discovering your and your partner’s love languages is so important to your relationship and appreciating your partner. You may be surprised by what your find or not, but it’s worth taking the time to know and discuss. Take this quiz to find out your love languages.
I remember the first time I read Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, it was like a lightbulb turning on in my head. Understanding my needs was critical to preventing feelings of weariness in my relationship. Your partner is not a mind reader, sharing how they can love you best is a game changer. The same goes for you reciprocating love. You could be working so hard to show love and it’s not really being received how you hope so you get discouraged. When you pour your effort into focusing on your partner’s top love language, while still engaging all five, I believe you will see positive benefits for your relationship.
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION: Good and loving communication is central to this love language. Focus on encouraging and affirming words while actively listening. Surprise your partner with a hand written note or text a message during the work day. Be genuine and be careful in how you share constructive criticism.
ACTS OF SERVICE: This love language requires an “actions speak louder than words” approach. Ask your partner how you can help them. Surprise them by doing a chore that is normally their responsibility. Any way you can serve them is noticed and helps them know you are in this together. Be careful how you prioritize your time and always follow through on tasks you’ve offered to complete.
PHYSICAL TOUCH: While you may think this one is obvious, think outside the box for this love language. Intimacy is important to your relationship so find ways to show affection throughout the day. When you’re on a date hold hands, or when you leave for work make sure to always give a hug and kiss goodbye. Withholding affectionate touch will be especially hurtful is this is your partner’s love language, so follow the adage “always kiss me goodnight”.
RECEIVING GIFTS: We all love gifts, but with this love language it isn’t just about the dollar amount spent it’s the thoughtfulness of the gift. Taking time to choose or even make a special gift says that your partner is your priority. Get a calendar or alarm on your phone to make sure you don’t forget special occasions.
QUALITY TIME: Time together is what this love language values. Carve out time for uninterrupted one-on-one moments. It can be as simple as 10 minutes with the television and phone off at the end of the night. Take a walk around the neighborhood after dinner. Plan a special weekend getaway and leave distractions at home.
While it’s important to focus on your partner’s primary love language, all five are important. As you spend the next 30 days to appreciate your spouse get creative with how your words can speak to their primary love language. And even if words of affirmation aren’t the primary love language it will still help fill that love tank.
Day One Date
What you’ll need: A blank journal, fun pens, stickers
This date is going to be the wife’s choice. Depending on how much time you have; enjoy a meal, coffee, or dessert at the wife’s favorite place. If you don’t want to go out you can get take out and then enjoy a scenic drive. Here’s some questions to get the conversation going:
- What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
- What is one of your most memorable Christmas presents you ever received?
- Describe your perfect day.
- If you could do anything what would be your dream job?
- What is your favorite physical quality of your partner?
Next, head to the craft store or order your materials online ahead of time and have them ready. Have fun picking out your supplies and tapping into your creative side by creating a gratitude journal to appreciate your partner.
Here are some ideas for supplies from Oriental Trading:
These are simple, cost effective, and perfect if you want to each have your own journal.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS: It’s easy to skip a day. I get it you fall into bed too tired to think. The busyness of the holiday season overtakes you. But, put your gratitude journal in a place you both will remember to fill it out. Try putting it on the bathroom countertop, so you fill it out first thing in the morning. Or put it on the dining room table to fill out during a meal. You could also each have a spot and time to fill it out. Maybe you have the journal on your bedside table to fill out in the morning and then leave it on your partner’s side of the bed to fill out that evening. Make it a habit and you won’t miss a day!
Day Thirty Date
It’s the husband’s turn to choose. Now’s your chance guys! Pick your favorite restaurant, coffee spot, or dessert place to share some quality time. Make sure to bring your journal. While you are enjoying your time take turns reading your journal to your spouse; sharing all the things you appreciate about them.
Don’t let the 30 days be the end of appreciating your partner. Taking time to show love intentionally and speaking aloud words of thanks to your partner should be a habit for a healthy and enduring relationship. Hopefully, after 30 days it will have helped you form a habit that continues to encourage you and your partner. All relationships have their ups and downs, but I know especially during the downs, being intentional in my appreciation has made all the difference!
THIS MOMMY TRIED IT AND YOU CAN TOO!