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The Secret To Married Dating: How To Date Your Spouse with Camille Whitting (EP 48)

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Let’s talk about making time to date our spouses! 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 📆

The hard-to-swallow truth is that we make time for what matters, and if we want a rom-com-worthy marriage (and I know I do!), than continuing to date your spouse/partner matters!

Now I know… You’re busy. He’s busy. We’re all trying to figure out how to cram all we can, with just enough downtime to relax with our favorite show.

But regular date night needs to be as routine as brushing your teeth… Because they both keep things from rotting. 

Anything important needs to be prioritized. It’s not about finding time, but making time.

This episode will help:

👉 Make date night a priority together!
👉 Embrace a regular date night mentality
👉 Find creative childcare solutions at ALL stages of raising kids
👉 Keep it FRESH! Date nights shouldn’t feel stale. We’ll both share how we keep it fun!

In this episode:

3:35 Why dating your spouse is so important
8:05 How do you find the time?
14:10 Who watches the kids
19:15 Stuck in a dating rut
29:00 Schedule in a shared calendar
34:29 Post interview wrap up

(insert Youtube video)

Making Date Night a Priority….together

When it comes to date night, you gotta be on the same page! If it’s super important to you, but falls way lower on the priority list for your spouse, that’s definitely gonna make things trickier. While we really like to prioritize going on weekly date nights, you need to decide together what makes sense for your relationship.

C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N 😉

And remember it’s not about finding time, but making time for what matters. So decide together how often you want date night to happen and then put that date night on your calendar (like right now) just like you would for anything else that’s important. We put kids dentist appointments, sports schedules, and work events there, and honestly none of those are as important as your relationship so it only makes sense to pencil in that couple time too!

Ways to make sure your kids are cared for
while you have time to reconnect

So you’re convinced that regular date nights are super duper important, but your maybe thinking, uh, what about the kids?!

I’ve said it before that when we got married my mother in law was super willing to always help out, problem was we didn’t always live close to family! So if you’ve got grandma and grandpa that are able and willing to help out, that’s great! But don’t use the we don’t have family to help be your excuse for not prioritizing your relationship.

When we were younger and still going through school we would do friend swaps. We had four couples we would swap with. One weekend we would take all the kids while the other three couples went out on dates.

It was absolute chaos and pandimonium and we were literally counting down the minutes until all the kids got picked up.

BUT those other three weeks of the month we had date night and sitters all taken care of. It was a win-win for everyone! Even the kids because they had weekly planned play dates!

As time went on we graduated from friend swaps to paying a babysitter and I loved some of the tips that Camille shared in this episode about how she helps her babysitters have the best experience and want to come back. Camille will pick up clearance craft or holiday items and save them for when the sitter comes. It might be February, and the kids are decorating and putting together clearance Christmas gingerbread houses, but it’s a fun little perk for them to look forward to.

Budgeting For Date Night

We’ve gotten past making time and making sure our kids are taken care of, now let’s talk the budget. Especially if you’re paying a babysitter and wondering how in the heck your supposed to pay for a night out too! I get it. But let’s focus on solutions and not excuses.

One idea is to find free activities around town and use the budget to pay for a sitter. Another great idea that Camille had in our episode was breaking down the month into themes:

1 bigger out on the town date
1 free or cheaper date
1 family date
1 at home date

I love this because it’s not only changing things up week by week, but with a family outing and an at home option you don’t have to worry about a sitter for those weeks.

Date Night Feeling Stale?
Ways to keep it feeling fun, new, and vibrant!

Oof, no one wants to admit this….but sometimes date night can feel kinda stale. It’s easy to get into just going to the same old restaurant and ordering the same old thing, and having your dates feel repetitive and well, kind of boring. If you need some ideas, Camille will drop them into your inbox weekly!

One tip I really loved from this episode is to choose something that will make you laugh. Camille always suggests a comedy or improv show when you are feeling like you really need to reconnect. Go laugh together. Something happens when you have the chemical release that comes with laughter and it’s gonna help you feel more connected and is a great way to change things up.

Now I believe that novelty is so important and is really good for our marriages and our relationships. Trying new and different things together can be an incredibly bonding experience. First of all, leading up to the date it gives you things to talk about, worries, excitement, anticipation about what you’re going to be doing together. Then you have the experience itself, and after you get to talk about and process the date and the new thing you tried.

In the past I have used Groupon or other local events sites for idea of things we could do. We did cooking classes, salsa dancing or one time I even found a class for glass blowing! Another fun way to find new date night ideas is to go to AirBNB for where you live and check out what experiences they have listed, I’ve found a lot of new and fun date night ideas that way.

Just be looking for out of the box ideas and even if one ends up being a total bust, it could be a really funny story one day!

Remember, the goal isn’t just to ‘get away’ from the kids or ‘take a break’ from work. It’s about investing in your relationship, creating memories, and falling in love all over again, one date at a time.

Links You’ll Love:

Fun date nights in your inbox weekly:

Free: A year of Dates (

Find more date night help: 

Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:

“Why” Matters More Than “How” ( Ep 37)

How To Balance Business and Babies ( Ep 5)

[00:00:00] Camille: I think if you decide you’re too busy, you’re gonna be too busy. If you decide this is something that matters to me, I. You are going to find time.

[00:00:09] I have found couples in like the most almost impossible situations that really do have every excuse, still find time to date. 

[00:00:47] Leah: In all the busyness, can we talk about making time and making it a priority to date your spouse? I have absolutely found. So much benefit in making sure that Taylor and I make time to date each other. We are on 21 years and I truly believe that one of the secrets of why we still really love being around each other is making time to date each other.

[00:01:20] Now, I know some of the things you are thinking cuz I’ve got them and I’ve had enough conversations and heard other people think about ’em too, which is, where am I supposed to find the time? Um, how am I supposed to afford it? How am I supposed to find childcare? Or maybe yours is, I’m gonna be honest.

[00:01:36] Date nights aren’t that fun. It feels kinda stale. How do I infuse the fun? And we are going to talk about all of that in this episode. So this episode, I am bringing in Camille Whiting. She runs the popular blog and Instagram Friday. We are in love. And her story is a Tale of Marriage Phobic. M B A grad meets rocket scientists like legitimately who convinces her to believe in love again.

[00:02:06] A pact was made when they, before they were even married. One date a week, no matter what, to keep love alive. This Spawn Friday, we are in Love a lifestyle blog with an emphasis on dating, marriage and family with a fun date night every Friday, and she gives all of these ideas, which are so helpful for the rest of us.

[00:02:26] Camille is an infertility miracle mom and always finding the next fun experience to inspire others to get out and date more. She has been featured in Women’s Day Southern Living, the Pioneer Woman, the Huffington Post, the Arizona Republic and Britain Co. So many amazing places. 

[00:02:44] And today she is on the Balancing Busy podcast, talking with me about how we make dating our spouse a priority and how we make it more fun. We are getting into all of the details. Let’s jump in.

[00:02:58] Camille Whiting, I am so excited to have you on the podcast today because you write the blog Friday. We’re in love and. Dating our spouse ongoing is so important. But you know, this podcast is called Balancing Busy. So trying to find time to date our spouse can feel hard. So let’s just start right off.

[00:03:19] Will you just share with us why you believe that dating your spouse is so important and, and what does, what does that mean to you? 

[00:03:28] Camille: Okay, well it means everything to me. Um, we started Friday. We’re in love for a very personal reason. Um, I had actually been previously married. I have like a maid for TV movie.

[00:03:38] If you really wanna like get curious about it, you can go into the blog and read a few of the archives or, I’ve shared a couple things, but, um, I’d previously been married, I’d gone through a lot of abuse and I had watched something I thought was gonna be forever, like crumble pretty quickly. And uh, one thing I noticed was just that a lot of the happiness, like.

[00:03:56] It seemed like it left really quickly. So I, I came out of that very unexpectedly divorced at a very young age. And when I met my husband Jacob, um, he was like, everything I didn’t know a guy could be. He was just amazing. He’s so sweet, he’s so wonderful. Um, but I was still really worried. I was like, I know we’re both.

[00:04:16] Kind, compassionate people. I know we’re both loyal people. I know we both really believe in love, but I kind of viewed most marriages as this like business relationship pretty quickly. Um, maybe it was my cynical lens of everything I had been through, but like even my parents are happily married and I truly viewed them as like maybe the one exception to so many couples I knew who just kind of seemed like.

[00:04:38] Business partners, honestly. Um, and so I was terrified of that. So my husband and I did some pre-marital counseling and we were challenged to go on one date every week no matter what, and we were incredibly busy people at this time. Um, I was getting my mba, I’d actually had a full-time job also, um, towards the end of my program.

[00:04:58] And I’m like, dating, planning a wedding, all these things. I, I don’t even know how I, like, stayed alive with that busy time in my life, but I realized pretty quickly. That as we prioritized our time together, our relationship was different and it was so meaningful and it was so wonderful. And so we decided we didn’t really want that to end.

[00:05:17] We didn’t want those feelings of like, You know, engagement newlywed bliss to ever go away. And through counseling we were like, date night really is, it sounds like oversimplified. And I know it’s not like the panacea to every problem in a relationship, but it really is like one of the small secret sauce items that takes relationships from like, okay to amazing.

[00:05:39] Leah: I could not agree more. So I felt very cynical going into marriage as well. Only because I hadn’t seen examples of great marriages. I couldn’t really think of any marriages that I had seen in my growing up life that actually looked happy. You know, I, I saw a lot of divorce, I saw a lot of bitterness. And even when I saw the people who were still together, which was, you know, a couple of my friend’s parents, um, And some different people, I’m like, they don’t look happy, or like they have fun together or like, they like being around each other.

[00:06:15] So I was super, super cynical as well. And um, I met my husband and, you know, I didn’t even, I would say if I’m being a hundred percent honest, I didn’t even believe in love when I met him. And then as I like, got to know him, I was like, Like, this is amazing. Is, is this real? Like, is is this gonna stay this way?

[00:06:36] Yeah. And, and he really is amazing. And we were given counsel, uh, from, from married people that he had seen as beautiful examples that, that really counseled us to date each other. In fact, this is, I know this isn’t, you know, not everyone gets this lucky, but my mother-in-law. Told us right at the very beginning of our marriage, before we even obviously had kids that um, you know, dating each other was gonna be so, so important.

[00:07:04] And that she wanted us to have regular dates. She would watch the kids and even she wanted us to wow, get away just the two of us one week a year. And that she would watch the kids, which I know that is like, not everybody’s I know. 

[00:07:16] Camille: So, so lucky. I, I want so. I need someone like that in my life too. 

[00:07:20] Leah: But it’s, it’s, yeah, it’s amazing.

[00:07:22] So, so I have felt the same way where I have realized and recognized that dating your spouse ongoing is so, so critical. I. So we know that part. But I wanna start by just talking about, first of all, how we make the time to do that. Because it’s exactly what you said. You know, you were so busy when you started this challenge, and I love that you used the word prioritize.

[00:07:48] We’re totally going to, you know, dig into that. Yeah. Yeah. But how. How do you find the time? And I’ll share as well after, but how do you find that time to regularly date your spouse when life is so hard, and especially when kids come into the mix and you gotta find babysitters and you know, all those other things.

[00:08:08] Well, 

[00:08:09] Camille: first of all, it’s gotta be a mentality, right? Like, uh, you will find time for anything you really want. I learned that dating my husband, right? Like I’m so busy in with basically two full-time jobs, full-time MBA program, full-time working, and then all of a sudden this guy comes in and I often wouldn’t get outta class until like 10:00 PM and we would find.

[00:08:29] 30, 45 minutes, he would come meet me on campus and we would like go for a walk and talk. Like we would find these little teeny pockets of time that we could date each other. And I think if you decide you’re too busy, you’re gonna be too busy. If you decide this is something that matters to me, I. You are going to find time.

[00:08:48] I have found couples in like the most almost impossible situations that really do have every excuse, still find time to date. Let me give you an example. I had a coworker once. They had three little kids and their wife was pregnant with a fourth. She was getting her doctorate degree, I believe she was becoming a doctor.

[00:09:06] She’s in her third year. She’s incredibly busy. He is running a marketing agency, and they just were like, Crazy all the time. Right? They really had limited resource, limited time, all the things. Um, she had one day a week she was like nearby our office and he would ask me to cover an hour with his clients so that he could go take an extended like two hour lunch and actually date his wife every week.

[00:09:29] And I was like, I love that. Absolutely. Like I lost. So good. You can find time, right? Like you can find your way if you want it. You will make it happen. So I feel like that’s the first part is just like get a date night mentality. Be like, we will make this happen. We are super busy, but can we fit it in?

[00:09:48] Where can we fit it in, even if it is like a once a week lunch date, because that’s what you can do at this phase of life. Okay. 

[00:09:54] Leah: I so agree. So good. Like if it’s a priority, you’re gonna make it happen. So you together need to make it that priority. Like this is not negotiable. This is a must. Now I know that the very next question that comes for so many is for all those who have kids who are in the age where you can’t just leave.

[00:10:15] Someone needs to care for them. They’re like, you don’t understand my situation. I can’t tell you cuz I’ve had this conversation many, many times. I am a. Firm believer in date night. This has come up at a lot of conferences. I’ve spoke at retreats, I’ve hosted, and, and you know, they try to say to me, but you don’t understand my situation.

[00:10:32] I don’t have access to anyone to help me with my kids. So let’s get into that one. Like, how do we talk about that? Okay, yeah. Let’s, let’s get into this and, and, you know, get rid of those, those myths or those beliefs that it’s like, oh, it’s not possible for me. 

[00:10:48] Camille: Okay, so we have like wonderful, wonderful parents, but one lives far away and one, like my parents actually don’t live far from us, but they both worked full-time when we had our first child.

[00:11:02] Like, and I have a lot of siblings, a lot of needs, a lot of things. Anyway, I actually had to ask my mom when my son was like one and a half. I was like, do you realize you’ve babysat him one time in a year and a half? I don’t say that to like make my mom feel guilty. She just was in a season of life, like.

[00:11:15] We were low priority. Um, and that sounds awful too. But we, you know, she just was busy and we were like, we gotta figure other things out. Um, I think the mentality of your parents owe you babysitting, like, has to go. You need to I agree. This out on your own. Like if they volunteer, fantastic. Anytime our parents are like, yes, we can help you.

[00:11:33] For the record, my mom does. Watch our kids quite a bit more. We are like flying out of town for a concert this week and she’s like, oh, I’ll take your kids every night. Like I’m now in a season where I’m like, okay, we’re getting a little more help. But I think it comes and goes and I think you have to prep for the seasons when it’s not there, when they’re busy, when they can’t do it.

[00:11:50] It, a lot of people do not have parent like help, support. Whatsoever. So it is something where you kind of need to like bite the bullet and be like, childcare is a thing and I need to find a good babysitter and I need to make this happen. Um, I have a system for you though. If you’re like, we can’t afford a babysitter, the babysitter will take all of our budget.

[00:12:08] I also don’t think that’s an excuse because there are so many free dates you can do, like, put your budget in the babysitter and go do something completely free. Like that’s one thing. But we have, I have a post on my blog all about this, but we have, it’s called How We Date, um, how We Make Date Night Happen with a Baby.

[00:12:23] This is how we figured it out. We had a four week system that works really well for us. Um, once a week we went ahead and like s Splurged, we went all out. We paid for a babysitter. We paid for an expensive date. We made sure we had like at least once a month an awesome stereotypical go out, leave the kids like date night.

[00:12:41] Um, once a week we did a swap with friends, I’m sorry, once a month. We would like swap with friends, find a friend. That you trust with kids your age, an aunt, a neighbor, one of your Fri your kid’s best friends. Like see if you can swap. They look forward to the play dates when you have the kids come to your house.

[00:12:58] And then you also like get a night with, you know, the free childcare. Um, once a month, we do a date night at home. I know for some people, date night at home is like totally their jam. I’m gonna be totally honest. It is not ours. We like fall asleep on the couch. We have to mix it up. We have to like go outside.

[00:13:14] We do car dates sometimes where we go like, take food out in our car just so it feels different. Oh my word. That’s how we like survived the pandemic. We like did a lot of car dates and we did a lot of like backyard dates and things, but we do it at home. We get creative and we find a date that like, Actually works at home.

[00:13:29] And then we do usually ask for help. We see if like a parent or an aunt or uncle or somebody can help us like the fourth week. Um, and if we can’t get that, we take our kids with us and we just include them in a family date, I think that becomes the default. So you wanna like try to prioritize you first, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your kids Seeing what it’s like to go on a date and have fun with you.

[00:13:50] And note that like mom and dad are happy together and we’re also gonna enjoy a fun activity as a family. So that’s, oh, I love that. Super well for us to be like once a month, kids once a month at home and two other nights. We’re like figuring out date night out on the town one way or another. 

[00:14:05] Leah: Oh, I love that.

[00:14:06] And I always say this, but I love hearing how other people do things right, because that’s how we all get inspired and we get ideas and we’re like, oh, okay, those are so good. So we, the way we’ve kind of done ours is, first of all, we have incredible parents who help with our kids, but we have not lived near them almost ever.

[00:14:23] Um, so we, um, we lived near them for the first four months of our first being born. Which was incredibly helpful, but then we moved to Hawaii to finish up, um, undergrad, so obviously, No, no family nearby. And you know what, it was amazing. Friends would help out. We would ask, you know, like, will someone watch for just a couple hours?

[00:14:48] And, and, and during that season, we were one of the only ones with the baby. So others were really sweet to help because they just enjoyed the baby time. But as we got closer to graduation, more started to have ’em. And, and we did the trading, then we went to graduate school, and that was in Portland, Oregon.

[00:15:06] Well, graduate school we had, I mean, no money. We had no money in undergrad either, let’s be honest. Right. But no money in graduate school. Again, trying to make, make date nights. So, so, such a priority, but with really feeling like we have no money for a babysitter. So we created a group of four couples. And one Friday night, a month.

[00:15:31] I’m not even going to lie. It was horrible. It was pandemonium. All the kids were at our house. I can’t remember. I think it was like, Oh, like 12 kids at our house, you were counting down the seconds until parents would come back and pick up their children. I mean, it was pandemonium, but it meant three other Friday nights.

[00:15:55] That we had babysitters that we didn’t have to pay for. So yes it that the one that was ours was not fun, but we sucked it up and we did what we had to do and we got to have regular date nights. Then when we finally do get outta school and we’re starting to have some money, then absolutely. We started paying for babysitters and I will just say we made sure we paid a little bit higher than everybody else and that we had the best snacks.

[00:16:20] Cause there was often times where, Everybody was fighting for the same sitters, right? Like, there’s like this group of, of of girls who were kind of the, the babysitting squad and Right. There’s a bunch of people all wanting to do something. Sometimes it’s a big friend group, right. And we’re all trying to go the same thing.

[00:16:36] It’s like, oh shoot, who’s gonna get the babysitters first? 

[00:16:39] Camille: Yes. 

[00:16:39] Leah: And so we made sure we paid a little bit better and we always had really, really good snacks. And we’re like, you know, full, go into the pantry. Go crazy. So can I give you 

[00:16:50] Camille: one more tip? Yeah. This is our babysitter. Like this is one thing we love that you do.

[00:16:54] We try to set up the babysitter for success too. Like for example, I am not the biggest Play-Doh mom. It’s like one of those sensory things that I’m like, oh, okay, good for you. But I don’t love cleaning it up. I will like buy a Play-Doh kit or like save one hoard one. And then when the babysitter comes, I’m like, here’s a new Play-Doh kit.

[00:17:12] And my kids are like, what? And the babysitter looks like this hero because she has some fun new activity. I mean, whenever I find like sale, like little holiday craft things at like, I. Michaels or Joanne’s, or Targets, I’m sorry, whatever. I get a couple of those and I hoard them, and so I often hand like a fresh novel activity to the babysitter to be like, here you go.

[00:17:30] And the babysitter’s like, wow. It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s entertaining. And my kids like love, love, love the babysitters. They tell me all the time that that has been like, Such a great little secret sauce that they like that. 

[00:17:42] Leah: That is so good. Oh my gosh. I, I love that idea. Yeah, everyone should take that. That is a good one.

[00:17:48] And that, like you said, it doesn’t have to be expensive. 

[00:17:50] Camille: Literally. No, I, in fact, this is a funny, we buy like after holiday clearance, like kids, we making Halloween sugar cookies like at Christmas with one of our babysitters. And I’m like, it’s great. They don’t care. Like have fun, make all the skeleton pack cookies, whatever.

[00:18:03] Like we buy a lot of those clearance things and they just have a good time with the babysitter. 

[00:18:08] Leah: That’s brilliant. I’m totally imagining like shopping the end caps of the target, you know, aisles. Yeah. Where all the clearances and being like, yep, I’ll take it, I’ll take it. That’s grabbing, you know, a few of those little crafts at the dollar store.

[00:18:19] Oh, that is so good. Okay. It works so well. I love that. So, so here’s what we’ve established so far. Number one, the only way dates are gonna happen is if you make it a priority, you gotta schedule it. You gotta make it a priority. You gotta just commit that you’re gonna do it. Number two, there is a way to go on dates, whether you’re saying I can’t afford babysitters, or you’re saying I don’t know anyone.

[00:18:41] I mean, there are services where you can find someone who can babysit if you don’t know anyone. Yes. Or you can, you know, connect with friends. There are ways, right? So we’ve established that. There are ways to make sure your kids are cared for while you get to getaway and have that time when you reconnect together.

[00:19:00] Now I wanna shift, and as we wrap this up, I wanna talk about, for anyone who is saying and feeling like I. I don’t wanna admit this, like I don’t wanna raise my hand, but date nights feel kind of stale. Like, I think of the movie date night. If no one ha if, if you haven’t seen that, you should watch that on a date night.

[00:19:17] Cuz that’s a funny movie. Um, but you know, they’re like, they’re doing the same old thing, right? They go to the same restaurant or they go see Yeah. A movie every time. It’s, it’s, it’s just feeling stale. How, what would you offer as suggestions to help keep date night? Fun and new and, and vibrant and just feeling, feeling different.

[00:19:39] Camille: Okay, so I’ve got three, like right off the bat. Okay. Okay. So number one is, I think you should follow me a shameless plug, but like follow Friday, we’re in love on social media. On the blog we even have an email list, um, where we’ll like send you fresh date ideas every single week. So if you need like new fun things like.

[00:19:57] Follow us. We’re a real couple going on real dates, like sharing the thick of all the things, sharing like seasonal things every week on Instagram. I do like five dates to do this week, so I’ve 

[00:20:08] Leah: been watching those and they’re so fun. So I’m, I’m going to agree. That if you need ideas, that is a great place to go.

[00:20:17] One 

[00:20:18] Camille: resource. Um, I’m gonna give one for those of you, like truly in the trenches, like maybe even date night feels awkward or uncomfortable. You’re not in a great re like place with your relationship. It just really isn’t fun. Um, this is the date I tell everyone to go on to reconnect. You should go to a comedy show or to an improv show.

[00:20:34] You need to go laugh together. Something happens when you have like the chemical release of endorphins that helps you feel more love. The oxytocin’s going to, it’s gonna help you feel a little more connected and it’s gonna break the ice. So I tell anyone that’s like really, really stale, like go to one really funny comedy show and laugh together.

[00:20:56] It will reconnect you in ways like you couldn’t even imagine. Um, and along the same lines with like that dopamine hit is just the, like, you need to do something new. You need to commit to it. I think as married couples, especially when we’re together longer, we almost like enable each other to become like grumpy old people.

[00:21:13] Like, hear me out on this one. Right? 

[00:21:15] Leah: So I agree. 

[00:21:16] Camille: You go to a restaurant and you’re like, Oh, they have some new menu item and you’re like, uh, you don’t like, like vegetables very much. And there’s a few in there. So actually let’s just order what we order every single week. Like we’re kind of like, oh wait, you don’t like that?

[00:21:29] So why try anything new? Or why push you like into anything new? Or we j I don’t know. We just always want the other to be like comfortable, which I think is a great thing. But it’s not good for our marriages and our relationship because there is like scientific research that doing new things together, like triggers different things in your brain, right?

[00:21:48] You have a chemical release, you have that adrenaline rush, you have that dopamine rush, like new experiences and new activities are what? Make that happen. And so if you are doing the same, um, movie together, like even if movies are totally your jam, we like movies. We don’t share movies a ton cuz I feel like that’s the default that everybody does.

[00:22:08] But like, you need to find a way to mix that up. Go to a different theater. You need to have like your own little book club style discussion after. Like, what did you like about it? What did you think? What did you learn? What was your favorite? Like, things like that. You can get a little creative, but I would say, Take a step back from like the place you always eat, take a step back from like the theater you always go to like really, really, really shake up the routine.

[00:22:28] I know it’s like one more thing to think of when you’ve already had to book the babysitter. You’ve already had to like find time in your busy schedules. You’ve already had to like cram in so many different things. It will make all the difference to actually like plan something new and novel because that is like truly the secret sauce to unlocking all those.

[00:22:46] Brain chemicals that help you feel more love. So yes, mentally get there, like make it happen. 

[00:22:52] Leah: No, I, so this was exactly going to be my answer too. Anyone who has ever been to any of my retreats, you just heard Camille completely confirm what I told all of you. Um, so I have been preaching this forever.

[00:23:06] Novelty is so important. In the dating process and with our spouse. So when we were, and I don’t even know if this is still, if this still exists, I kind of think maybe it doesn’t. But back in our Portland days, so that was graduate school, I would check on like living social and Groupon. I think Groupon might 

[00:23:27] Camille: still be around room time.

[00:23:28] Definitely. Yes. 

[00:23:28] Leah: They both exist. So I used to, I used to go on those all the time and if anything looked kind of interesting, I would just buy them. And then as we’re coming up on date night, I’d be like, all right, we’ve got salsa lessons, we’ve got glass blowing, we’ve got this restaurant, we’ve got this.

[00:23:43] What do we wanna do? Yeah. And it was throwing us into all these very new situations. Here’s why I think novelty is, is so critical. I. One of the hardest things is that you sort of start to feel like, ah, we know everything about each other. We know all of each other’s stories. We have the same conversations.

[00:24:03] And often, sometimes, even though we’re trying so hard not to let this happen, they take a slight negative undertone. Cuz you know, you’re talking about the, the problems that you’re trying to deal with, trying to figure things out, um, talking about the kids, talking about work. We need to create more fun that we can talk about.

[00:24:21] And what I found so powerful is that, When we were starting, when we were gonna go do something totally new. So let’s use dance lessons. As one of the examples, all week Taylor and I were chatting about like, oh my gosh, how do you think it’s gonna go? Oh, I’m really nervous. Right? So it gave us new fresh content.

[00:24:37] That’s such a funny word to use when we’re talking about dating, but it did. Yeah. It gave us new, fresh content to talk about leading up to the date, which was really fun. Right. Then we have the date. Now we have this really new, fresh stuff to talk about because we’re cracking up laughing over like, How bad we were and how the instructor just kept wanting to dance with Taylor and like, you know, just like all these things.

[00:25:00] I mean, it was like, it was just so funny and it gave us so much new stuff to now talk about, which was so powerful. So this idea of infusing novelty, I think this just takes an added step of planning one time, maybe quarterly, right? It’s not, it’s not about like every week you gotta be like, okay, I gotta sit down and try to start researching what other things we can do.

[00:25:25] Just sit down once and like, I mean, a really interesting place to look that I think people wouldn’t think of is go to Airbnb and look at the experiences section. Yes. Right. Like start looking at what all the experiences in your own town are. We have had so much fun doing everything from cooking classes to obviously dance lessons, to a million other different things that give us so much new stuff.

[00:25:54] To talk about, like now we’re not going like, oh, this is kind of boring, cuz we don’t, you know, we don’t know what else to tell each other. Like, oh, did I tell you this? Oh yeah, you did. Dang it. You know, like just really nice helps create those new conversations. So I agree for anyone who’s feeling like.

[00:26:10] Date nights are a little bit stale. I love your advice that if things are feeling a little bit hard right now, I love your idea about going and laughing. That I’m like, yes, that rings true. That is so great. And maybe that’s gonna be a couple times, maybe you’re gonna do, you know, one comedy club and then an improv, like maybe it’s gonna be a few laughing ones.

[00:26:28] You need a little more of that to like, they’re different every time. 

[00:26:31] Camille: That’s like the good news. You can do the same thing a couple times and it will feel like novel with different jokes and different things and you know, it’s just like a good. Funny and like, um, if, if you’re going, this sounds so fun, but also I really don’t have the money.

[00:26:45] Like I talked to plenty of couples that I, I realize I’m coming from like a place of privilege that we do set this date night budget. Anything that you can do with money, you can find a free version. You can find if you pay for like Netflix, there’s always new comedian shows like on Netflix. So, Set up your home, like you’re going to the comedy show, right?

[00:27:02] Leah: And, and, and then watch Brian Regan. Cause go. Exactly, exactly. Sticking funny. 

[00:27:07] Camille: It’s so good. Good. So like, don’t anything we suggest, anything we do, I have learned there is like a free equivalent. I, I know that sounds really funny, but we, a few years ago we went to London on like this huge trip. It was like our, I thought it would be our one big trip of our lifetime.

[00:27:22] And it wasn’t. Luckily I’ve been lucky to do more, but at the time I was like, we have to do and see everything. And the more I researched it, the more I realized. Most museums in Europe do one free day a week. And so we try to plan all of our events on the free day to save money. And when I came back to the US I was like, whoa.

[00:27:37] In the US it’s more like once a month. Most of ’em do a free night, once a month. But I’m like anything, anything that you’re like, I don’t have the money. Like drop that excuse There is a free equivalent. Even if it’s like Netflix has filmed it. You can see Taylor Swift on Netflix. Like, come on, you can do anything.

[00:27:52] Like find a way to stream it. Find the free nights like, but yes. Comedy shows are always a good way to go and don’t let the high ticket price, um, stray you away from trying that. 

[00:28:04] Leah: Oh, that’s so, that’s so good. Just doing a search for free activities in your city name and then start seeing what’s available.

[00:28:12] And there’s gonna be ones around the holidays for sure. Absolutely. There’s, I, there’s always some great ones in the summertime, like outdoor concerts and movie, you know, outdoor movies. And a lot of those are free. So, I agree, these things exist and, and be looking for them and then you’re gonna plan accordingly.

[00:28:30] Like, oh, the outdoor movie night happens to be Saturday on this day. Well, we know when date night is for that 

[00:28:36] Camille: week. Yeah. And, and one of our things too is like, we’re both project managers, so you’ll have to excuse us if, if this sounds like O C D to a lot of people, but I think this audience, this community that is like busy and likes to schedule things, we love this.

[00:28:47] Yeah. Yeah. We have an actual Google Calendar shared that is called Date Night. And we put it, if we wanna surprise each other, we’ll put like Camille’s turn or Jacob’s turn. But typically we put it right on there if we know like a new restaurant’s opening, if we see a freebie, if we know that like the county fair’s coming in, we don’t wanna miss that.

[00:29:04] Something like that. We just put it right on there. So we both have this like shared calendar that it’s like it’s all there and then we can see where there’s holes to fill in also and buy those like Groupons and other things. But it’s been one of the like big organizational things that’s made regular date night and fun date night, like.

[00:29:19] Very doable and a lot more organized for us. I 

[00:29:23] Leah: love that. You know, I’m gonna be like, yes, there is a spreadsheet for this or a Google sheet. That sounds fantastic. I love it. Fantastic. I love it. I love it. No, that is so great. And you know, the last thing I’m gonna say is just that also shifting it up with doing I.

[00:29:38] Group dates sometimes, right? Double dates. Yeah, group dates. That is another thing that creates some new novelty, gets you chatting with other people. Our date night this week is a group date where there’s gonna be six of us. Um, and it’s gonna be, you know, really fun. It shakes it up. The last several, you know, for actually quite a while have really been more just the two of us.

[00:29:56] And so, you know, this is gonna be fun and different. So yeah, it’s just, Finding ways to shake it up is, is amazing. Oh, this has been so good. Okay, Camille, is there anything that you wanna share with us as we wrap this up? 

[00:30:09] Camille: Um, I just wanna like, basically like bear the testimony of it. Like we’re 12 years into this project of going out every week.

[00:30:17] We have been through some of the hardest phases, like a colic baby, where we really couldn’t have a babysitter, a pandemic, right? Where there was like nowhere to go. And we hate our home day. We don’t hate ’em, but we just don’t do ’em as much. Um, like we’ve, we’ve been through some of those seasons, we’ve been through job loss, where we’ve been like, oh my gosh, how are we gonna come up with things like whatever season of life you’re in, if you get this date night mentality and make it happen and find three free things, get creative.

[00:30:42] Like even if it doesn’t look ideal or like a movie or like a date night blogger, whatever, like what matters is that you’re putting in the effort and the time. And I can tell you that after over 12 years of marriage now, like I really do, Love my husband just as much or more than I did when we were newlyweds.

[00:31:00] We still feel this like deep connection and love, like everything we set out to do. The more we do this, the more I’m like, Yep. Why is this to like premar marriage counseling ever? Go on a date, make it happen. Make sure in like the string of all the business things you do, all the negative things, all the adulting that isn’t as fun.

[00:31:20] Make sure you like put in those like pockets of fun memories and quality time together because it, it’s like exercise, right? I wish I could do it once and be like, good, I’m in shape. But it is something like you have to keep doing repeatedly. And date night really truly is like it sounds oversimplified.

[00:31:37] It’s not the panacea. Everything I said at the beginning, I’ll say it again, but it is one of those things that’s like a small drop in your relationship, a small deposit in your relationship. You’re like growing that 401K to like an amazing relationship. It works, 

[00:31:50] Leah: I promise. Amen. Amen. I am. Amen. Your testimony on the power of dating our spouse and making it a priority and it is going to look so different.

[00:32:03] In the different seasons. Right. We are now on the cusp of, of within four years being empty nesters. And that’s gonna look so different then. And we have, you know, experienced exactly what you said, literally everything from. Three kids, three years and younger and trying to do date night in that scenario.

[00:32:24] Wow. To no money, to, you know, a a date night budget that was bigger than our food budget for the month. I mean, yeah, we’ve, we’ve done it all and. And we figured out how to do it. And I can say when we’re prioritizing dates, we are better, right? Like that’s the bottom line. When we prioritize dates, we’re better.

[00:32:45] And so, ugh, this is been so good. And don’t you think it makes 

[00:32:47] Camille: you better, like in every other area of your life too? Like, I am a better mom, I am a better business owner. Like getting that fun little release every week actually makes me more productive in every other area 

[00:32:58] Leah: of my life too. It’s filling our cup again, it’s like it’s getting us.

[00:33:03] You know, just shaking it all up and getting us out of our normal routine and doing something that just breaks it up and gives us something to look forward to, which is so powerful. Yeah, I do agree. I’m, I’m better in all areas when, when we are consistently dating and when we’re, when we’re being very, um, intentional about dating, right?

[00:33:22] Mm-hmm. And I do think that is, that, is this, this tricky little component where you’re, you’re not letting it become stale. You’re being intentional about it because otherwise, It could feel like, I mean I’m doing this but I don’t feel like I’m getting anything out of it. And that’s the same with anything.

[00:33:36] We gotta just like your workout routine, sometimes you gotta shift that whole thing up cuz otherwise you plateau. Same thing with dating. Like you gotta, you gotta put that intention into it. And I’m gonna say it for Camille again. I. That intention can be so much easier by just following her on Instagram, being part of her newsletter, because she is giving so many ideas for dates.

[00:33:58] So that way you don’t have to be scratching your head by yourself. So, so good. Well, thank you. Oh, you’re welcome. Okay. Thank you so much for being on this episode with me, Camille. I had so much fun with you. I know this is gonna be so powerful for others. So thank you again. Thank 

[00:34:13] Camille: you for having me. It’s been so fun.

[00:34:17] Leah: I am feeling so inspired after talking with Camille about just date night and all the things around it, and I hope you are too. And here’s what I wanna leave you with. Start small. We are all about progress, not perfection. And you know, if you have been on a date night drought, then. It doesn’t need to be a flood.

[00:34:40] It doesn’t need to be every single week. You can ease your way into this. It may just need to start with a real heart-to-heart conversation. That sounds something like, I miss you and I’d really like to go on a date. If I plan something, are you up for it? And when are you available? And then maybe you can follow that up with and will you plan the next one?

[00:35:02] That really might be what it looks like. Now. I know we are all in different. Places, and I know for some listening, maybe you’re struggling in your marriage, maybe it’s really hard right now and you’re hearing all of this and it sounds so beautiful and wonderful and maybe so far out of reach. And I’m gonna just encourage you to just, just start.

[00:35:26] Start small, just 1%. I love Camille’s idea about starting with humor, starting with something funny, watching a comedy show, going to improv, starting somewhere like that. And if you are just on the other end of the spectrum, how can you bring it up again, just 1% more, but for where you are right now.

[00:35:54] Everything else in life can change. But the goal and and what we believe when we say I do, is that the one constant is going to be our partner. And I’ll tell you, I am now at the place in life where I am on the cusp of empty nesters. I mean, we have four years left. Our oldest goes off to college this September and it’s boom, boom, boom.

[00:36:20] Cuz well, They’re really close in age, and I am so, so grateful that in all of the things that I am worrying about, and I’ll admit, there’s a lot, like our family dynamic is changing and, and I’m not doing as great as with that as I’d like to, to say that I am. But one thing I know is that Taylor and I are strong and that we, because of making each other a priority, and I’m gonna be honest, he’s so much better at it than I am so much better at it.

[00:36:53] But because of that, throughout our whole marriage, that is not one of my fears. I remember hearing a lot of people talk about, you know, all the kids leave and they find themselves in this moment of like, What do we have in common now if we don’t have the kids? And you can get that back if that’s where you are.

[00:37:13] I really do believe that. And if you’re not there yet, start building that common ground now. And one of the best ways we do that is connecting on a one-to-one level. And that is through dating, going on dates, re rebuilding that relationship with each other. I am so grateful. For date night and what it has been for us through our whole marriage, our ritual is one date a week, one overnighter at least a quarter, and one week, just the two of us a year.

[00:37:46] And that has been phenomenal for us and it’s meant so much. So I hope that this episode helps you. If you are loving this idea and you wanna get. Friends to help you with it, like where you can kind of keep each other accountable and give each other ideas and maybe swap babysitting, share this episode with them and together you guys can all work on your marriages and just.

[00:38:09] Doing Better, dating Your Spouse. Okay. That’s it for this episode. Thank you so much for being part of Balancing Busy. I am Leah Rele here to help you do less but better so that we can enjoy all the things and not have to compromise between our dreams and our health, our happiness, our home. Until next time, thank you again.

[00:38:33] I’ll see you next week.



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