by Pam Mohlner
I recently read about a local couple who celebrated their 75th anniversary surrounded by their six children and multiple grandchildren. As a couple together for a third of that time and right in the thick of childrearing, I wondered how they did it. After becoming parents, we get so wrapped up in the day to day that many of us forget about nurturing that part of our relationship. Jane Kahle, a licensed clinical professional counselor says, “A couple should look at their marriage as their first born.” Just as you would not disregard your child when another comes along, Kahle urges parents not to overlook their marriage.
Establishing a regular date with your partner will help you to stay connected. Too often, parents forgo a much needed date night, choosing to spend their time and money on their children. Kahle advises couples to not always put their marriage last.
“Time for a couple with young children is the hardest priority for a young family to fill, especially when finances are stretched. Finding time to be away can be hard, but a date that continues to happen shows the bond between the couple is important.” In today’s economy, it can be difficult to keep the family budget in mind when planning your date. A couple may spend $100 on a simple dinner-and-a-movie date, not including the babysitter. Don’t let that stop you. Spending
time together is the goal—not how much money you spend. Here are five ways you can plan a fantastic date without breaking the bank.
1. Support the Local Arts in Your Area
Check out local colleges, community centers and libraries for a variety of low-cost performances. At Broward College’s Bailey Hall, see how love finds a way even in the harshest of environments, with a spectacular orchestral production of the award-winning documentary March of the Penguins, on Saturday, February 25. Tickets start at $13 per adult. You can also find a host of concerts at indoor and outdoor venues throughout the county. Make a night of it by reviewing the show over coffee and dessert. Or put on your dancing shoes for a night of live music and beachside dancing from 7-9pm on Tuesday, February 7 at the Main Beach Parking Lot in Deerfield Beach.
2. Head Outdoors
No matter what the season, there is plenty to do outside. Take a stroll along Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, head to a nature center with a picnic, or go for a paddle at one of Broward County’s parks that offer canoe and rowboat rentals. Looking for a unique way to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Head to Miramar Pineland on February 14 for a night hike where you and your loved one can spend quality time strolling hand-in-hand. The hike takes place from 6-7pm and the cost is $5 per person. A low-key activity doesn’t bust the budget, and allows you to focus on what’s important, each other.
3. Volunteer Together
Rekindle your love for one another by showing kindness to strangers. Find a charity or cause that you both want to support and ask where you can help. Not sure where to start? Check out HandsOnBroward.org where you can find a lengthy list of local non-profit organizations seeking your help. Try working in an animal shelter, running a tent at a fundraising event, or serving in a soup kitchen. The experience you share may turn into a lifelong commitment.
4. Be a Tourist in Your Hometown
Grab your camera and head out to see the sights. Every town has tourist attractions in the form of statues, historic buildings and natural occurrences. Take turns snapping pictures of each other in front of the landmarks that are part of your community. The 10-foot tall I LOVE YOU sculpture outside the Young At Art Museum in Davie is a great place to capture the moment. Enjoy a restaurant crawl for two by stopping at several restaurants in town to try a specialty item from each menu.
5. Window Shop
Browse the aisles of a flea market, downtown area or your local mall. Hold hands like a new couple while you search for great bargains or dream about larger purchases. Throw pennies in the fountain or listen to the music of local performers. Enjoy a snack from a food vendor and find a good spot to people watch. Take a picture in a photo booth as a memento from your date.