Do you remember your first date? Mine was at a church carnival. It was exactly what you’d imagine: a couple of 15-year-olds avoiding holding hands, him trying to win me a stuffed animal by throwing darts at balloons, splitting a cotton candy on the Ferris wheel. It was the epitome of sweet awkwardness. Now, my husband and I follow our kids around that same carnival and act as human ATMs every time they want “just one more dollar” to try to win a fish. Suffice it to say, it’s not a date for us.
When you’re a parent, it’s tempting to say that a kid-free night out to dinner counts as a date. Maybe it does for you, or maybe it’s just a quieter version of the third meal of the day. When you get those moments away, what can you do to actually make it feel like a date? What does a man want from the woman he loves when they finally get a night out? Here are 7 things every husband wants on a date with his wife.
1. He wants a check-in…
You can look at a date night as a state of the union address. Focus on finding out how your husband is doing. Even just asking how he’s doing while making eye contact can start a meaningful conversation. Most men are eager to talk to their wives about what’s on their minds; they just need an invitation.
2. …but not a checklist.
So much of day-to-day life revolves around the kids and their needs or what has to get done around the house. No joke—one night out, my husband and I spent about 20 minutes talking about garage door openers. Use the time to talk about the family, but avoid the temptation to scratch a to-do list on your napkin.
3. He wants you to smile.
What does a man want from the woman he loves when they are out together? He wants to feel like she wants to be there. Even if you have a lot on your mind, try to leave it at home and just enjoy the time together. He probably loves seeing you smile, so be generous! And feel free to flirt a little. You can still get his heart racing with a wink, extended eye contact, or a kiss on the cheek for no reason. This may sound kind of basic, but flirting shows your husband you’re into him. Don’t make him wonder.
4. He wants to reminisce.
Sometimes just thinking of those years together is enough to conjure up all the good feels. Talk about what you remember about your first few dates, your honeymoon, or the first few days after your kids were born. A date with your husband is a great opportunity to remind each other of your history and all you’ve been through together.
Now that you’ve looked back, why not look forward? Talk about your dreams and goals. You both might be afraid to broach the topic because life feels too hectic to even consider a vacation or a splurge, but give it a try. You can even use our Would You Rather… Conversation Starter printable to talk about things you’ve probably never discussed before.
6. He wants to see where the night takes you.
Even guys who like structure want to relax now and then. A hyper-scheduled date—like having to be at a restaurant by a certain time so you can get to the theater before the curtain rises—leaves little to no room for spontaneity, which can be super romantic. It really sets the date up for disaster when there’s too much pressure to follow a schedule.
7. He wants to get physical.
You knew this was coming. I sent a text to some friends and said, “Tell me: What does a man want from the woman he loves when they’re on a date.” I immediately got hilarious responses and side-eyes. When my friends heard back from their husbands, one said “post love” another cut right to the chase: “Sex!” Way to sugarcoat it. But seriously, ending your date with sex (or starting it, because let’s be real, full bellies usually lead to sleep) is a great way to make the night feel like more than just another night out.
And in case you’re wondering what husbands are being told their wives want on a date, here’s an article from our fatherhood site, All Pro Dad.
What are you looking for on a date with your husband?