5 Ways We Carve Out Time For Our Marriage + A Romantic Thursdate Dinner at The Melting Pot

thursdate melting pot fondue

This post is sponsored by The Melting Pot but all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting that brands that support Stripes and Whimsy! 

Tom and I are coming up on our 6th wedding anniversary, so today I thought I’d write a post about marriage and how we carve out time for each other and prioritize our marriage.  With three little kids running around it can be easy to forget to invest in our relationship, but by carving out a little time here and there we are in a really good place in our marriage.  Here are some things we try to do often that allow us to grow closer amidst the chaos!

How We Prioritize Our Marriage + A Romantic Thursdate Dinner at The Melting Pot

1.  Romantic Date Night Out.

thursdate melting pot fonduethursdate melting pot fondue

Date nights at restaurants don’t happen all that often anymore (hello COVID-19, 3 kids, and high babysitter rates), but on the rare occasion that we do get to go out we always come home saying we need to do that more often.  Our date nights out typically consist of great food, good wine and a fun experience, and our recent date night at the Melting Pot checked all of those boxes!  Melting Pot has introduced a new dedicated weekly night of romance, Thursdate, at all nationwide locations, where they provide a special four-course menu with your choice of cheese fondue, followed by a fresh salad course for each of you, and then an entrée course including filet mignon, Atlantic salmon, teriyaki sirloin, shrimp and more.  For dessert you get a decadent chocolate fondue with all sorts of delicious things to dip into that chocolatey goodness.  They even have rose petals and candles awaiting you when you sit down.

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If you’ve never had fondue at the Melting Pot, it is so much fun and you get to cook everything right at your table.  Thursdates at the Melting Pot are a great way to change things up a bit and make time for a truly unique dining experience.  It’s so easy to customize your meal with a wide selection of cheese fondues, broths, dippers and types of chocolate fondue, and the Melting Pot ensures you’ll have a romantic and memorable date night out.  I have happy memories of celebrating my 22nd birthday at the Melting Pot back when I was in college and Tom and I now will have great memories of reconnecting and reminiscing on the past 6 years of marriage that we’ve had together.  Additionally, the restaurant ensured that the appropriate number of tables were closed for easy social distancing.  Everyone took the necessary precautions (masks, sanitizing of surfaces, etc.) and we truly felt at ease during our meal at the Melting Pot.  We visited our local Melting Pot in Arlington, VA and the service was superb and the staff could not have been more friendly.

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2.  Run Together.

Running has always been a big part of our relationship, but these days we don’t get solo runs very often.  Instead, we load up the kids in the jogging strollers (the girls in the double and Jack in the single) and we run together while we each push a stroller.  Our chitchat is a bit more labored but spending time together while moving our bodies and challenging ourselves physically always has a way of bringing us closer together and helps us stay on the same page when it comes to our priorities.  When we do happen to have someone available to watch the kids we always make sure to head out on a run together, just the two of us.

3.  Date Night In.

One of our favorite ways to have a date night at home is to put the kids to bed and then cook a nice meal while chatting over wine and music.  The Jack Johnson and Norah Jones channels on Pandora are our favorites channels to listen to and we’ve tailored them a lot over the years so that they’re perfect for a relaxing evening at home.  When we eat we often sit on the back patio under the bistro lights, with the fire pit going, and with a few candles lit around is.  Even at home it’s nice to create a little ambiance to make it feel more like a date night!

4.  Turn the TV Off and Play a Game.

It’s so easy to get into the habit of watching tv at night before bed (or working on your computer), but we try to turn it off a couple nights a week so that we can focus on each other.  There are so many great games available these days but we tend to default to the board game Scrabble or play Rummy with a deck of cards.  It’s nice to have a little playful competition sometimes and catching up with each other and chitchatting is always so easy when you’re doing something fun.  We often play cards outside on the weekends during nap time too!  With three little ones you’ve got to get creative and seize the time when it’s available.

5.  Get Away for a Weekend.

This happens only on the very rare occasion, but even just a day and night away from the kids can be so rejuvenating!  When we’re in South Carolina at my family’s beach house we always try to head to Charleston for a mini-vacation while my parents watch the kids.  It’s fun to leisurely wander city streets and pop into shops without having to worry about whether someone is going to have a meltdown or need a diaper change.  Some undisrupted sleep is quite the luxury too and I always feel so refreshed after just one night away.

Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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