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Dates: Being Intentional (& Safe) During the Coronavirus

Dates: Being Intentional (& Safe) During the Coronavirus

While we are grateful for the extra bonding time as a little family during this social distancing thing with the coronavirus looming, we have also found it challenging to get uninterrupted quality time for our marriage relationship. Combine that with spending more of our time at home and stress levels being higher than normal, we find ourselves having to be more intentional in a lot of ways.

We’ve usually had weekly dates out of the house, without the kids, but now we have car dates with the kids or sometimes they end up being in-home pizza dates after the kids are in bed. Whatever your dates look like right now, we are finding that intentionality plays a huge role in whether it happens or not.

The ongoing coronavirus situation kind of reminds us of our former life on the international mission field when the country we were in was pretty volatile. Most contact with family and friends back home was over Skype or FaceTime, we always had a body guard with us, and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving our child with anyone based on the severity of danger in the country, so most of our dates were a family trip to town for groceries and a stop at Subway, or in-home date with cookies listening to a podcast after the baby was in bed.

Throwing back to before quarantine life, I thought I’d share a video from one of our recent date outings along with some resources you might enjoy right now for at-home dates!

Derick surprised me with an amazing date this past Valentines Day. I knew we were planning for a night out with a sitter, but he kept the details a surprise (hard to do with me sometimes, but I’m learning to trust more as he learns more about me too, lol).

First, we had breakfast for dinner at Waffle House. It had been forever since I’d been there, but we’d recently talked about trying it because some locations were decorating and setting the mood for Valentine’s Day and the environment seemed chill and like it might be different but fun. It didn’t disappoint. It was a great place, the food was delicious and wasn’t as crowded as some of the other restaurants probably were.

Next, we got in the car and Derick told me to open the glovebox and I’d have my next clue! The clue was tickets to see the North Forest Lights, a temporary winter attraction at our local museum, Crystal Bridges! We went over to the museum first and walked through while waiting for our reserved time to open for the lights before heading over.

The North Forest Lights trail was so romantic and beautiful, complete with smells and sounds (and hot chocolate;-) ) to involve as many of the senses as possible! It was so enjoyable to unwind after a busy week!

Below are some pictures and a video from our evening out.

Practicing social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean neglecting important areas in your life, including and especially dating in your marriage. However, it is also necessary for all of us to do our part during this time, in the fight against the Coronavirus. With this in mind, couples everywhere can get creative, deepen their connection with each other, and grow closer during this time rather than succumbing to the strains that are undeniably present. This might include doing marriage questionnaires or personality tests together, listening to podcasts together, keeping up with couples therapy sessions online, looking for outdoor activities to enjoy while also practicing social distancing, such as hiking, fishing, or simply going on a walk around the block. After the kids go to bed, it’s also a good idea to order take-out and support your local restaurants during this time. We are obviously in unprecedented times, but our relationships do not have to be included in the casualties

Some of our favorite marriage resources are Family Life Today (podcasts, weekend getaways, cruises, etc.), Dating Divas (lots of fun, cheap and free marriage games, tips and challenges), Dave Ramsey show (not focused on marriage, but definitely relates!) and Focus on the Family (podcasts, books and much more!).

How do you prioritize your marriage, especially during this difficult pandemic? Drop us a comment below.

The photos above are considered the property of the Dillard Family and may only be used with their written permission. Please request permission to use the photos.


  1. Regina Shea

    It’s funny you posted this today because I was planning to write a blog post on the same subject! I agree about supporting our local restaurants because so many are losing business from not being able to have dine in options.
    I like the idea of walking around the block. Just be mindful of your state shelter at home rules. Some states are really strict and others are not.
    I know stress levels are very high with many couples and people in general. I think it’s good for couples to take some time to share with each other their fears and concerns about COVID-19 and pray together.
    Jill you all stay safe and healthy.

    • Derick & Jill

      True. Here in Arkansas we haven’t been instructed to “shelter in place”…we are just to practice social distancing and no large gatherings or dining in at restaurants. Thanks Regina. 🙂

      • Sue

        Jill is the most blessed of all the Duggar girls to have you as a husband. I’m so happy that you two have broken free from the tyranny. I’ll be visiting the blog much more often now.

        God Bless all four of you!

  2. Wendy

    This is my first time to your website and blog. I followed the link from Katie Joy’s You Tube channel. Jill, you are an awesome writer and I really enjoyed your intentional dating blog. Your Valentine’s Day date looked like a lot of fun and such a good time. I liked your suggestions for dating during these hard times and plan to use a couple of them. You two look so happy together and so much in love. I’ll be back to visit again. God bless.

  3. Lana

    Great video, and Blog post. Looking forward to reading more. Why Jill how do you stay motivated to with house work, be a mom, and create content for the blog?

  4. Carolyn Mcmahon

    I Love your post. March 31st was our 36th Wedding Anniversary. We ordered Delicious Burgers from our Favorite Family run Homestyle Restaurant The Keno Grill here in Klamath Falls, Or. My husband and I enjoyed our Burgers and Fries and watched Movies together. And we made Country Fried Steaks together for dinner.
    After it is safe to go out again we will go and have a belated nice dinner out.
    Keep smiling Jill and Derrick , I know that you have been through a lot. Keep strong and keep the faith.

    • Jenise

      Great ideas. Did y’all try the Skyspace nights at The Crystal Bridges? It is amazing! God Bless


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