With work and family responsibilities getting in the way, we are always very quick to sacrifice romance and relationship time. Especially when you’re in an established relationship.

How many times have you found yourself eating dinner in your pajamas in front of the TV after a long day of work, parenting and running a household? When last did you sit down with your partner, just the two of you, and discuss things that weren’t child or work related?

Interest breeds interest and intimacy breeds intimacy, so taking time to spend with your partner where you talk about your lives, your hopes and your feelings will not only strengthen your marriage, but it will do wonders for your sex life too.

Here are 4 ways to do date night right:

•    Plan in advance
Yes it’s always nice to be spontaneous and make spur of the moment plans, but unfortunately, for most of us, life gets in the way. Plan your date and write it in your diary IN PEN. This will give you time to book a babysitter (see point 3), and show your partner that they are important to you.

•    Treat it like a proper date
Do whatever you used to do when getting ready for a hot date. If waxing is your thing, do it! Or take some extra care with your makeup. Or get your hair done. Or wear sexy lingerie. It should feel like an occasion and you’re supposed to feel admired and desired.

•    It should only be the two of you
Would you take a child on a date with you? Or your mother? Or your friend? Then don’t do it on date night with your honey. Sure, spending quality time as a family is important, but the point of date night is to build emotional intimacy with your partner, catch up on what is going on in each others lives, joke a bit, flirt a little and so on. Not to fight with your teenager or get your toddler to eat her peas.

•    Don’t talk admin
Yes, you need to work out a budget since your son’s schooling is now more expensive and you really need to get that leak fixed before damp eats up your entire house, but those conversations can be had while he’s cooking spaghetti or you’re shaving your legs. Use the time in a nice setting with both of you focused on each other to discuss your thoughts and feelings. Does he know what’s going on in your inner life? Do you want to share some internal dialogue? Then date night is the perfect time.

Follow Women24 on Twitter and like us on Facebook.