Micro-dating: what it is and why you need it in your life

Four fingers with faces drawn on them to depict a family. The father and the mother are in the middle, holding a heart.

How much time do you get to spend exclusively with your partner? If you have children, the answer might be something to the effect of ‘not a lot’! Help is at hand in the form of ‘micro-dating’. More on that later.

A recent survey by Legal & General has found that 36% of parents between 18 and 44 spend quality time with their partners just once or twice a week.

This is despite 67% agreeing that quality time is important for their relationships.

Elsewhere in the findings, 39% struggle to think of what to do on date nights, while tiredness and cost were cited as common reasons for skipping them altogether.

I sympathise a lot with all of this. Despite me working from home and my wife being a stay-at-home parent, we still don’t get much proper time alone together.

Once all three kids are finally asleep and we’ve eaten, we’re exhausted. We tend to just watch telly for an hour or two and, in my case, fall asleep in front of it. Oh dear!

We always seem to have so much on our minds too. So, while we spend time together every day, we can’t truly call it quality time.

We don’t go on date nights as such either. Indeed, we only tend to go out on our anniversary and have been known to skip that to save money!

Now, this isn’t to say that the desire to spend regular time together is absent. Far from it. It’s just that we tend to think of quality time as something that’s on hold while the kids are young.

It’s an inevitable part of parenting. We put the kids first so of course we’re too lethargic to go out.

This is where micro-dating comes in. It’s something I hadn’t heard of as such, but we’ve actually been unwittingly doing for years. Yay us!

It’s all about looking for moments to share – no matter how small they are as they add up to make a big difference.

These moments could be anything from making video calls during lunch breaks to cooking together.

There are plenty more suggestions alongside Legal & General’s research.

We always take a few moments each morning to chat about how we slept and what we’re looking forward to each day. We usually have breakfast together too – albeit very quickly – before the school run.

I’m pleased to have discovered that we’re good at micro-dating. It’s a great first step and I hope that we can build on it with some more quality time.

In fact, now youngest is at nursery twice a week, we might be able to sneak in the odd lunch out together. Result!

What do you think of micro-dating? Is it something you do? How do you fit in quality time with your partner?

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.


  1. Nige

    Date night is a nice idea but as you say it’s kind of on hold while the girls are little. Great research by legal & General very interesting

  2. kate

    I am also pleasantly surprised that we are already doing this and well too. I definitely think you can tell the difference during the times there’s so much going on you forget to squish these moments in. We have managed the odd night out here and there for anniversaries over the 12 years we’ve been together and 1 weekend away to the isle of Sheppey. Its never what we plan, not very extravagant and we always feel at a loss of what to do with the time but it does give us a minute to optimistically dream about what we will do together once the kids are grown and the time is all ours. ha I know wishful thinking but we can dream x

  3. Nicola | Mummy to Dex

    I think I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve managed a date day or night since we had our little one and with another one due before the end of the year I think we can say goodbye to anymore anytime soon!!

  4. Heidi Howlett

    Spending quality time with your partner once children are in the mix certainly isn’t easy! We don’t have any family nearby which makes it just that much harder. Micro-Dating is a brilliant idea and I suppose something we’ve been doing for years without realising there is actually a name for it . Dan leaves the house super early in the morning and it’s only me and the girls for breakfast, but we do make sure we talk on the phone or at least exchange a few meaningful what’s app messages during his lunch break every day.

  5. John Adams

    36% get to spend quality time with each other during the week? That number sounds very high! Love the concept of micro-dating though and well done Legal & General for highlighting it.

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