Many long-time married couples can agree – the monotony and routine of the day-to-day can make even the healthiest and strongest of relationships feel stale and boring. Can you relate? It’s no secret that marriage educators and relationship counselors emphasize the importance of prioritizing your spouse and marriage. Date night can be just what you need to connect with your partner, bring energy back into the relationship and help keep your marriage exciting—plus a host of other benefits you’ll appreciate, too.
Why is Date Night Difficult?
In the early stages of a relationship, couples find ways to spend time with each other. If they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t be a couple. Dinner dates, lunches out, trips to the movies and weekend getaways occur on a regular basis. The desire to know your significant other serves as the motivation to spend time together. However, several years into the marriage, familiarity sets in and quality time dwindles. Factor in child-rearing, hectic work schedules and financial concerns, and couples can brush off date nights as the last of their priorities.
According to a Redbook Magazine survey, 45% of couples rarely go on dates. Only 18% of couples go out for date night once a month. The lack of opportunity to interact with each other outside of daily tasks and house chores can negatively impact the relationship in the long run. Recognizing that a regular standing date night can help improve your relationship should be enough motivation to block that time on your calendar and make it a priority.
Eight Benefits of Making Date Night a Habit
If you are not yet convinced that you should seriously consider having date night to help fortify your marriage, here are some more benefits:
1. Encourages communication with your spouse
Discuss topics beyond household matters. You will have the chance to ask “deeper” questions which you would not normally ask on a regular day. This gives you more insight into your partner’s values and beliefs. As the relationship grows deeper, couples also evolve as individuals. Date night is the perfect occasion to share how you have grown and changed over time.
2. Renews and reinforces your commitment to each other
Set aside time despite your busy schedules. Child-rearing is a full-time job in itself. Running and maintaining a household is equally exhausting. And if both of you are employed, work demands can also take a toll. Setting aside time regularly for your spouse is a testament to your commitment to the success of the relationship.
3. Infuses fun and novelty back into the relationship
You can make date night fun by taking turns in planning it. You can choose to surprise your spouse by revealing few details until the day of the event. You can be creative with your ideas and show your personality. For instance, you can have a theme night or visit a local museum. The goal is to spend quality time together in an exciting and resourceful way.
4. Allows you to de-stress and relax around each other
With so many tasks at hand, the time you usually spend with your spouse can be marked with stress and pressure. Date night will allow you to enjoy each other’s company in a relaxed state and at an easygoing pace.
5. Rekindles the romance
Date nights will be a great way to remind each other what you love about them. Recall how you and your spouse first met or how “awkward” your first date went. Doing this will allow both of you to remember the spark and energy that pulled you together.
6. Helps preserve the relationship
Quality time as a couple can help decrease the odds of divorce. According to a study conducted by the University of Virginia, couples that spend quality time together at least once a week say that they have a good relationship.
7. Serves as motivation and an incentive to get through the week.
People tend to work harder when they are looking forward to something. Date nights should be a break from all the challenges and tasks of the week. You can arrange for date nights as wellness breaks for both you and your spouse.
8. Allows a more meaningful and long-term view of the relationship.
Eventually, children will grow up, leave the home and become independent. Spending more time as a couple will allow you to prepare for that next chapter of your life. Date nights will allow couples to talk about their plans in the future, discuss their worries and offer each other assurance.
Remember that relationships are always a work in progress and quality time with your spouse is essential for nourishing and caring for your marriage. Making date nights a priority can preserve and enhance your relationship with your loved one. Go ahead — ask your significant other on a date!
What everyday hurdles do you encounter that prevent you from going on dates with your SO? Tell us in the comments below—maybe other readers can provide some good ideas for overcoming those obstacles.