The Importance of Date Night



BY JAMIE LOBER

If you think date nights are a thing of the past or only for singles, think again.  Do you remember the feeling of excitement and anticipation knowing you would be spending quality alone time with your significant other?  There is no reason you cannot maintain that special feeling and make your relationship a priority, whether you are dating, a newlywed or celebrating 25 years of marriage.  The secret to keeping the spark in your relationship just may be as easy as scheduling a routine date night on your calendar.

All relationships require work. Between your career, kids and their soccer games and other activities, there may be little time to connect with your partner.  Research from the National Survey of Families and Households shows that couples who spend alone time with their partner at least once a week were four times more likely to be very happy in their relationship.  The National Marriage Project said that one-on-one couple time fosters higher quality and more stable marriages, and found many benefits to date nights including:

  • Improved communication
  • More novelty
  • Heightened romance
  • Stronger commitment
  • Stress relief

The best dates are ones that are completely out of your ordinary routine and allow you to try something new.  It is spending time together that matters, whether there is a cost and planning associated or it is free.  Some creative and fun ideas for your next date night include:

  • Experiencing a new restaurant
  • Having a candlelit dinner at home
  • Wine tasting
  • Exploring a botanical garden
  • Having a couples massage
  • Going on a picnic and watching the sunset
  • Taking a carriage ride
  • Playing miniature golf
  • Starting a new hobby together
  • Walking through an art museum
  • Going biking or rock climbing
  • Taking a mini road trip or going on a scenic drive
  • Making time for sex
  • Going to a park
  • Volunteering together for a cause that you both care about
  • Taking a class in dancing or painting
  • Camping out and stargazing
  • Going to a sports game

During your date, be sure that your one and only focus is each other.  It is a good idea to make eye contact and put your phone on silent, as the rest of your life should be put on hold during this precious time.  Remember that according to the American Psychological Association, healthy couples make time to check in with one another on a regular basis.  To stay connected to your partner long-term, it is important to have open conversations about deep and personal subjects.  Avoid topics such as your angry boss, child’s grades, household chores, or upcoming dental appointment when you are on a date.  Always make your best effort to find out how your partner is feeling and try to understand his point of view.

The National Marriage Project found that couple time is linked to higher reports of better communication, sexual satisfaction, and commitment for both partners.  After your first date night, you will find yourself counting the days until your next one.  Dates are a great way to continue getting to know your partner and sharing new experiences that will leave you with lasting memories.  You are also setting an example for your kids as to what a happy and healthy relationship looks like.  By stressing the value of date nights, you are prioritizing your partner and showing you care, which teaches your kids what to have in their own relationships.  It helps you focus on your partner’s best attributes and reminds you of why you fell in love in the first place.


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