Date night is a great way to connect with the person you love. Since dating can help a couple feel closer to one another, I recommend this as a must-have for any couple looking to improve their marriage. Many couples get so busy with life that they struggle to remember the last time they went on a date or their last memory of a date with each other isn’t a pleasant one. But, done correctly, date night can bring a special closeness in your relationship and increase your positive feelings toward one another. Here are five pointers for making your next dates night a big success:
Date night does not have to occur at night.
While I personally like the way “date night” sounds, date night can actually be in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening. A morning date may be a cup of coffee together, an afternoon might include a walk in the park, and an evening date may mean dinner. Pick a day and time that works well for you and your spouse. Some of my favorite dates with my hubby is an afternoon drinking coffee and reading. It’s a joy of ours to read “alone but together” and occasionally glance at one another, touch each other’s hands, share a new snack, or talk about something interesting from the book. And, when we leave the coffee shop, we often talk about something meaningful or interesting from the book. For us, reading is a great way to pave the way for greater connection. By the way, if you’re looking for some new marriage books, check out this post from earlier this week.
There are not specific time requirements for date night.
Your busy schedules may prevent the two of you from having an extended date. Maybe all you have this week (or this month) is short 30 minute intervals of time. If so, capitalize on that short amount of time. Instead of watching TV for half an hour, try going outside for a walk, or completely turning off all media devices while you spend quality time with one another. Spend your short moments discussing plans you have for your future, a vacation you’d like to take some day, or simply being vulnerable and sharing what God is doing in your life. Bonus: you can hold each other, cuddle, and even make-out when you don’t have a lot of time to commit in the moment.
By the way, always remember that having too busy of a life can seriously hurt your marital connection. While the length of time for a date isn’t what makes a date night, the short “30 minutes together date” should not be your norm.
Don’t allow conflict during date night.
Some couples find that dates are difficult and stressful. These couples might find that they argue more while on a date, disagree about what the date should look like before it even starts, or get frustrated with one another before the date ends. Make date night a special time for you and your spouse. If something comes up that needs to be discussed, table it for another night. The goal behind date night is for you to feel closer and more bonded with one another afterward. It’s hard to feel closer when you’re arguing.
Yes, conflict happens in marriage. But, leave that for a time when you’re purposely setting out to work out some marital issues. Don’t let conflict intrude on your dates.
Do something you both enjoy.
The idea date is one that you both like but in reality, sometimes couples just don’t like a lot of the same activities. Try your best to find hobbies or activities that you both enjoy and do these together for date night. If you have a hard time finding activities for your dates, consider looking at tourist attractions in your area for ideas or going to a restaurant that you haven’t been to before. You may also think outside of your norm and drive further away from your city then you normally would.
If the two of you really can’t seem to find an activity you both like, then take turns planning a date for one another. Have fun with this and make your aim showing your spouse a fun night. And, if the activity is something you don’t love but your spouse does, have a good attitude about it and allow yourself to have fun.
Make date night a priority.
When you set date night as a priority, you determine to make it happen barring an emergency. Avoid “planning” to have a date night sometime this weekend. Instead, set up a day and time that works and stick to it. You may need to pull out your calendar right now and schedule a time. Don’t let other things interfere once the date and time are set. Take a nap if you need to and make sure you have the energy to devote to your date. Remember what it was like when you first started seeing one another and wanted to make sure you looked your best? Do that again for date night.
The ideal for date night is once a week, but many couples find that once every two weeks is the best they can do. Some even find that it happens less often than that. Don’t settle for date night occurring less than once a month. And for those of you that are geographically separated from your spouse, consider Skype dates, online games, texting, love letters, and care packages as a way to stay connected.
Question: What is your all-time favorite date that you and your spouse have gone on? Let me know in the comments below.