In my private practice, I work with many couples who are struggling to improve their communication and closeness with their partner. They are often frustrated with their lack of together time but unfortunately have a difficult time prioritizing it. Somewhere along the way, between late night feedings, demanding jobs, housework and hockey practice, they lost their way.
For many, spending time as couple is at the bottom of the to-do list.
Although it may sound cliche, date night is a very useful therapeutic tool to help couples “re-connect” with one another. A report released in February 2012 by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia proposed that date nights are essential for couples. They surveyed 1600 couples and asked them about everything from relationship satisfaction to sex.
What were the findings? That couples who spend at least one night a week alone together say they’re more committed to their relationship as it encourages them way to spend some much-needed time by themselves which increases communication.
Although family time is very important, couples also NEED time to reconnect- emotionally and physically.
I often suggest that couples schedule their date night as if they were booking a dentist appointment or manicure. Couples are more likely to follow through with date night if its booked in their calendar. Also, date night works best when couples alternate who plans it. So whether its you or your significant other, start planning!
We know that regular date nights are important for marriages but making your partnership a priority can be difficult when you have children, careers and a busy lifestyle. But dates don’t have to be complicated or expensive.
Bottom line: Whether you stay in and catch up on re-runs of Scandal, spend an hour at Starbucks talking over a coffee, or get dressed for a night out, quality time with your partner is essential to a happy relationship.
For creative date night suggestions check out Redbook’s : Top 50 Date-Night Ideas of All Time