Years of research from the National Marriage Project found that dating helps marriages become stronger, healthier and happier. Today’s couples increasingly expect high levels of intimacy, communication, emotional support and fulfillment from their relationship. One of the ways we can do this is to make sure we spend time alone with our spouse. In other words, go on “dates”.
In addition, couples that try new, fun, active, or exciting things together begin to view their relationship in the same way. Dating ought to be on a regular basis, ideally once a week but no less than once a month. Making the effort to plan these nights (or days) is an investment in your relationship that will pay off for your children and for your future. Both partners should participate in planning.
Plan it for a time where both parties are energized and excited about the “date” and no one is too tired. This is a time to be able to talk and laugh and be yourselves. It is an opportunity to connect again and remind each other why you are still together.
Communication is important because over time, we and our relationships continue to change and develop and we experience new challenges and problems. Don’t just talk about the mundane or work or children. Converse about all kinds of topics and be inquisitive; the way you would with someone new. Ask questions about your partner’s dreams, goals, and desires.
So, call up those babysitters—family, grandparents, neighbors, friends (take turns keeping each others’ kids), day care workers, or a sitting service—and go out on a date. Here are some suggestions:
take a drive and explore your own city or nearby towns.
take a picnic to the beach or park
listen to a new type of music (concert or cd)
go out for dessert and coffee
stay home (enjoy your pool, music, work on a project)
have a tech free night
be near/on the water: gulf, lake, river and moonlight
take a class together
rent a kayak, sailboat or canoe
go to a comedy club
play golf or mini-golf
rock wall climbing
go to a sporting event (find cheap seats)
go to a local art show, concert in the park, renaissance festival, oktoberfest, seafood festival, jazz festival