Marriage can be a lot of good things— consistent, stable, safe, and fulfilling. If you are really good at it, it can also be sexy, surprising, interesting and playful.
Marriage can also be routine, repetitive, ordinary, and predictable.
There’s nothing wrong with any of those things, but they can be just a bit too “every day” and not quite novel enough to bring out the best in you and your connection to each other.
So, what can you do to inject a bit more fun and adventure into the good thing you and your partner have going?
What? Not exactly the revolutionary idea you were hoping for? Why not?
Consider the benefits of time wholly dedicated to enjoying time together and find out what that means for each of you. If you are doing it right, taking time out for yourselves and your roles as lovers should breathe fresh air into your marriage and feel great!
1. Date nights revitalize your feelings for each other: “I love you, I like you, I desire you.”
Date nights remind you what and who your life together is really about.
Remember, you love this person. You chose them. You feel safe and cherished and happy when you’re with them. So, it’s a very good thing to actually be with them. As often as you can.
Date nights also imply a certain level of healthy vulnerability. Be open enough to say, “I miss you and need to be alone with you as often as possible.” If it applies, share that simply bumping into each other in the house or sharing kid-duty isn’t enough. Invite each other back to a more intimate couple experience.
2. Date nights send an important message about priorities: “I will do what it takes to be with you.”
Put your relationship at the top of your ever-growing to-do list. Once upon a time you’d play hooky, reschedule appointments, and back out of obligations just to get a little time together. Now, it feels like everything else comes first. Fight that feeling. Your relationship is important. You are right and wise to give your relationship its rightful place at the top of your list of “musts” and “have to’s.”
3. Date nights support relationship refreshment, not rejection: “You are someone I am willing to respect and honor, not neglect or criticize.”
When a relationship gets a little stale it’s easy to go negative and “all or nothing” in your thinking. What bugs or bothers you about each other starts to come between you. If you aren’t careful to build in positive, edifying interactions, resentment builds, and walls go up. Date with a purpose. Build in fun, good conversation, and goodwill.
4. Date nights encourage curiosity and forward movement: “You are someone interesting to me and I am committed to continually pursuing you.”
Date nights give you a chance to check in and expand your view of each other. If you give it a chance, you can start to see what intrigues and interests you and spend less time assuming you already know what makes your partner tick. You may find that curiosity and patience are easier to employ if you have regular time set aside for them. Your partner will appreciate it.
5. Date nights stimulate and motivate novel experiences, thoughts and ideas: “You are someone I want to try new things with.”
When it comes to long-term satisfaction in a relationship, boredom is bad. Date nights are an excellent way to plan for something fresh or adventurous.
Planning for a bit of novelty is beneficial in several ways. You enjoy a lovely, lively date, enjoy the extra thrill of anticipation, and retain new, private memories as well. Date night might be a good time to try one of Oakland’s music festivals, or new many many restaurants, or visit a nearby hotel for a few hours to see what else you can come up with!
6. Date nights provide much-needed rest and respite from the kids.
The kids are great. The two of you did a great job. But time-outs aren’t just for kids. You and your partner need regular time away to focus on your connection without kid concerns filtering your interaction.
Date nights are excellent for talking at length and making love without hurry or interruption. Who wants either of those things to be rare occurrences in their relationship? You love your kids and spending time with them is important. But it needn’t dominate your adult relationship. Your relationships with your kids are actually made better by a strong, supportive, nurtured relationship with each other.
Okay, now it’s time to pull out your smartphone and schedule some time. At least once or twice a month, make time to reconnect and revitalize your love. It’s priority one. Engage and enjoy!