Why You and Your Spouse Need a Regular Date Night

by Kevin M on February 12, 2013

in Marriage

Remember how much fun dating was before you were married? It didn’t have to stop once you got married, or even when you had children. For a variety of reasons, having a regular date night may be more important after you are married that it was before.

{Here are some frugal Valentine’s Day ideas for husbands and wives!}

Date Night Married Couples

Date Night For Married Couples: Why It Is So Important

You Never Want To Become Part Of Each Others Routine

It’s inescapable that as a married couple you can very easily blend into one another’s routine. By that I mean that there are certain habits and pastimes that come about as a result of sharing a household. You’ll eat dinner at a certain time nearly every day, watch the same TV programs, clean house, pay bills and even work out as part of an ongoing routine.

Just as it was when you were growing up in your family, there’s an incredible tendency to take one another for granted. Each spouse becomes a part of the routine for the other. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it’s the beginning of becoming invisible to each other.

It is possible for a married couple to drift apart even though they’re living together. The problem is that you’re not living a life, but going through the motions of a routine. That can wreak havoc on a marriage.

Having a regular date night is a way to break out of that routine. Even though dating itself can be a form of routine, you are removing yourselves from the familiarity of your home and all that you normally do there. That will be an opportunity to refresh your relationship.

Date Night Is A Chance To Re-establish Your Status As A Couple

A date night will help you maintain your status as a couple, and re-establish it if the idea has gotten lost. This is more important than most married couples realize.

We all understand the importance of family. It has different components: parent/child, father/son, mother/daughter, mother/son, and father/daughter. This will be true even if you have extended family members living with you, such as an elderly parent. That will still take on the parent/child relationship, even if the dynamic of that relationship has changed.

The husband/wife bond however is unique among family relationships. It is the one relationship in a typical household in which the pair are not joined by blood or lineage. It is a relationship born of mutual attraction.

That mutual attraction was fed early in your relationship in part at least by spending time with each other apart from everyone else. That’s no less important after you’ve been married for many years than it was the beginning.

No matter how long you’ve been married, you’re still a couple, so it’s important to get involved in activities specifically suited to couples. If this step is eliminated, the couple connection begins to loosen and become progressively less important. Having a regular date night is the perfect way to avoid this outcome.

It’s making a statement that your relationship as a couple is important enough to invest time in. You both need to know that, and a date night is an action step in that direction.

Elderly Couple Holding Hands On Date

Removing Outside Distractions

One part of a date night that’s really important is removing outside distractions. If you have been married for a least a few years, it’s very easy to become mentally and emotionally wrapped up in lifestyle and circumstances. This is particularly true if you have children or other family members living with you. The other family members can become the focal point of your relationship to the point that you forget that you ever had a relationship as a couple before they all came along.

As parents of two children, my wife and I have learned this only too well. We’ve often avoided going places as a couple – as in on a date – out of a desire to include our children in everything. While that may be natural for a parent, it isn’t practical or constructive. Sometimes you absolutely need physical distance from your children. A regular date night is a way to establish that as a reality in your life.

You also have to develop the discipline to get your children out of your head, at least for a night. If you can‘t, they will control your evening without even being there! Your thoughts and conversation will center on the kids, not on each other.

Date night has to be a married couples refuge from their routine. That means concentrating on each other, and on the activities that are planned for the evening. The whole purpose for a night out is for the two of you to be out together as a couple, and at least for a few hours, to put the rest of your life into a safe place while you simply enjoy each other’s company.

It’s Something You Have To Do If You Have Dependents

Kids can overwhelming you and take over your life! Not only do they have a lot of needs, but they also have boundless energy. And let’s face it, they’re also immature, which forces parents into a certain change of mindset. In an attempt to be a good parent, it’s not hard for you to allow your children to dominate your life. The has very real potential to interfere with your marriage.

As a married couple, you need get away from this on a regular basis and to do it as a couple. Even though you have children, you’re still an adult, and in a relationship with your spouse. Those elements of your personality and your life have to be nurtured, just as your children do.

Having a date night means getting away from your children, and that will not only strengthen your relationship as a couple, but can also help to give you the resolve that you need to raise your children as part of the relationship that you have with one another.

A date night can give you a little bit of time, and even a little bit of physical space, to nurture the relationship that your family was born from. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, or whatever arrangement you are comfortable with, it’s a part of your lives that you need to feed a regular basis.

photo credit top: Patrick Q via photopin cc

photo credit bottom: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

Do you and your spouse have a regular date night?

© 2013, Kevin M. All rights reserved.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda L Grossman

We try (and mostly succeed) to have a date night each week. We have gone to free movie prescreenings, a walk in a park we both love (complete with a Japanese garden and koi fish!), a hookah bar, and many other places. You are correct–it really infuses freshness and closeness into a relationship.

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2 Kevin@OutOfYourRut

Hi Julie–The great thing about those suggestions is that they don’t cost much either. You’re just being out and about together, and that’s what really matters.

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3 Julie @ Freedom 48

So true! It’s so easy to get into the routine rut and just live life… taking your spouse for granted and not stopping to appreciate the little things. Breaking out of the routine is so rewarding. We love doing unconventional dates – like a picnic in the park, or going to the farmers market.

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4 My Multiple Incomes

Great post on re-establishing relationship with our spouse. I have seen marriage couple drift apart simply because they have forgotten how fun it is to go out together. I make it a point to take my spouse out on a regular basis no matter how busy we are with our every activities.

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5 Kevin M

Having fun together as a couple is so important. But I think that it gets lost in the shuffle because it seems frivolous. There are so many things competing for your time and money. And if you have kids, you could be more concerned that they are having fun than you and your spouse. Excellent idea to make go out on a regular basis just to have fun.

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6 Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter

Great post. We are big on scheduling date nights with each other. You can really get complacent with each other if you aren’t careful after you have been together for a while. It is really important to stay connected with each other.

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7 Kevin M

I wrote about routine as an issue in the post, but you brought up complacency. Thats a real concern, thanks for bringing it up.

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8 krantcents

Not only did we have a date night, we would also have some alone time. My wife and I would take a walk after dinner. Often times, we included the kids, but not always. It gave us a chance to talk without other things and people interrupting us. We would do this when our kids were teenagers.

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9 Kevin M

That’s excellent. Alone time doesn’t have to be formal. A quiet walk or even a cup of coffee at Starbucks can be the time you both need.

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10 Mandy @MoneyMasterMom

We just readjusted our budget/priorities/values to include some money for “dating.” With three kids under 4 we can definitely relate that life becomes one big routine! Derek called for the babysitters number today. I wonder what he has planned :)

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11 Kevin M

Hi Mandy–3 kids under 4? The two of you need to take any nights out you can get! We only had two and that was tough enough.

An outsider can misinterpret that, but when you have little ones, sometimes you just need some space.

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12 Money Beagle

We try to do something like this every so often. With two young kids it is difficult but thankfully we have two sets of grandparents that are all too happy to spend time with their grandkids. My wife has been hinting that it’s time for a ‘date’ so this post has kind of made me think that it’s probably time!

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13 Kevin M

Grandparents are such a blessing, but never more than when you need a sitter! My wife and I raised our kids 850 miles from our families, so we didn’t have that benefit. But as God meets us where ever we are and what ever our circumstances, we hooked up with another couple who were similarly distant from family, and did many swaps to give each other some quiet time. It was a cozy arrangement, and we are still best friends with that couple after nearly 20 years!

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14 Pauline

We don’t have kids but even then it is easy to get carried away by the routine. Date night is not set but at least once a week we make a nice dinner and open a bottle of wine, then have a long chat and some quality time.

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15 Kevin M

Hi Pauline–I don’t think it really matters if you have kids or not (though they do make it harder!), routine has the potential to swallow any of us up, regardless of circumstances. It can happen in your personal life just as it can on a job. You get so used to going through the motions that your forget to try new things and to live life.

My wife and I have had some of our best dates with dinner at home, when we could get a sitter for the kids. I don’t think it matters where or how your date happens, as long as it does happen.

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