We have something to admit to you. We’ve skipped date night. A lot. Gasp. I know. We’re terrible people.
Ok, all sarcasm aside, it really is a big deal for us. I mean, we create content for our website ENTIRELY about date nights. So if we’re not keeping ourselves accountable in our marriage, how are we supposed to help you stay accountable to dating in your marriage?
But on the flip side, we can relate to you. There’s this little thing called life – I’m sure you’ve heard of it – and it loves to do things like make you jump through flaming hoops of fire. Ok, I admit our lives are a little crazy right now and that is an over exaggeration. Life can hit and it can certainly make you busy with the end result being you and your partner missing date nights as the weeks go on.
Ok, Stacey, what’s the big fuss? We do date night on occasion, we have much bigger things to worry about, and our marriage is fine.
It is a big deal and we didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until we started doing date nights less often and started letting life take over. Here’s what happened when we missed date night:
1. You’re not making your marriage a priority.
Ouch. This one is harsh but this is something we experienced. If you’re not setting time aside to relax, reset, and reconnect your marriage, it’s not a priority in your life. If you want a happy, lasting marriage, you need to nurture it and make it a priority. Start scheduling date nights more often than you usually do and work your way up to having date nights once a week. Have a date night once a month? Set a goal to date bi-monthly and then work your way up to weekly.
2. You’re missing out on an opportunity to grow your communication with one another.
We noticed we stopped communicating and were not on the same page like we once were. And not just that. We stopped having really good and meaningful conversations. I’m talking about those pillow talks or lazy park-walking conversations where you learn new things about each other. We just didn’t connect as much as we did when we had date nights once a week.
3. You miss out on romance.
This is a no brainer. Date nights are for romancing. Bow chica wow wow. With less time for romance, that means less intimacy in your marriage. Lack of intimacy in your marriage means a husband or wife could start to feel stressed, frustrated, disconnected, and/or withdrawn.
4. You start to feel like roommates.
When you stop dating, you start living together. I mean, just living. You become focused on chores, paying bills, commuting, kids, and work instead of your marriage. Before you know it, you’re two people with two different lives living under the same roof.
5. You start bickering.
I really think this is a side effect of all of the above. Not making your marriage a priority means less communication which in turn means less romance which then starts to feel like roommates. And what do most roommates do? They bicker! Without date nights, you’ll notice an increase in the amount of bickering between the two of you.
Reverse the Damage
Though it depends on how much time and damage has happened in your marriage, one way (out of many) you can start improving your relationship is to start dating on a regular basis. Start with an easy goal to obtain in three simple steps:
1. Choose how often to date.
If you can’t remember the last time you had a date night, schedule one once a month. If you date monthly, we encourage you do schedule them bi-monthly. And congratulations if you date twice a month! We want to challenge you to date weekly!
2. Keep it simple.
Date nights can be discouraging if the focus turns into performance and is a grand spectacle every week. That’s nice on occasion, but can get expensive and stressful if it’s weekly. Also, special occasions and Valentine’s Day can feel a little watered down. Save yourselves some future arguments and frustrations by keeping date night simple and focused on the basics: communication, intimacy, and time spent together.
3. Schedule ahead of time.
Have kids? Or a busy schedule? Scheduling ahead of time is the easiest way to prevent future disappointment. Sit down with each other and agree on a month’s worth of dates on the calendar. This way you can make reservations and schedule babysitters way in advance to prevent the stress of trying to find someone to watch your kids last minute.
Date nights are critical to marriage and we try to live out that philosophy weekly. We challenge you to do the same! Make a commitment, keep it simple, and schedule it to make it happen! And if you need any date night inspiration, or just need a kick in the pants to date your partner, we’re here for you.