There is a notion that people go on dates to get to know their partner, using it as an opportunity to ascertain that the other person has the qualities that they are looking for in a spouse. But does dating lose its magic when a couple gets married? Studies show that dates actually do not just benefit men and women who are at the onset of a romantic relationship, but even those who are already deeply connected as husband and wife.
According to a study conducted by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, married couples displayed marked improvements across categories such as happiness, commitment, communication, parenthood stability, and community integration after going on frequent dates. The results of the research went on to reveal that couples who dedicated time for a special weekly date together enjoyed an increase in the perceived quality of their marriage, as well as lower divorce rates.
While daily life as a married couple may be rife with responsibilities, treating your spouse to date nights may just be what you need to take a break while working on fortifying your relationship. Here are some ways to maximize and make your dates more meaningful:
Get ready to talk! Good communication helps avoid unnecessary arguments and mismanaged expectations. Being able to share your thoughts and feelings through stories is a great way to make your spouse feel like you want them to be involved in all aspects of your life.
Be creative. A date night is a chance to create new experiences in relationships that can make it even more exciting. Think of activities that you and your spouse can do together and put your own spin to them. Pick different movie genres for movie night, or a particular cuisine for your candlelit dinner - the list goes on!
Block your calendar for date nights. Consistency is key in keeping the fire burning in your relationship. Don't miss your date night as showing up every time gives your spouse the impression that you truly value your time together. Finish other responsibilities so you can focus on each other and really be present in the moment.
Be comfortable around your spouse. A date night is not supposed to be a formal gathering. Do things that you will both enjoy. It should help wash away the stress after a long day and allow yourselves to act naturally in a safe and loving environment.
A date night need not be extravagant. What makes it magical through the years is not the setting or the ambiance, but how bright the love between a man and woman illuminates each other's lives. If you haven't yet, plan your next date night and look forward to a memorable evening.