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  • Dr. Teresa Edwards, LMFT

Why Date Nights Are A Must for a Lasting Connection

I often hear couples tell me that they don't have time for date nights. Although it can be challenging, dedicating quality, undivided time together is essential for a strong and close relationship.

Date nights

Let's face it, we didn't fall in love with our spouse because of the length of their to-do list or the amount of hours they work each day. We fall in love with someone because of how we feel when we are with them and how they make us feel about ourselves.

Marriage is based on friendship, and friendship is based on having things in common and having fun together. It's hard for friendship to survive without time spent talking and enjoying each other's company. Why do we think a marriage can survive without nurturing the friendship on which it was based?

When I suggest to couples to incorporate weekly date nights into their routine, I often hear a multitude of excuses why this isn't possible: we don't have time, we can't afford to go on a date, we don't have anyone to babysit, we can't think of anything to do, and on and on. My perspective on this is straightforward: it's a matter of paying now or paying later.

Couples can pay now by establishing boundaries around time commitments, setting aside money for dates, and doing the work to find childcare. Or, couples can pay a higher cost later - experiencing loneliness and detachment in their marriage or resorting to the services of a divorce attorney to navigate property distribution and custody arrangements. If you're not actively working to enhance and enrich your marriage, the relationship is in decline. There is no such thing as simply maintaining in marriage.

Couples can experience a quick and powerful transformation in their relationship by simply agreeing to set aside time to have fun together.

Date nights are meant for enjoying each other's company, so steer clear of rehashing the latest tiff or discussing the household budget. Stressful topics that might lead to conflict should be set aside during the date. The goal is to have a good time, reestablish a connection, foster friendship, and deepen intimacy.

Beyond being moments of shared enjoyment and connection, date nights are intentional investments in the emotional bank account of your relationship. These special occasions provide you with the opportunity to rediscover each other, strengthen the bond that drew you together, and connect you to navigate the challenges of life as a united front.

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