by Tashica Jacobson
Life tends to get hectic from time to time for pretty much everyone; and when it does, it is easy to put some of the things that appear unnecessary on the back burner to deal with when life slows down again. Date night is one of those practices that is often sacrificed when couples feel they don’t have enough hours in the day, but it really is one of the essential activities that couples need to continue, especially during the hectic times.
The National Marriage Projects report, The Date Night Opportunity, suggests that while date night is beneficial for all couples, it is especially beneficially for couples who have less support from community and religious organizations and for couples who are less committed to each other. They also found that “couple time is indeed associated with higher reports of satisfaction with communication, sexual satisfaction, and commitment for both husbands and wives.”
In his book How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk, Dr. Van Epp talks about the “know” that a healthy relationship should be built upon, or a couple knowing one another. This know is built up of time, togetherness, and talk. These elements are still needed even once a relationship is established. Time is the amount of time a couple has been together, togetherness is participation in shared activities, and talk is mutual self-disclosure. Date nights allow a couple to meet all three of these requirements.
Couples who report more time spent with one another also report higher relationship quality, more stable relationships, and a decreased likelihood of divorce. Date nights provide a couple with many benefits the main five being: communication, novelty, eros, commitment, and to de-stress. Couples are able to connect with each other and share about their lives. It allows them to try new things and adds additional excitement to life. When spouses invest in each other eros, or romance, increases, and they tend to find one another even more attractive. Plus time spent one-on-one allows couples to recommit to each other.
Winifred Reilly, a marriage and family therapist, counsels that date night is not a luxury, rather it is essential for a relationship. It allows a couple to reinvest in each other week after week and become closer to one another. She suggest that it allows the couple to get a break from the-to do list of daily life and focus on connecting with each other rather than accomplishing the next item of business.
Studies recommend that couples make an effort to spend time together at least once a week, and that the higher quality the date, the more benefits the couple will see. So regardless of where you would put yourself on a scale of busy-ness with life, date night is going to benefit your relationship and bring you additional happiness.