“Date my partner? Been there, done that. We’ve already made the ultimate decision to be together, so whats the point?”
Most married couples have heard about the ‘seven year itch’, that period of time when after a couple has been married (or in a committed relationship) for a number of years, the ‘spark’ is dulled and romance takes a back seat to daily life. This dulling can lead to a disconnect which could spell the end of an relationship. Many marriage counselors and therapists agree the way for a couple to avoid disconnecting is to have weekly date nights.
Think of date nights as a way to relight that spark which first drew you to each other. Any fire needs to be fed and tended to continue to burn. Relationships are no different. Even the most connected of couples need to reignite the initial excitement and glow of new love.
But let’s face it, in today’s high pace society who has time for date nights? When a couple if struggling to pay child care, electricity bills, and mortgages, who has the money for fancy dinners and movies? When the daily grind of laundry, housecleaning, cooking, and taking care of kids has to come first, who has time for a date? Just how important is ‘date night’ to a relationship?
Every relationship needs frequency open communication to not only survive but to thrive. Keeping the spark between a couple alive is more than just the flash, burn, and excitement of new love. It’s making sure both are on the same page in decision making, the same path of life goals, and growing together not only as parents and a couple, but as people.
Date nights also don’t have to be expensive, go out to fancy restaurants affairs. My husband and I had a bench in the back yard which faced the orchard adjoining our property where we could watch the sun set. We had a ‘date night’ here at least three times a week. During these nights, we set aside everything else, no matter how ‘important’ and focused simply on each other. Sometimes we talked about how we met, or the colors of the sky, or nothing at all. Often we just held hands and smiled, connected in that way which had led us to join our lives and which kept us together. Our children knew for these revered fifteen minutes, Mom and Dad weren’t to be disturbed unless there was fire, gushing blood, or eminent death. We connected on levels we needed and took the time we deserved.
How long has it been since you last dated your spouse or significant other? If it’s been so long you can’t recall, perhaps it’s time to plan a date night or date time. Make some sandwiches, grab a blanket, and have a picnic in the backyard. Surprise each other at work, go out for street cart food, and sit together on a bench in the city people watching. It doesn’t matter so much where or what you do. It’s being together just as a couple.
Remember, these are the times set aside for you two as romantic people. No talking about the mortgage or how to fix the AC, or what the kids did in school. Focus on what you feel, what he/she feels. Ask the silly questions like, “If we won the Power ball lottery, what would we do with the money?” and dream big. Dreaming is free, after all!
Tell your partner the way you feel seeing her smile, or how the way his hair sticks up in the morning makes you laugh. Build each other up or nothing life throws at you can tear you down. Focus on what keeps you together.
Have a great date night!