Thinking back to before my husband and I had children, we would date weekly. Friday and Saturday nights were always movie and dinner date nights. We didn’t have to think twice about moving around our schedules and if the occasional late work night popped in, we would always go the extra mile to make that date night happen.
Fast forward 12 years and 2 kids later... What do you think happens? Okay, so maybe our date nights aren’t weekly, but we haven’t forgotten who we need to be, to both each other and our children. We ensure that date nights are penciled into the calendar at least once a month, and on an awesome month, twice! Date nights make us better partners and better parents.
So why is it so hard for couples to keep dating?
It is so easy to slip into a routine, especially after being in a committed relationship for so many years. You get comfortable with your partner and sometimes the silence during dinner doesn’t seem like a big deal, after all, you can pretty much sense what your spouse is thinking. There is nothing wrong with comfort, I actually think it is pretty amazing being able to know someone so well, to the point of you knowing exactly what they will do or say next. Being a parent also tends to make parents feel guilty for spending time alone. Don’t! This time is so important for your relationship, individually and together. It can also be a great way to connect on certain parenting issues, a perfect time to regroup and rekindle.
According to a study conducted by the National Marriage Project, date nights improve marriages. Frequent date nights improve happiness, commitment, communication and parenting. There are also lower divorce rates among those who date their spouse monthly. This one being the greatest benefit, it should make you jump right up and schedule that next date night, right?
Well if you aren’t convinced yet, here are some other reasons you should continue dating your spouse.
Liking Your Partner: I know you married your spouse so you should already like them, right? Wrong. Ever hear of the expression, “I love you but it doesn’t mean I have to like you”? Over time, marriages tend to bring out the negative aspects of our partners. Those annoying habits always seem to outweigh the positives. When you make time to date your spouse, you are reminded of the reasons why you fell in love. Stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something just for the two of you will surely remind you both of how exciting you were upon courting. You see the person beyond the chaos of everyday life.
Have Real Adult Conversation: Possibly my favorite. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with your spouse and have to constantly interrupt them or yourself because the children need to add to your conversation? They have the best timing and always seem to interrupt at the wrong moment. Some conversations you can’t have around children, so this makes it an ideal time to have some real intelligent talk about topics that don’t revolve around the revival of Teletubbies.
Step Out of the Routine: It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, the craziness of life and the routine. By sharing a fun date night, you get to step out of the typical routine and experience new and fun things together. There is nothing wrong with scheduling some couch cuddle time, but just think of all the new memories you will make upon stepping out of your comfort zone. A date night serves as that reminder that you can get out of the house and still have fun with each other.
I challenge you to schedule a date night right now. What will you do and how will it impact your relationship?
About the blogger:
Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. Her husband was one of the many soldiers impacted by the unprecedented activation of the National Guard in 2008. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband of 11 years and two children.
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