Madissyn Fredericks, Licensed Professional Counselor, Symmetry Counseling
We have all heard that happy and successful relationships take work, but often the daily distractions and demands of life get in the way of nurturing our relationships. While date nights are extremely frequent in the early stages of a relationship, they tend to significantly decline over time. Many couples think of date night as a luxury, but it is actually an essential component to maintaining a healthy relationship. A recent study conducted by The National Marriage Project (2012) titled “The Date Night Opportunity” found that the couples who engaged in more quality time together were four times more likely to report being “very happy” in their relationship compared to those who spent less quality time together. There are a million excuses to push date night aside: “Dating is for single people”, “We don’t want to get a babysitter”, “Date nights are too expensive”, etc., but neglecting your relationship can result in damaging consequences. While date nights may not “fix” all the problems in your relationship, it is a great way to re-engage with your significant other and enhance your bond. Below are a few reasons to stop making excuses and start nurturing your relationship with regular date nights.
1. Date Night Facilitates Communication
When planning a date night with your significant other, it requires you to engage in conversation with your partner. This alone time allows you the opportunity to discuss things related to your wants, goals, and dreams. You may also discuss any concerns or hesitations you have about the relationship or other aspects of your life. Engaging in adaptive communication helps partners stay up-to-date with each other and support one another.
2. Date Night Fosters Romance
Do you remember that spark and passion you felt in the beginning of your relationship? That intense attraction and romance that you once felt plays a major role in romantic love and these feelings can be brought back through date nights. Use date nights to focus on your relationship, share your feelings, and engage in new experiences together, and you may notice an increase in your emotional and physical intimacy. The goal is to feel that passion and excitement in your relationship again, and trying new things together can help achieve that.
3. Date Night Conveys “Togetherness”
Date night displays a willingness to make your relationship a priority by setting aside time for your significant other. By choosing to prioritize your relationship, you are conveying to your partner that you are committed and both value the relationship. When you continuously commit to your partner, you will feel closer to them and be reminded of why you committed to them in the first place.
4. Date Night Helps You Unwind
When planning a date night with your significant other, you are escaping from every day life stressors and responsibilities. Stress takes a major toll on intimate relationships; therefore, it is important to use your date nights to enjoy your time with your partner aside from work, family, or financial burdens. Relaxing and engaging in activities together can help buffer the effects of stress in your life. Try planning your date nights with the goal of having a good time and reconnecting with the one you love.
If you are having a difficult time nurturing your relationship and would like some guidance, it may be useful to connect with a therapist. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!