Marriage

How to Have a Great Date Night

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How long has it been since you and your spouse had a date night??? Date nights are a super great way to connect with your lover and to help you keep your friendship nice and strong. According to Dr Gottman (marriage therapist/guru), talks about the importance of friendship in a healthy relationship. Dating doesn’t just grow your friendship though. It grows your intimacy and emotional connection. All of these are key to a more fulfilling sex life.

Since dating can help a couple feel closer to one another, I recommend this as a must-have for any couple looking to improve their marriage. Unfortunately, many couples find that they get so busy with life that  they struggle to remember the last time they went on a date. Even worse, some find that their last memory of a date with each other isn’t a pleasant one. But, done correctly, date night can bring a special closeness in your relationship and increase your positive feelings toward one another.

Here are five tips that will help you make sure your next date night is a success!

Date night doesn’t have to happen at night.

While I personally like the way “date night” sounds, date night can actually be literally any time of the day. A morning date may be a cup of coffee together, an afternoon might include a walk in the park, and an evening date may mean dinner. Pick a day and time that works well for you and your spouse. Some of my favorite dates with my hubby is an afternoon drinking coffee and reading. It’s a joy of ours to read “alone but together” and occasionally glance at one another, touch each other’s hands, share a new snack, or talk about something interesting from the book. And, when we leave the coffee shop, we often talk about something meaningful or interesting from the book. For us, reading is a great way to pave the way for greater connection.

There are no specific time requirements for date night.

Your busy schedules may prevent the two of you from having an extended date. Maybe all you have this week (or this month) is short 30 minute intervals of time. If so, capitalize on that short amount of time. Instead of watching TV for half an hour, try going outside for a walk, or completely turning off all media devices while you spend quality time with each other. Spend your short moments discussing plans you have for your future, a vacation you’d like to take some day, or simply being vulnerable and sharing what God is doing in your life. Bonus: you can hold each other, cuddle, and even make-out when you don’t have a lot of time to commit in the moment.

By the way, always remember that having too busy of a life can seriously hurt your marital connection. While the length of time for a date isn’t what makes a date night, the short “30 minutes together date” should not be your norm. Aim for quick dates when time is limited, but also make sure that you make the time in your schedule for more extended dates once to twice a month.

Don’t allow conflict during date night.

Some couples find that dates are difficult and stressful. These couples might find that they argue more while on a date, disagree about what the date should look like before it even starts, or get frustrated with one another before the date ends. Make date night a special time for you and your spouse. If something comes up that needs to be discussed, table it for another night. The goal behind date night is for you to feel closer and more bonded with one another afterward. It’s hard to feel closer when you’re arguing.

Yes, conflict happens in marriage. But, leave that for a time when you’re purposely setting out to work out some marital issues. Don’t let conflict intrude on your dates. And, if you’re having trouble getting rid of conflict, see if one of these five common issues are why you’re fighting and learn how to turn that around.

Do something you both enjoy.

The ideal date is one that you both like, but sometimes, couples just don’t like a lot of the same activities. Try your best to find hobbies or activities that you both enjoy and do these together for date night. If you have a hard time finding activities for your dates, consider looking at tourist attractions in your area for ideas or going to a restaurant that you haven’t been to before. You may also think outside of your norm and drive further away from your city then you normally would. You could also checkout the Dating Divas “date night” page for ideas.

If the two of you really can’t seem to find an activity you both like, then take turns planning a date for one another. Have fun with this and make your aim showing your spouse a fun night. And, if the activity is something you don’t love but your spouse does, have a good attitude about it and allow yourself to have fun.

Make date night a priority.

When you set date night as a priority, you determine to make it happen barring an emergency. Avoid “planning” to have a date night sometime this weekend. Instead, set up a day and time that works and stick to it. You may need to pull out your calendar right now and schedule a time. Don’t let other things interfere once the date and time are set. Take a nap if you need to and make sure you have the energy to devote to your date. Remember what it was like when you first started seeing one another and wanted to make sure you looked your best? Do that again for date night.

I already mentioned this earlier, but the ideal for date night is once a week. However, many couples find that once every two weeks is the best they can do. Some even find that it happens less often than that. Don’t settle for date night occurring less than once a month. And for those of you that are geographically separated from your spouse, consider Skype dates, online games, texting, love letters, and care packages as a way to stay connected.

I’d love to hear from you. What’s your favorite date night activity?

Wishing you a great date with your spouse!!! 💙 💙 💙

Dr. J

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