I recently watched a movie where the two main characters meet on a blind date. A literal “blind” date: they were in a room that was pitch black! Imagine being led into a room by a restaurant hosts shoulder and following them into the dark…the waiters have special night vision goggles and the characters carry on their conversation and dinner without the slightest clue what each other look like! I sat on the couch, watching the movie with my husband, thinking, “I want to do that! Let’s go on a blind date!” Really, I just want to go on a date with him; anything would do! We have been on so many dates over the years that have created some incredible memories, but now that we are married, I am seeing our creativity in our dating life dwindle. And I’m realizing we are not the only ones!
The craziness of life, work, church, gym, hobbies, kids, family, and all the other things we can have going on get in the way of putting our marriage first. Going on weekly dates has been proven to improve the health of our relationships. In a study conducted through the National Marriage Project called “The Date Night Opportunity” by Brad Wilcox and Jeff Dew, the two report that dates can improve the overall communication, sexual satisfaction, and commitment in marriages.
In order to receive the most benefit from these dates, there are some criteria that the study suggests. The first thing to ensure a great date is to use this time to communicate your love, vision, and support for one another. It will be tempting to discuss your finances, household chores, and other “business” items, however, dates are NOT the time for this! During the date, make it a goal to create an environment of understanding one another’s emotional state. This can be one of the biggest de-stressors of your week.
Create exciting nights together that go beyond the classic dinner and a movie. Doing things that are new and interest you both brings novelty and specialness to the date. Here is a quick list of 10 date ideas:
Walk around a museum and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the courtyard or park nearby.
Buy a couple of kites from the dollar store and take them to the beach.
Visit local cafes that host open mic nights and enjoy dessert and coffee together.
Take a trip to the thrift store and create themed outfits for each other. (i.e. 80’s punk rocker)
Find the athletic schedule for the nearest university and attend some sporting events.
Grab another couple, and have a game night while making your own pizza.
Take a dance class. (Maybe this is a woman favorite, but at least you get to hold each other close!)
Go sight-seeing for whales; there are plenty of Groupon and LivingSocial deals that include sightseeing on a boat.
Go on a local Brewery tour or wine tasting.
Research local events happening that you can attend…perhaps there is one coming up!
Once you have gone on these fun, sweet dates, the best part is the romantic benefit that ensues. According to the study in “The Date Night Opportunity,” dates can reignite and foster romance in the relationship. Who knows what you could be missing?!
Overall, planned date nights create a sense of we-ness and togethernesswithin marriage. This unity is necessary to face the struggles and hard times that we all have to face; how amazing to face them with the person you love right by your side. The study states that couples who dedicate at least once a week to specific date time are 3.5 times more happy and satisfied in their marriage than couples who do not spend that time together! So, while we are all bustling and busy, the rewards of prioritizing time with our spouse is undeniable.
Now here’s the challenge: get out there and date your spouses every week! You can start with attending the Nuila Events sponsored Back to School Date Night. We would love to hear any more ideas that you have regarding dates. Please comment below or feel free to contact us on Facebook.