We all get tied up during the week with work and child-rearing obligations, but to keep your connection alive with your significant other it’s important to make time at least every other week to have a date-night. It doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive, and maybe you just cook a nice meal at home together while the kids go visit with their grandparents. Just a few hours of one-on-one time enjoying each other’s company and conversation that doesn’t involve to-do lists.
Many couples fall out of the date-night habit after a few years of being together, and just celebrate on special occasions, like someone’s birthday or a holiday. Recognizing your special love just a few times a year is simply not enough. To keep a relationship alive and healthy, you need regular and frequent date nights. Talk to each other about what would be ideal for each of you, and maybe take turns with planning.
Now, a lot of my married friends with kids will say that I am lucky because I have a built-in babysitter (aka my ex-husband) on alternating weekends. That is true– I am very fortunate that I don’t get hit with a babysitting surcharge when I want my date night. So maybe others need to get creative and take turns with other friends hosting playdates, or they need to beg the grandparents to step up a bit more and lend a helping hand. Whatever you need to do, just do it. We all need a break from the responsiblities of work and home life, and we all need to feel special. Without date night, it’s easy to feel taken for granted– and when this happens, your marriage becomes that much more susceptible to outside threats.
When this advice was first given to me over a decade ago in my first marriage, I wish we’d taken it far more seriously. Instead, we both got tied up with work and child-rearing responsibilities, and we let other things take precedence over our own relationship, and look at where we ended up. Lesson learned: all work and no play makes for a very boring/unhappy marriage. So, my advice is to talk to your partner about his/her desired frequency in date nights and find a compromise you can both live with, then do your best to stick to that. Spice things up a bit on a regular basis with your loved one, not just on V-day.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.