The first week we got together, he asked me if I wanted to go on a date night. I said, “Sure! When!?” He said, “How about right now?” Cue our first argument.
After a good, hard talk, we came to a mutual understanding of what we wanted our dating (and later marriage) relationship to look like. For him, it was about surprising me with something new and exciting to do together each week and consistent quality time. For me, it was about having a heads-up before the date and consistent quality time. Thankfully, we both wanted quality time. We just felt differently about the approach.
We sat down and picked one day that we would strive to stick to for date night. That way I could plan my week out ahead of time, and he could surprise me with whatever we would do. I know people might think this is high maintenance or that schedules won’t allow it, but I’ll tell you that we’ve had consistent date nights every Thursday since the summer of 2012, as long as the both of us are in the same city. It’s the only “rule” we made, and it continues to work for us. Read any advice column about how to keep your relationship/marriage strong, and you’ll find regular date nights near the top of the list.
I understand it is more difficult once children enter the picture or if your job prevents you from having a regular schedule. I know that you may go to dinners and movies even when it’s not a formally called “date night.” I am also aware that maybe you tried a consistent date night and it just did not work out for you. That’s fine! No judgment here. But the point of this post is that those couples I know with a consistent date night receive significant and consistent positive benefits, contributing to a healthy and romantic relationship. In a world where people seem to never have enough time, date night is a way to stop buzzing and instead grow in your friendship with your significant other.
Why is that?
1. We know what is happening Thursday night regardless of the week. This makes my Erin Condren planner very happy.
2. It motivates us to schedule activities on other nights of the week. Our friends know when we will not be available, which helps when they are planning activities.
3. Sometimes someone isn’t feeling well, or an important last-minute engagement takes over. There is grace before routine.
4. It makes us less “we should” and more “we have.” There’s a long list of restaurants/activities we are interested in trying. With a weekly date night, we are able to slowly get through the list.
5. It encourages us to be frugal during the week and eat in as much as possible so we can enjoy our time on the town, guilt free. Sometimes for date night, we enjoy a home cooked meal. Phones are not in the room with us though!
6. For two busy and social people, sometimes we forget to share the details of our days. Making each other a consistent priority always gets us back on track.
7. Since Thursday nights are technically not the weekend, there are fewer crowds at restaurants, and better prices. Why not start the weekend early?
8. As someone who plans things all week long for the two of us, it’s nice to know that come Thursday night, he’s got it figured out. It’s nice to look forward to it all week.
Date night isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s a time for fun, commitment, and friendship. So tell me, how do you stay grounded with your significant other or friends in such a wired world? What do you think? Feel free to comment below! Date nights don’t have to break the bank. I’ll write a post on some great date night ideas soon!