Married life is complex. Why? Because many dynamics are involved in the relationship. The husband and the wife each face the challenges of life, whether that be overcoming personal challenges, being successful on a job, raising children, dealing with family members, and just simply the daily pressures of life. These can seem even more challenging in a marriage; the couple must work together to overcome many of the issues. In the midst of all this stuff, it is easy for couples to lose sight of each other. Work, children, bills, and other commitments can drain the time and energy out of a relationship. But spending time together to nurture a loving, and healthy relationship is one of the most vital building blocks of a successful marriage relationship.
In a world of seemingly infinite distractions, how can a couple find the time to get together. A solution is to designate a regular time to get together. This time should be reserved not to discuss the house budget, or a problem with one of kids, but a time to be with each other, and invest in intimate conversation and interaction. You could call it a date night, or whatever interesting name you want to give it.
A date night can be like a refuge from a storm – a safe place to build the relationship. First, it helps to put a couple’s focus on their relationship, rather than the daily issues and pressures that they must face. Second, it helps to cultivate the emotional bond in a relationship, especially in difficult times. During hardships, couples can easily shift blame to each other, instead of tackling the problem together. Having a regular date night can help to diffuse this tendency by putting the couple’s focus on strengthening their relationship, which makes them a stronger team. Like the saying goes “two is better than one”; an intimately bonded couple is better equipped to face challenges together.
Date nights, however, should not be an end in itself. Instead, treat it like a training ground, like a time of preparation. Regular date nights serve to build intimacy and closeness in a relationship, so that intimacy becomes a natural part of everyday life. The aim is that “date nights” will become an informal, and continual occurrence – “date moments”; the couple learns to engage each other intimately in every state of life. When the difficulties of life comes, at that time it is often too late to begin to learn to be intimate. Unfortunately, many couples grow a part throughout the years of their marriage, just going through the routine, not realizing the problem until it’s too late. By maintaining a date night, couples can face obstacles with strength, and prevent the relationship from growing stale. It affords the opportunity for the couple to grow together, to understand each other along the way.
A date night does not need to be complicated nor expensive. Choose a time in the week when you can come together to interact in an intimate way, free of all distractions. It does not have to be an expensive date at a luxurious restaurant, although that can be good. Actually, it can be as simple as spending an hour together in the family car; this my wife and I sometimes do, because it’s an easy way to get away from distractions. It can be a walk in the park, or a relaxing evening by a lake. The point is to do it consistently, and use it to focus on each other, building an intimate relationship.