Have you ever wondered if regularly scheduled date nights actually lessen the chances of divorce and/or heighten marital happiness?
We’re happy to let you know that the answer is YES – to both!
“The Date Night Opportunity” report released by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia answers that question, showing that date nights are a significant way for couples to spend much-needed time together, and to reignite intimacy in a relationship.
Couples who devote time specifically to one another at least once a week are decidedly more likely to enjoy high-quality relationships and lower divorce rates, compared to couples who do not devote as much couple time to one another.
The report (by W. Bradford Wilcox & Jeffrey Dew) analyzed data from the Survey of Marital Generosity — a nationally representative survey of more than 1,600 married heterosexual couples aged 18-55.
It found that date nights “may be particularly valuable” in an era where couples increasingly expect high levels of intimacy, communication, and personal fulfillment from their married relationship.
Five clear benefits to having a date night plan were uncovered!
Date nights offer an opportunity to communicate, a key component in helping couples “deepen their understanding of one another and the relationship,” the survey states.
As each partner evolves and changes and new challenges surface, communication becomes even more important to the relationship.
2. Build a Meaningful Connection
Research suggests that couples who engage in novel activities “that are fun, active, or otherwise arousing – from hiking to dancing to travel to card games – enjoy higher levels of relationship quality.”
Date nights that offer an opportunity for couples to discover fun new activities together can counteract the tendency to take each other for granted.
3. Rekindle the Romantic Spark
Date nights have a way of rekindling the romantic spark and may strengthen a couple’s sense of commitment to one another.
“Partners who put one another first, who steer clear of other romantic opportunities and who cultivate a strong sense of ‘we-ness’ or togetherness are markedly happier than are less-committed couples,” the report says.
4. Show Your Commitment
According to the data, “Husbands and wives, as well as other romantic partners, are more likely to enjoy stable, high-quality relationships when they experience a strong sense of commitment to one another and to their relationship.”
Partners who put each other first and steer clear of other romantic entanglement cultivate a “strong sense of we-ness” and are distinctly happier than less-committed couples.
5. De-Stress Together
Stress is one of the biggest threats to a strong marriage. Whether it stems from finances, parenting, or any of the many other concerns that come with day-to-day living, stress has a way of derailing the relationship. It can cause a partner to withdraw or exhibit other unhappy behaviors. In steps — the date night — an amazing de-stressing tool!
Couples may use date nights to enjoy time with one another, discuss things that fall by the wayside, offer support, hold hands, or simply be there for one another.
According to Wilcox and Dew, couple time is equally important for married couples who have children as it is for couples without children.
In an era where couples are “less connected to religious and civic organizations than they were a half-century ago,” the authors share that couples “who are less integrated into the local civic or religious fabric of their communities” may “expect more of their relationship” and may depend heavily upon each other “for emotional support, given their relative social disengagement,” making date nights even more important.
Couple time fosters stable relationships. We can’t think of a better way to spend time together as a couple, so do it – make your date night schedule today!
Check out our events page to explore classes and date nights coming soon!