Taking “Time Out” to Re-Connect

One of the best things a dad can do for his kids is to love their mom. It’s a cliche’ but it’s true.

What better way to love a woman than to take her out sometimes? If you can do it, once a week is great for special couple time.

Date night doesn’t have to cost a lot, and it doesn’t have to be at night. One couple I know substituted Saturday mornings for Saturday nights. This was when their kids were in their teens and sleeping in on Saturday mornings from their own nights out on Friday nights.

The couple found that going out for breakfast Saturday mornings, even at an inexpensive diner, gave them a welcome breather between the work week and all the weekend tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, housecleaning, lawn care, et cetera. The wife loved being served and not having to deal with cooking or dishes. The husband liked having a big breakfast without the weekday rush. They would linger over second cups of coffee and compare notes about the week, in addition to covering challenging topics like their finances and their kids’ teenage defiance.

“It saved our sanity. It saved our marriage,” the husband said. “I think it even saved our kids.”

Another couple combined weight loss, getting fit, and conversation by going on hikes together. Date night doesn’t have to cost you much more than a little imagination and effort.

Having Those Important Conversations

The conversation part of date night is very important. Guys don’t always like to talk or share their feelings, but it is crucial to do this with the mother of your children.

Scientific researchers have found this to be true. The National Marriage Project at Rutgers University conducted a study analyzing the results of the Survey of Marital Generosity (SMG), which used a sample of 1600 married couples. They combined this with data from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), which covered 10,000 adults.

Specifically, the researchers found that date nights strengthen relationships in several important ways. 1.) They encourage communication. 2.) They provide some novelty and refreshment in the relationship. 3.) Doing cool things together enhances romantic feelings and sexual attraction. 4.) Date nights firm up commitment. Committed couples are happier than couples whose attachment and loyalty to each other is shaky. 5.) Date nights allow couples to de-stress, have a few laughs, share some fun, and enter a different zone than the work-a-day world that so often causes tensions. (The surveys and their results are available)

Staying Connected

Date night can divorce-proof a marriage, too. The SMG showed that spending lots of time together as a couple correlated with marital satisfaction. Specifically, wives who got together with their husbands less than once a week had quadruple chances of reporting that they were considering divorce. Husbands who spent less than one time a week with their wives were almost three times as likely to be thinking about divorce.

Divorce is bad for kids, but so is constant fighting in a couple who keeps it together “for the sake of the kids.” In fact, the outcomes for kids are similar in both cases.

The best case scenario is a good relationship, and date night fosters that.

Go ahead! Ask her out!

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