Everything worth having in life takes effort. A lot of effort. Whether it’s that dream house you’ve spent 25 years saving for, or that coveted position at the company you’ve been striving to attain for a decade: it takes work.
So why is it that people slack off when it comes to working at one of the fundamental building blocks of our society: marriage? Unfortunately, we put so much effort into every other facet of our lives, be it our children, careers, homes and social lives, we end up leaving only crumbs for our partners. More and more research is finding that this is a fundamental mistake that can have far reaching effects on spouses, their careers, families, and most importantly, their children.
Just ask any father who wakes up at the break of dawn to provide for his family, arriving at home barely in time for dinner and too exhausted to string more than a few customary greetings together before grabbing the remote and zoning off. Likewise, the mother of two, who somehow manages to perform at her job, only to come home and hold down the fort there ,who can’t wait for the kids to go to bed so she can follow.
One way to rekindle the spark and bring couples closer together both emotionally as well as physically is to have regularly scheduled date nights. Although this sounds cliché, it’s being touted by physicians and relationship experts alike as a marriage savior.
The premise is simple: When you and your partner clear your schedule and your minds and focus only on one another, you’re improving communication, the foundation of any solid relationship. According to studies conducted by the National Marriage Project, date nights can have a positive effect on a relationship by rekindling five crucial elements in a relationship:
1 – Communication: improved communication equals improved emotional intimacy and trust
2 – Novelty: date nights break the routine that couples have become accustomed to and give them something to look forward to
3 – Eros: physical manifestation of romantic love tends to fall by the wayside the longer a couple is together
4 – Commitment: the more time spent together the more a couple tends to view itself as one; which ensures that each partner puts his/her spouse first and results in less infidelity
5 – De-Stress: stress is one of the biggest threats to any relationship, particularly when it manifests itself in anger, resentment or solitude. Date nights provide the opportunity to focus only on the positive aspects of your life and relationship.
It’s a simple principle, the more time you spend cultivating your relationship and allotting time for intimacy, the stronger your marriage will be. The stronger the marriage, the happier you, and everybody around you, will be. A Survey by Marital Generosity showed that couples that spent more time together reported more satisfaction in their marriage, while another Survey by the National Survey of Families and Households reports that the likelihood of divorce was indirectly proportional to the amount of couple-time spent. Couples who rarely spent time together were more likely to divorce within the next five years, as opposed to couples who spent some time together every day. Spouses who spent a lot of couple even reported better communication, commitment and sexual satisfaction than couples who rarely spent time together.
Once you leave the clutter and chaos behind and make your partner your priority, the rest should be easy. It doesn’t have to be at a fancy, costly restaurant, or even something extravagant. As long as you take the time out of your week to focus on the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with. Remind yourself why you chose this person, reminisce, laugh, leave all stress behind, and look forward to culminating the night with passion.
The moral of the story? Call a baby-sitter, clear your schedules and enjoy your date night!