You might not think it's possible to squeeze a date night into your hectic schedule, especially if your family includes young children.
But "The Date Night Opportunity" report from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia states that making time for just the two of you is a must for a healthy relationship.
Many relationship benefits
Couples who are able to carve out together time at least once a week are much more likely to enjoy a high-quality relationship and have a lower likelihood of divorce than couples who don't make the time to be with each other.
Specific benefits to the marriage include greater commitment to each other, a higher degree of communication and a more satisfying sex life.
Time is valuable
How you spend your couple's time matters, too. Couples who have higher "relationship quality" do more than simply go to dinner and a movie. They enjoy activities that are new and exciting and allow them the opportunity to de-stress and engage with each other – from hiking to dancing to travel. But it can even be something as low key as playing card games.
The researchers found that carving out couple time is particularly valuable for those who aren't involved with activities within their community or church and those who need to feel a greater commitment to each other.
The researchers also point out that all couples can benefit, regardless of whether they have children.
Stuck in a rut?
Try these ideas for date nights:
- Book at that restaurant in your area that you always drive past but have never been to. Try Food24’s restaurant guide if you are stuck for dinner ideas.
- Rewatch all your favourite movies together at home. Repeat your favourite movie quotes together. Don’t forget the popcorn.
- Play your favourite board game.
- Cook dinner together.
- Put on your favourite playlist and dance your hearts out.
- Do those DIY tasks you've been putting off forever, but make it fun.
- Try a new activity such as ballroom dancing.
- Combine your fitness routines. Skip the gym and go for a walk or run together.
And apparently we South Africans have even more reason to spice up our date nights. According to a Fin24 article, South African cities offer the best value for money when it comes to a night out on the town compared to other cities in the world.
So get out your calendar and plan that date right now!
Image supplied by iStock.