Your home is a refuge from the stresses of daily life. It provides comfort, safety and a sense of belonging. Whether it is a castle or a condo, it is yours – a place you can relax and enjoy the pleasures of binge-watching television in your ratty pajamas while enjoying chocolate to your heart’s content. And all with no judgment!
Sometimes it is good to close the door on all home has to offer and spend unrushed, unhurried time with your spouse. You see, it doesn’t really matter how much you love your spouse. What matters is communicating that love in a way they can understand and feel it. You may think about them all day, pray for them in between work or even talk to friends about how delightful your mate is, but then produce no corresponding action to show that love to the person who needs it.
We think once we find our perfect partner, we’ll have a lock on happiness, right? However, research tells us most marriages bring happiness for about two years. After that, it is up to us to keep the love alive. A significant portion comes down to the choices we make.
One way to keep happiness levels high is a weekly date night. You and your spouse will grow closer when you spend time together doing things you both enjoy. A night out doesn’t have to be fancy, elaborate or break the bank. Just time to unwind together without the distractions of your busy lives.
Aside from the relationship between each individual and God, the connection between spouses is the most important bond in the house. When a couple spends time alone each week, according to researchers, their levels of happiness, encouraging communication and sexual satisfaction are more than three times higher than those who don’t make the time to enjoy one another’s company. Dramatically increasing these can be as simple as walking to a local park and spending time on a bench talking to each other. Yes, it may mean securing a babysitter if your children are young, but it is well worth the cost and effort.
A great date night will feature playfulness, optimism, and laughter. How can you make this happen? Here are a few ideas:
Celebrate each other: We generally have large celebrations for the big events in our lives, but celebrating the smaller things can raise a couple’s happiness level. For example, getting a great parking spot at a crowded mall, finding a great sale at the grocery store, learning your car doesn’t need the large, looming and expensive repair you thought it did.
Dream a dream: Look to your future with excitement and enthusiasm. Picture the great life and love you see for yourselves and talk about what you see.
Add value to others: Spend one date night a month volunteering together. Do this by sitting down and writing down 20 (or more) suggestions on where to demonstrate kindness beyond your relationship.
Try new things: Falling into a rut is easy. Take some time to shake it up. Try a new restaurant. Plan an adventure like roller skating or skydiving! Look in your local newspaper for local (and free) art exhibits, festivals or concerts.
Count your blessings: Spend time on your dates thanking God for all the wonderful miracles he has showered on you as a couple. Nothing builds happiness more than shared gratitude.
A great date night is mostly about enjoying each other. What you do on your night is very personal because what may be meaningful to you might be boring to another couple. Make sure you take time to tell some of the stories about your marriage. This will help you celebrate how far you’ve come as a couple and provide hope as you anticipate future good times together.
When you return to your house after a date night, you should find refreshment, trust and joy have followed you home. Happy people are more considerate people. Dating our spouse improves our ability to resolve conflict. It strengthens relationships – not just in your marriage, but outside of it, also. It raises our happiness levels and happiness makes us more loving and loveable.