I could spend all week coming up with valid reasons not to spend precious time engaged in some artificially-romantic date night. But the truth is we need them. And here are the top fifteen reasons why.
15. It’s Cost Effective
Every relationship requires maintenance. Seeing a movie or taking a walk together is much less expensive (and more fun) than twice weekly sessions in a counselor’s office or a divorce lawyer.
14. To Remember He’s Cute
Date night—especially if you both take the time to shave in the right spots—can remind you what you saw in this person in the first place—because for most people, it had at least a little to do with a hotness factor.
Think about it. You spring for a little wine and candlelight, your spouse walks the dog for a week—or two. That’s fair, right?
12. Escape the Kids
The urge to get very far away from the creatures you birthed is natural. We all need adult time. Unfortunately, the guilt that comes along with that desire is common. Date nights are the exception because you know that taking care of your relationship is one of the single most important things you can do for your children’s overall well-being. You know that, right?
11. You Need Romance
Between the diapers, the [oops] late electric bill and that odd smell in the hallway, romance can get away from you. Getting away from everything together helps you focus on each other. You may be surprised to find you’re still kind of into each other—at least until you need to get home to unclog the drain.
10. You’re Bored
Boredom can get you into trouble. And if you’re sitting at home staring at the same boring face all the time, boredom can foster resentment. It’s okay to admit to each other that you’re bored, that maybe you’ve become a little boring. Speaking of boring…
9. There’s No Hidden Agenda
We all get selfish. When the routine at home gets stressful, we seek comforts, from eating the foods we like to watching what we want on TV. All of these petty preferences divide us. The great thing about date night is it has an obvious agenda. Even if you’re only going to a coffee shop to share a triple-choco-latte, you’re there to be together.
8. Because You Can
Really, there are a million reasons not to bother. I bet you know at least a few couples who for whatever reason—from physical limitations to impassable emotional divides—cannot “date.” Be grateful you’re not one of them.
7. Cute Shoes
When you have young kids you can start to feel frumpy. If you don’t have a date night, what excuse have you got to dress up? Even if you dress in “real clothes” for work every day, you still need the glamour date night provides. Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look cute. (But if you’ve got a little extra, I’d spend it on shoes.)
6. You Might Learn Something
Admit it, you don’t always listen to your beloved when he or she tells you about the exciting details of their day. You might be missing out on pertinent information, like the time and location of the next company-sponsored party.
5. Your Kids Love Junk Food
Your kids will enjoy seeing their parents go out and do something fun while they stay home with a blue box of mac and cheese. They might not admit it, and they may even try to pour on a little guilt, but it can only do them good to see mom and dad make each other a priority.
4. To Dream a Little Dream
Maybe you aren’t working your dream job or slicing your carrots on granite countertops, but you can make date night a bright spot on your calendar.
3. To Hold Hands
Between strollers, groceries, and phones, there is often not a free hand to hold. And yet this is one of the easiest gestures, and one sign of affection that age will not rob you.
2. To Remember
In the early years of a relationship friends are always asking how you met. This inevitably leads to sweet or funny or mushy stories of eyes locking and hands trembling and blahty-blah-blah-blah. But it’s fun. So live a little, in the past.
1. Uhh …You Know Why …
It could lead to sex. Sex is really, really good for you. You need it. Just like food and water, it’s fundamental to good health—both your physical well-being and that of your relationship. Obviously, date night is critical.
A scheduled date night is not the be-all-end-all solution to every relationship trouble, but it’s one little thing you can do. And it’s not the grand gestures that define a relationship; it’s the little things, added up over time, that fortify. So think little, as in—get a little.
Lela Davidson is the author of Blacklisted from the PTA and Who Peed on My Yoga Mat? She dates a LOT. Always the same guy.