Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why We Have a "Date Night"

One of the many great things we learned in our pre-marital counseling is the importance of a scheduled date night. Our counselors told us that unless you schedule concentrated time together to draw one another out and enjoy each other; inevitably other things will get in the way.

It’s really easy when you are newly married, or have no kids yet, to assume that planned date nights are not a necessity. You might think to yourself “why would I need to set aside time. Every night is pretty much a date night.” I suppose that could be true for some people. But I know for us every night is not date. Many other things get in our way and take time away from each other. Obviously this is not law for marriage or anything. It’s just some things that I have learned about my own tendencies in my brief time being married.

We choose to schedule a date night on Fridays because if we don’t we will just find something better to do. It’s not that we don’t hang out a lot, or even talk. We make an effort to talk over dinner or throughout the day. But honestly, if we let ourselves, school, reading, blogging, cooking, cleaning, laundry, church, friends, and anything else you can think of will take the place of intentional time together. We have realized that we schedule everything else that we deem important. Since the marriage relationship is the most important earthly relationship in our minds, we try to keep our schedules clear of everything but each other on Friday nights. Once again, this isn’t law, so there are things that come up that we have to do—and if that’s true we do our best to reschedule date night. Our biggest concern for our marriage is our own hearts behind wanting to continue pursuing one another and working on our relationship.

It doesn’t have to be super intense or expensive. We don’t have a lot of money—in fact some months we run out of date night money before the month is over, and then date night is a walk and an evening at home. It can be simple or something fun you have wanted to do together. The point is that you are together, communicating, and growing in your relationship.

For myself, I have had to learn to continue to follow my husband’s lead regarding date night. I used to gladly accept his requests to take me out when we were dating or engaged. In fact I could hardly wait for him to ask me! Now I have noticed that I am the one who tends to find other things to fill our schedules on date night, and sometimes they are very good things—but things that can be done at another time. As the wife, I need to learn to preserve our night together just as much as I desire him to. For me it means gladly accepting our planned date nights as my husbands loving attempts to continue winning my heart. I need to pray for the same anticipation and excitement for our Friday night dates that I had prior to us saying, “I do.”

Planned date nights are not a must to have a good marriage. But we have been encouraged by and admired many godly, older couples who thrive in their marriages because of the active pursuit of each other. This is our goal for our marriage—and one of our preferred means of pursuing each other is a date night.

2 comments:

Laurin said...

I love your words...I would agree with you that planned date nights are not a must to have a good marriage, but would you say that planned date nights are a must to have a better marriage?? I definitely think so = ).
Aaron and I definitely have to be intentional and disciplined to get our date nights in b/c it means finding babysitters...we are so blessed to have precious teenager neighbors who love our kids and who like to babysit...and perhaps even more blessed by sweet friends who get asked even by Savannah when they are going to babysit for them...and those sweet friends are even willing to do so. (i.e. YOU!)

cdt said...

From what I have seen with older couples who regularly have a date night, it seems that their marriages are stronger and better. It encourages us!

We would LOVE to watch the girls and I feel totally loved by your sweet girl every time she asks us to come babysit! It would be our joy to watch them! I feel so honored. It's not every day that a sweet little girl asks you to babysit. :)