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Date Nights for Married Couples: Mandatory for a Happy Marriage?

Fef 2011/06/17 22:45:42
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Date Nights for married couples sound like a good idea, but date nights don't come easily. My wife and I have a great marriage. We love each other deeply and enjoy each other's company, but we hardly ever go on dates because we have super busy schedules. By the time my wife and I get around to going out on a date, we'd rather take naps. We spend our time either working, taking care of our wonderful children, volunteering, and visiting our families. Who has time for dinner and a movie (or whatever)?

Date Nights, many experts and friends have told me, keep married couples happy. Nearly everyone I talk to suggests my wife and I force ourselves to have a date night. That means not spending time with the kids, not spending time fixing something around the house, not volunteering, not taking some work home at night, not getting some rest...

Rabbi Dov Heller writes about these six habits at Aish.com. Aish.com, the world's largest Jewish content site, has an article that suggests a happy marriage depends on "six key habits."
I've listed the necessity for dating listed under the second habit:
HABIT #2 - CREATE MUTUALLY SATISFYING LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP RITUALS
* It is essential to have a "date night" at least every other week.

Read More: http://www.aish.com/f/m/48937667.html

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Top Opinion

  • Lily Blooms Eternal 2011/06/18 01:05:26
    Don't Force Date Nights When You're Busy
    Lily Blooms Eternal
    +3
    I can testify that date nights aren't even always mandatory for a happy dating relationship! I have been in a relationship with a busy farmer for more than a decade and somebody who single-handedly runs a farm while also often working an off-site job, doesn't have a lot of time to put on dancing shoes. Or, for that matter, to buy any dancing shoes, or sometimes any pair of shoes that aren't chore boots. I don't know that going out could be any more fun, bonding or enjoyable than working together side-by-side or watching a TV show together that you probably wouldn't watch on your own but somehow find entertaining with them.

    I'd rather watch microwave popcorn pop than watch any sporting event ever, including the Superbowl, and yet last Saturday afternoon I sat and watched the final stretch of a high school girls soccer championship game with him on a local TV channel, and we kept up a running commentary that made us laugh and keep watching until the championship team dispersed after being photographed with the plaque they had won. Being able to enjoy the simple and mundane by saying what the other is thinking all the time and laughing like a couple of kids, has to be better than being caught up in a social whirlwind.

    Here's a song for you:

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Opinions

  • Katherine 2011/06/24 02:34:28 (edited)
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    Katherine
    You would be better off just taking vacations. Date night doesn't really provide you with couple's time because you know you have limited time, you probably have things to do or you're exhausted. I would probably accumulate vacation leave and utilize national holidays for a week just you and your SO. No kids, no in-laws, no friends, no bosses, no neighbors-- just the two of you. Well, you would probably ask grandma and pa to watch the kids. That's encouraged in my family.
  • HappiestGirl 2011/06/20 19:12:24
    Don't Force Date Nights When You're Busy
    HappiestGirl
    My husband and I love each other deeply and are very happy. We can probably count on one hand the amount of "date nights" we've had since our first son was born. I don't think you have to go out on the town to be happy. We just make time for each other at home, AFTER the boys go to bed!
  • nee 2011/06/20 16:16:26
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    nee
    Treating your partner as you wished to be treated.
    Taking time (not forced time) to be alone
  • DreamwalkerJB 2011/06/19 22:35:10 (edited)
    Don't Force Date Nights When You're Busy
    DreamwalkerJB
    Date nights are great, but forcing them is not comfortable or satisfying. Besides the whole idea of a date is to focus on the other, have fun, and be romantic. Whatever you can do to spend quality time with each other alone while you are raising the kids, will be of some help when the kids are grown and you are more alone together. Being too busy to enjoy some alone time with your spouse may be an indication that your priorities need re-examining. That said, I think it is more important for the two of you to consider this question together than to get answers from strangers on SodaHead.
  • FencerCat 2011/06/19 03:54:53
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    FencerCat
    Do what makes you happy. My husband and I have date night, but there are weekends when it isn't possible. It isn't forced, it's just something we've generally built into our marriage. Of course, we have no kids, so we don't have any difficulties in that area.
  • lucky 2011/06/18 16:51:21
    Don't Force Date Nights When You're Busy
    lucky
    +1
    What good is a date night when your thoughts are preoccupied with other things.

    "CREATE MUTUALLY SATISFYING LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP RITUALS" That can be done without forcing a date night.
  • ruthannhausman 2011/06/18 06:35:25
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    ruthannhausman
    The key to a happy marriage is not definable, per se. There is no overall formula that will accomplish that end result. Each relationship is unique and no quick answers to any of the hard questions. Referring to this particular question, however, I would tend to say "forced" anything is not going to result in any magical good results. "Date nights" is a good idea, however, in that every relationship can use a little change now and then, and a date night would be a perfect opportunity for experimentation.
  • Skip 2011/06/18 06:27:45
    Forced Date Nights Keep Marriages Happy
    Skip
    Nothing "forced" is good in any marriage but a weekly date with your spouse is healthy for a good marriage. It's also healthy for the husband!
  • Gregaj7 2011/06/18 05:12:57
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    Gregaj7
    "My wife and I have a great marriage. We love each other deeply and enjoy each other's company...".
    Congratulations, Fef, you've answered your own question.
  • METALheadMom 2011/06/18 03:42:07
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    METALheadMom
    Agreed upon date nights. Especially when you have a weird work schedule and kids at home. You have to take time out for yourselves, AND each other sometimes just to TALK.
  • Shawna 2011/06/18 03:23:01
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    Shawna
    not easily summed up here.
    Dates did not save my marriage. My ex is a controlling, critical, passive aggressive guy who wasn't too bad when we first married but got much worse. Dates did not help.
  • Jim in SC 2011/06/18 02:57:46
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    Jim in SC
    One key is definitely making time for each other. This would be intentional time with minimal distractions. Time together, alone as a couple. This can be accomplished by doing things together, or by going out on a date, or by simply cuddling together sharing hot chocolate and telling stories.

    This isn't the only key. Any marriage resource will list several characteristics that comprise a healthy marriage, just as Rabbi Heller's "6 Habits" indicates.
  • Fannie 2011/06/18 02:46:50
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    Fannie
    like a box of chocolates, you never know what you will get.
  • cynsity 2011/06/18 02:34:33
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    cynsity
    is doing what makes you feel good. After 20 wonderful years of marriage and the successful raising of our child my husband and I now have time for "dates". Looking back though I think the reason we have been happy and what will continue to make us happy as individuals and as a couple is that we have never let what others think is best override what we know is best.

    Yes couples need time for each other, but if that means you lay down and take a nap together then that is fine, if spending times with small/young children makes you happy then great (remember that time is limited as childern will become independant as they should and want less time with parents). If your free time is time you each want to spend persuing different interests then that is great too as it helps you each grow and keeps things new and fresh in the marriage as you bring new and changing ideas and interests to the pairing

    Date night can be a good investment but if its forced, if it takes you physically away from things your heart and mind are still doing if it adds stress then it is not beneficial. And if snuggling together in the family room with a big bowl of popcorn and the kids giggling to the cartoon mischief of teh latest disney flick is what makes you both feel conected then call it a date and good.
  • danielria 2011/06/18 01:35:08
    Forced Date Nights Keep Marriages Happy
    danielria
    And there's no such thing in my book!
  • blissful 2011/06/18 01:06:26
    The Key to a Happy Marriage is...
    blissful
    +1
    I think that its most important to communicate with one-another. Taking the time to spend with each-other is worth the time. Date night isn't a bad idea if its going to help keep the Marriage solid..
  • Lily Blooms Eternal 2011/06/18 01:05:26
    Don't Force Date Nights When You're Busy
    Lily Blooms Eternal
    +3
    I can testify that date nights aren't even always mandatory for a happy dating relationship! I have been in a relationship with a busy farmer for more than a decade and somebody who single-handedly runs a farm while also often working an off-site job, doesn't have a lot of time to put on dancing shoes. Or, for that matter, to buy any dancing shoes, or sometimes any pair of shoes that aren't chore boots. I don't know that going out could be any more fun, bonding or enjoyable than working together side-by-side or watching a TV show together that you probably wouldn't watch on your own but somehow find entertaining with them.

    I'd rather watch microwave popcorn pop than watch any sporting event ever, including the Superbowl, and yet last Saturday afternoon I sat and watched the final stretch of a high school girls soccer championship game with him on a local TV channel, and we kept up a running commentary that made us laugh and keep watching until the championship team dispersed after being photographed with the plaque they had won. Being able to enjoy the simple and mundane by saying what the other is thinking all the time and laughing like a couple of kids, has to be better than being caught up in a social whirlwind.

    Here's a song for you:

  • Wonder Woman 2011/06/18 00:58:16 (edited)
  • Fef Wonder ... 2011/06/18 01:21:38
    Fef
    Tell that woman in the video to stop her yapping! Romance novels!? Geesh, that really makes it hard for the husband to live up to.
    woman video yapping romance novels geesh husband live blah blah animated gif
  • Wonder ... Fef 2011/06/18 01:37:06
  • Shawna Fef 2011/06/18 03:26:10
    Shawna
    +2
    Just as men don't actually need their wives to look exactly like the porn stars they watch, women don't need their men to be identical to the hero in a romance novel. The bottom line is that men feel loved when they get sex from their wives and women need to be romanced a little to feel like having sex after they have just made dinner, bathed the kids and changed poopy diapers.
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/18 04:31:12
  • Shawna Wonder ... 2011/06/18 04:32:33
    Shawna
    +1
    LOL-well it might be different for married men versus single men. Men are human creatures and they want and need love and affection too. It is just the method that it is delivered to them that differs from how women want it.
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/18 06:02:19
  • Shawna Wonder ... 2011/06/18 06:04:32
    Shawna
    +3
    They want to please. They just aren't mind readers. Women have some silly expectations sometimes.
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/18 14:20:58
  • Shawna Wonder ... 2011/06/18 15:32:55
    Shawna
    +1
    LOL-well if humanity has survived this long there must be a purpose to those differences. So many women spend the end of their life without a man because there aren't enough to go around at that point. The ones that are left are very unlikely to be single so there are still some women who want them.

    I don't have any ideas on how it should be, but I know how I want it to be. If I can find a man who gets it right that's wonderful. If not, I can be happy on my own too.
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/18 15:40:31 (edited)
  • Shawna Wonder ... 2011/06/18 15:43:29
    Shawna
    +1
    I think there is just as much potential for me to be butting heads with anther woman as with a man. LOL
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/18 18:45:46
  • Shawna Wonder ... 2011/06/18 19:17:34
    Shawna
    +1
    Women are generally better readers of facial expressions and body language. They are more likely to get a sense about someone whereas men tend to take others at face value.
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/18 19:25:49
  • Shawna Wonder ... 2011/06/18 19:27:44
    Shawna
    While these statements can be true of many men, it really isn't true of all of them. I know compassionate and nurturing men who have not sacrificed any of their manliness to be that way.
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/18 20:23:49 (edited)
  • Shawna Wonder ... 2011/06/18 20:29:40
    Shawna
    +1
    LOL-women are more complicated but some men do a very good job of understanding us. Those are the ones who approach us as a human being first, a friend, a partner. I apologise if I misinterpreted your comments. It is just that I know men who are the most loving and compassionate fathers and I would never want them to be misjudged or unacknowledged.
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/18 20:41:40
  • Shawna Wonder ... 2011/06/19 04:38:28
    Shawna
    +1
    I agree that fathers need more rights with regards to their children, but nobody needs to be pleading the woman's side. The courts are biased in favour of mothers.
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/19 05:14:14
  • Shawna Wonder ... 2011/06/19 05:19:29
    Shawna
    +1
    LOL-if she ever tries I will come and fight with you. I have a good swing and I go for the head.
  • Wonder ... Shawna 2011/06/19 06:45:16

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