Friendship is one of the most important aspects of marriage. This is because marriage, at its core, is about relationship. So together husbands and wives must constantly cultivate their friendship. At times this can be tough, and throughout seasons of life (birth of kids, season of busyness) it may become difficult to maintain, but it is worth pursuing.
The Bricks, Sarah and I, are proponents of setting a consistent time each week to learn about and enjoy each other. A majority of the time this involves an evening when we focus solely on one another. If you’re looking for a great dinner spot we’d recommend: Dick & Jenny’s, Irene’s, and La Thai. Other times this is an hour over a cup of coffee or Sucre gelato. We have found this to be an effective way to grow closer together as spouses and friends.
4 reasons that I personally advocate date nights:
- Dates are fun – Let’s be honest, life is draining. Most of us work long hours in jobs that consume our entire life. But is that paycheck really all that there is to life? For more on work check out “Does our Work Actually Matter?” When I was in high school, my mom always encouraged me to enjoy time with friends & Sarah because “you’ll work the rest of your life.” She was right. Some days work is a real toil and takes a toll on me mentally, emotionally, and even physically. So I’d encourage you to escape the strains, struggles, stresses, and deadlines at least once a week with your spouse by doing something you both enjoy, whether that’s riding the Streetcar, trying a new restaurant, enjoying a new coffee shop, or going for a walk.
- Dates open communication lines – Sarah and I like each other so much that we try to eat dinner together a couple nights of the week. The difference between these nights and date night is that most of those nights we usually have work, chores, or errands to complete after dinner, so we aren’t able to be fully present with each other. For example, tonight after our dinner I am now sitting in bed writing this blog as Sarah sleeps. But our weekly date night is a particular night set aside for us to intentionally focus on each other, exclusively.
- Dates produce greater sexual intimacy – In his book Sex Begins in the Kitchen, psychologist Kevin Leman cites an article from Redbook that states: 70% of couples end an evening date intimately. Now the ultimate goal of a date night is not what happens in the bedroom. Instead the goal is engaging one another and connecting. This involves discovering how your spouse’s week has been, dreaming together about your future, and discovering where he/she has been challenged in his/her relationship with God and others. But remember that you both will end every night in bed because this is where most people sleep. Therefore this gives you the opportunity to enjoy your spouse (sexually) after learning something new about them (emotionally). So if you are currently frustrated either emotionally or sexually, maybe it is time to discuss with your spouse if there might be a correlation between your levels emotional and physical connection and intimacy.
- Dates treat your wife like she deserves – I’m unapologetically a romantic because this is what I have found that Sarah desires from her husband. In response I take lead to plan a majority of our date nights where I surprise her with new restaurants, hold her hand, buy her flowers, and snuggle with her. For one of our couple friends, they have recognized that they prefer to be active together. They go sailing, play sports, and ride bikes to connect. Husbands, do you know how your wife feels/receives love? Take a night to ask your wife; listen and communicate your love through that way.
Remember a strong marriage comes from constant cultivation. If you think calling it date night is cheesy then call it something else, but make sure to take time to develop your friendship and connection.
Our Vintage Church Marriage Retreat is August 23 from 7-10pm. For more information or to register click – HERE.