After kids, date nights are a bit of a crap shoot. It's tough to keep the romance alive amidst all of the sleepless nights, diaper changes and spit up, not to mention how terrifying it is to leave your child with a sitter for the first time. However, taking the time to connect, even if you don't leave the house, is more important than ever.
In a study conducted by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, W. Bradford Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew highlighted five reasons why date nights have strong correlations to healthy marriages:
1.Communication: Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings. arguments and distance between couples. These are feelings that chip away at marital happiness. Taking the time to get away, talk and focus on each other will build communication.
2. Novelty: Unique, shared experiences are important for long-term relationships. They help get you out of your routine. If you try something new together, you will also create memories and inside jokes that you can share together for years to come.
3. Eros: Eros or "romantic love" is something you probably experienced at the beginning of your relationship. Making the time to remember what you love about your spouse helps keep that romantic love alive.
4. Commitment: By taking time out of your busy lives to schedule and devote time to each other, you are displaying your commitment. Letting your spouse know that you are committed to each other can solidify your bond.
5. De-stressing: Sometimes there is nothing I need more than to get out of my house, have a drink and share a laugh with my husband. It's better than the best therapy!
Here are my ideas for Ten Great Summer Date Nights, five for when you can escape into the city and five you can do at home:
Host Your Own Outdoor Movie Night: This one can be done at home in the backyard with a baby monitor. Download a movie on your iPad or laptop and then grab a blanket and a bottle of wine and head out to your backyard for a romantic movie night under the stars.
Get in Touch With Your Inner Child: Eat sugary cereal, play video games or board games, color or build a fort together, anything that you both loved to do as kids. You'll have a blast and you might learn something about your spouse's childhood that you never knew before.