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Laura M. Brotherson, MS, MFT, CFLE
Monday, September 06 2010

Raising the Bar on Date Night

By Laura M. Brotherson, MS, MFT, CFLE Notify me when this author publishesComment on Article
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Date night is simply one of the best things couples can do for their marriage. It nourishes the relationship mentally, emotionally, socially and even sexually (…if you're lucky!).

Couples generally do the best they can when it comes to having a date night, so I really hate to be too hard on them about it. But it may be time to step it up a notch. Consider these four rules for raising the bar on date night:

Rules for Raising the Bar on Date Night


1. No Cell Phones or Other Electronic Devices

Even if your phone is a major part of your job, surely it can wait for you and your spouse to have a few hours of uninterrupted couple time once a week. If you are always on your phone, just imagine what a powerful message it will be to your honey for you to "just say no" to your phone for a few hours.

I hope it goes without saying that you do not ever play a video game on your cell phone during date night unless that happens to be what you and your spouse are doing together for date night.

And when you happen to go online to check movie times or the address for the restaurant don't check your email, or the news, or your social networking sites or anything else. Date night is for connecting with your spouse not your cell phone.

2. Minimize Babysitting Distractions

If it's your kids or the babysitter that keeps calling then it may be time to train them to call only in a real emergency. Some kids call their parents on date night multiple times for unimportant reasons simply because it's what they are in the habit of doing.

It's just not much of a date night if you're on the phone with your kids all night. A good rule of thumb might be that unless someone is seriously bleeding or dying they shouldn't call.

You're also going to have to train yourself to stop answering their calls every few minutes. Be sure to provide enough information to your babysitter and your kids to eliminate the need for them to call.

If your own children are your babysitters they too need to be taught how to get along and how to solve their own problems. One family paid their kids varied amounts for babysitting based on how well they got along and were able to solve their own problems.

It was up to everyone to determine who deserved how much money depending on how they behaved that evening. It's amazing how quickly their kids learned to get along in order to get their full pay. It also cut out a lot of unnecessary phone calls.

3. Show Uncommon Courtesy

Date night is a great night to be on your best behavior and to step up your courtship courtesies, as if it were your first date. Husbands, get your wife's door. Wives let him, and say thank you. These uncommon courtesies make date night an extra special time.

Treat each other the way you hope to teach your teenagers to treat their dates. Your kids will benefit not only from seeing your example but also from how it will positively impact your marriage.

4. Touch More

Remember how much you wanted to touch and be close when you were dating? Date night is an opportunity to engage in affection even if it's not a regular habit when you're used to holding a baby or continually chasing a toddler during the rest of your day.

It's mind boggling to see couples out on a date who never touch. If you are walking together grab each other's hand or walk arm in arm. If you are sitting together in a movie or restaurant sit close and touch in some way. It wouldn't hurt to steal a little kiss sometime during the date as well. A little PDA (public display of affection) is good for the marital soul!

Since sexual touch is the dessert of married life, date night might be a great time for you both to look forward to a little bit of lovemaking after all that emotional foreplay during your date! Sexual nourishment in marriage is as important as emotional or spiritual nourishment.

While the main purpose of date night is to have some uninterrupted time alone together to have fun and reconnect mentally and emotionally and even physically, I hope you'll take these suggestions and apply them in your marriage to raise the bar on date night!

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Marriage and intimacy expert, Laura M.

And They Were Not Ashamed—Strengthening Marriage through Sexual Fulfillment, and host of “The Marital Intimacy Show.” Visit her website www.StrengtheningMarriage.com to learn more. Brotherson is the author of

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