How Date Nights Help Relationships

Have you taken the Date Night Challenge…PDX-style? A growing partnership of churches and other organizations are urging couples across the Portland/Vancouver Metro area to go on four dates in four weeks during August 2012. This is especially needful in marriages where the demands of children, work, and other pursuits have crowded out the “couple time” that partners usually enjoy together during their dating days and early marriage.

How exactly does dating help a relationship? A recent study by the National Marriage Project suggests at least five ways:

1. Communication. Date nights provide a couple with undistracted time to discuss anything from future dreams to present finances. They can deepen their understanding of each other, especially since relationships and partners are ever-changing. Communication helps them confront difficulties as a team and fosters intimacy between partners.

2. Novelty. By using date nights to explore activities outside their usual routine, a couple can break out of old patterns, learn new things about each other, and add an element of excitement to their relationship.

3. Eros. With time, the emotional and physical manifestations of erotic love tend to decline in most couples. Men and women both long for emotional intimacy, and by taking a new interest in each other through dating, a couple can reignite and keep burning the flame of eros that originally drew them together.

4. Commitment. Dating is one important way that partners can cultivate a strong sense of “we-ness,” saying through action, “I take you and our relationship seriously.” This fosters greater security and stability within the relationship.

5. De-stress. Date nights provide times of escape from the often-destructive stresses of life. That’s why it’s important to make most dates fun, rather than “working dates” focused on serious issues. Getting away from their usual venues, a couple can find new perspective and provide each other emotional support and solidarity.

So make it happen! It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Your relationship needs you.

Date Night deal of the week: Tommy O’s, 801 Washington Street Vancouver, Wa 98660. During the month of August show your server your Date Night App to receive 50% off your second entree.

For a PDF booklet with 12 date ideas click here

For the complete report, “The Date Night Opportunity,” from the National Marriage Project click here

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