Let the Good Times Roll

"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they're doing." - Dale Carnegie

Having fun as a couple - that, in a nutshell, is what Date Nights are all about. The entire Date Night concept is centered on this principle: thriving couples genuinely enjoy spending time together! They develop meaningful traditions and rituals. They cultivate common hobbies and undertake shared adventures. And yes, they schedule regular Date Nights together!

When it comes to enjoying fun times together as a couple, there are four goals you should keep in mind:

  1. Regularity - Opportunities to enjoy "couple time" must not be few and far between. That's why you need to be intentional about planning regular outings and activities together.
  2. Variety - Your dates should be regular, but not routine! Try new restaurants and new activities. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zones in order to experience something new together.
  3. Adventure - Injecting variety into your Date Nights also introduces an element of adventure. But you don't have to do something big, expensive, risky, or outlandish in order to be adventurous! The idea is simply to keep things fresh so that you'll benefit from the enriching experience of trying new things together.
  4. Fun - If your Date Night is adventurous and exciting, then of course it's going to also be fun! Research shows that couples who have fun together enjoy a stronger intimate bond. They create powerful incentives to "stick together" and to keep coming back for more.

With these thoughts in mind, the purpose of this month's Date Night is simple - to have fun together doing something that you both enjoy. Be sure to think specifically about how having fun together enriches your relationship and deepens your intimacy.

Date Night

Remember, always act like you're trying to get a second date! Sometimes in marriage we forget that we need to pursue and "woo" our spouse. So dress up a bit. Be polite and open doors. Compliment one another. Be affectionate - hold hands, cuddle and steal kisses. Even as you consider the meaning of "healthy conflict" in your marriage, remember to protect your date night by cutting off any arguments and agreeing to talk about the issue at a later time.

Step 1: Go someplace different for dinner.

Start your Date Night on the right foot by injecting the elements of variety and adventure, as discussed above. Instead of visiting the same familiar locations and eating the same old food, pick somewhere new or try a different type of cuisine.

Step 2: Do something FUN together!

The possibilities for your Date Night activity are limited only by your imaginations. The important thing is that the activity is something that you both enjoy. Even a quiet walk in the park can be fun and adventurous if you want it to be. Here are a few activities to consider:

  • Play miniature golf or disc golf
  • Attend a sporting event
  • Go to a concert
  • Take the video camera with you and film a "documentary"
  • Go for a moonlight nature hike
  • Visit a local tourist attraction
  • Play laser tag or ride go-karts
  • Go to the mall, the airport, or another venue and do some "people watching"
  • Visit some thrift stores and search for hidden treasures
  • If time and budget allow, try something more exotic, such as skydiving, horseback riding, bungee jumping, or water skiing!

Step 3: Relax and unwind.

After your activity, find a quiet place for dessert or coffee to relax and emotionally connect through good conversation. Answer the following questions. Be sure to keep your responses positive, uplifting and encouraging.

  • What was your favorite part of the evening?
  • What is the one thing you learned tonight that you didn't know about me before?
  • What are some other activities that we both enjoy that we can incorporate into future Date Nights?

Step 4: Home Sweet Home

As you drive home, spend time planning your next date. Also, think about additional ways you can keep the spirit of fun and adventure alive, not only during future Date Nights, but throughout the week. Once you get home, howeer, it's up to you what happens next. Have a great final adventure!

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© 2012 Focus on the Family.