The Heart and Soul of Date Night

By Greg Smalley
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
"To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.‚" Mark Twain

Here’s a news flash: you and your spouse will grow closer as you spend time together doing things that you both enjoy. Sure, it’s true to a certain extent that “opposites attract.” But married couples who go the distance tend to be those who are able to connect through shared experiences and passions. Isn’t that what Date Night is all about?

There are several things to consider when it comes to spending enjoyable time together in marriage. In order to maximize their value, your shared experiences as a couple need to have the following characteristics:

  • Regularity—Scraping out a Date Night once every three months isn’t going to cut it. You need to make time on a regular and consistent basis to enjoy one another’s company.
  • Variety—Doing the same thing over and over can become monotonous. This is true in every area of life. What once was fun and invigorating can become a mere routine. So spice up your couple time with a wide range of interesting pursuits.
  • Adventure—You don’t have to become Indiana Jones or Lara Croft in order to introduce a sense of adventure into your time together. You don’t have to plan something elaborate or expensive, either. Maintaining a sense of adventure simply means including an element of the new, the unusual, or the unexpected.
  • Fun—This might seem obvious, but it’s more important than you think. Research shows that couples who engage in fun activities together enjoy deeper intimacy. So whatever you do during your Date Nights—and during other moments when you’re enjoying leisure time as a couple—make sure it’s FUN!

We’re not suggesting that your marriage should be all fun-and-games, all the time. But building your relationship on mutually enjoyable experiences will leave you better equipped to weather the storms when they come.

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.  Remember to protect your date night by cutting off any real arguments and agreeing to talk about the issue at a later time.

Step 1: Go someplace different for dinner.

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: Enjoy your time together!

Your assignment for this Date Night is simple: do something that you both enjoy! If possible, select an activity that that has the elements of adventure, variety, and fun in it, as described above. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Play a round of miniature golf or Frisbee golf
  • Take a cooking class together
  • Attend a sporting event (but remember, this needs to be something you both enjoy!)
  • Go ballroom dancing
  • Go shopping at thrift stores and find some new treasures
  • Visit an amusement park and enjoy the Ferris wheel—or tempt fate on the roller coaster!

Step 3: Relax and unwind.

After your activity, relax and emotionally connect by talking about what you learned during your conversations throughout the evening.  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 of the things we enjoy doing together? What memories do these activities evoke? What are some new activities that we’d like to consider for a future date? How can we make sure that  we make spending enjoyable time together a regular part of our marriage?

Step 4: Home Sweet Home

As you drive home, spend time planning your next date. Also, think about additional ways you can foster fun times together.  Once you get home, however, it’s up to you what happens next. Have a great final adventure!

© 2014 Focus on the Family.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Greg Smalley

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the Vice President of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. Prior to joining Focus, Smalley worked for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and as President of the …

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.


If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.