You have probably heard many couples recommend date nights as a way to keep a relationship strong. Ashley and I echo that recommendation. But, what is the purpose of a date night? It is not just being together and eating a meal together, although that helps, it’s about being intentional in building your relationship.
When you think of a “date night” you may think it always has to be something fancy. But the purpose behind a date night is what is important, not where you have the date. The purpose of a date night is to engage with one another in an intentional way to build your relationship. It’s not just about time spent together, it’s about being intentional with that time.
Ashley’s and I’s date nights were not always this way. However, as we have grown we have seen the benefits of being open and vulnerable with each other about our strengths, our weaknesses, our desires, and our frustrations. Date nights give you both an opportunity to set undivided time to being together. That means not being on your phones and both being present for one another.
If you and your partner are not used to being vulnerable with each other, it will feel awkward at first. You are sharing deep parts of yourself and you want to feel accepted. The same goes for your partner. The conversation starters by Dear Young Married Couple found here, are a good place to start.
It is a sort of dance that you do as a couple. You take a small step forward in sharing yourself and hope that your partner reciprocates. Then your partner takes a little bigger step forward and you try to reciprocate. On and on the dance goes. Sometimes one partner falters and you begin again, a little easier to get going this time than the last.
As with many things in life, consistency and avoiding complacency are key. Never think that you and your partner have “made it.” Continue to grow personally and corporately. The best way to do that, is little by little over time. Sooner than you know it, you look back and see how much you have grown as a couple in the last five years.
So give it a try. Next time you and your partner carve out time for one another, take a shaky step forward towards intimacy and see where you two go.