Date Nights Are Great, but They Won’t Fix Your Marriage

Don’t get me wrong, I love date nights. They are a great way to spend some time alone together. They can feel like such a luxury, especially when you have small kids. And luxury feels good. A little time alone just feels good. 

I think the problem comes in when we expect weekly date nights to be a cure for every problem in your marriage. 

Arguing about money… just go on a weekly date night.

Not having sex…just go on a weekly date night.

Feeling disconnected…just go on a weekly date night. 

It doesn’t really make sense. And it isn’t helpful, right? 

We can even sometimes use our inability to make time for date nights or not having enough money for date nights as an excuse for the problems we are having in our marriage. That really isn’t helpful either.

The truth is that as humans, we are complex and our relationships are a couple of complex humans with lots of human emotions trying to live together, raise a family together, and be happy all at the same time. 

And one or two hours a week going to dinner and a movie are not enough to make it better and solve our problems. 

We’ve all heard that relationships take work, right? It’s true, but I’ve found that the work of a relationship doesn’t need to be big or elaborate.

Dr. John Gottman’s research of thousands of couples shows that elaborate date nights, grand vacations, or bold gestures of love are not what makes a marriage great. Those things are insignificant. 

What really matters most are the small, daily, tiny connections that you make with each other. 

It’s showing your spouse a funny meme that you see on social media.

It’s leaning into the goodnight kiss.

It’s holding his hand as you walk into your kid’s school.

It’s showing your excitement when he walks through the door at the end of the day.

It’s telling him your good news first, before your mom or best friend.

These tiny, seemingly insignificant connections are everything. They change the thoughts that you are creating about your marriage which drive all the actions you take and the results that you are creating.

They are like marbles in a jar.

My third grade teacher had a marble jar in her classroom. Every act of good behavior earned a marble to be put into the jar. When the marbles reached the top, we were promised an ice cream party.

One marble doesn’t seem like anything, but when you are consistently adding marbles to that jar, it doesn’t take long to reach your goal. 

These small acts, done every day, over weeks and months are the key to creating a strong marriage. These tiny thoughts are creating the thin threads would together that create a strong rope.

They don’t cost anything.

They don’t take any time at all.

They rarely take any planning.

They are not elaborate of complex.

They are not hard work.

As humans with human brains, we want the solution to our problems to be complex and difficult. It isn’t complex. A happier marriage couldn’t be simpler. 

You don’t need more date nights. You need more tiny connections. So go make it happen. 

If you want some personalized help with this concept, I can help. Just click on the button below to set up a free, obligation free call where we can get this concept working in your marriage immediately.