Before we were married, we were told by several couples that for our marriage to work, we needed one date night a week; one night away a month; and one week away a year.

Does anyone actually do that?

I don’t think we’ve done it our entire marriage. And today I want to talk about what we so often get wrong about this whole concept of date nights! We’ve been talking about how to connect with your spouse all week here on To Love, Honor and Vacuum, and today is our last installment. And to cap it all off, I have a special invitation for you at the bottom of this post to join my FREE 5-lesson marriage course to bring these lessons home for you and your hubby.

But first, our Friday inspiration:

Sheila’s Marriage Moment: What most couples get wrong about date night

Date Nights When Married: The one expectation that can cause date nights to backfire! Learn how date nights should change once you're married--and how that's okay, because the purpose is staying close. Not going to a restaurant!

When you first met your now-husband, chances are you spent hours talking, nonstop. You’d go out to a restaurant and they’d almost have to force you to leave. You went for long walks, talking about your past, your future, your dreams, your fears. 

It was blissful.

And then we get married–and we think that we’re supposed to still want to talk for hours, nonstop. We’re supposed to want nothing more than to sit in a restaurant and have a long conversation.

'This one expectation can wreck date nights in your marriage!'Click To Tweet

When my daughter Rebecca was 16 she baby-sat for some good friends of ours who were doing the “date night” thing. They dutifully went out for dinner, and then realized the movie didn’t start for two hours. They struggled to stay at the restaurant, but eventually went over to a bookstore to kill some time. When they arrived at the theatre early to watch Inception, the guy promptly fell asleep. By the time he woke up he had no idea what was going on (seriously not a good movie to fall asleep during!). All through the movie he was tweeting out his confusion (as I watched in real time). WHAT WAS THIS SPINNING TOP THING?!?

They were going on a married date night–but maybe we have this whole “married date night” thing wrong.

A date night, when you’re just dating, is naturally going to be filled with conversation! You’re just learning everything about him, and you have so many details to share.

Once you’re married, though, you pretty much know almost everything. For pity’s sake, you likely even know when his last bowel movement was! The mystery is gone.

It’s perfectly okay, then–and in fact, it’s even preferable–if a married date night doesn’t look the same as that pre-married date night. Once you’re married, the main purpose is no longer learning about each other. It’s more to provide adventure and memories and camaraderie.

So instead of this idea that “we must have dinner out once a week”, try this: Let’s spend as much time as we can creating memories and doing something together. Let’s find some hobbies to do as a couple. Let’s go for more walks. Let’s share errands so we can spend time together. Let’s just be involved in each other’s lives so that conversation naturally happens while we’re building memories and closeness.

Date nights don’t have to be a big deal. Paint a bedroom together. Pile the babies in the car and go for a drive. Start playing a board game as a couple. Just do something. That’s the point once you’re married, and it’s okay if it’s not in a restaurant.

'The one thing couples get wrong about date nights: 'Click To Tweet

I’ve had such fun talking about how to reconnect with your husband this week!

And here’s the round-up of everything we’ve talked about:

How Do I Reconnect with My Spouse?
79 Hobbies You Can Do as a Couple
How Keith and I Are Learning to Ballroom Dance Online (with a video!)
9 Ways to Make Date Nights Stress Free

And now I want to invite you to take this one step further and actually DO something about it. So often we read something, and it seems like it makes sense, but we don’t actually apply it to our lives.

I’ve prepared a 5 lesson course that will remind you to put small things into practice in your marriage so that you do keep feeling close. It’s free. It will come to your inbox every week! And it will help make emotional connection a reality in your marriage.

If you’ve been feeling distant, and you don’t know where to start closing the gap, this is a great resource! And if you want to make sure that gap doesn’t start to form–it’s great to get on this now!

Sign me up for the FREE marriage course —->

SheilaSidebarAboutMe - The One Thing Most Couples Get Wrong About Date Nights Sheila Wray Gregoire has been married for 26 years and happily married for 21! She loves traveling around North America with her hubby in their RV, giving her signature "Girl Talk" about sex and marriage. And she's written 8 books. About sex and marriage. See a theme here? Plus she knits. Even in line at the grocery store.
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