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To Date or Not to Date? That is the Question.

20 Mar

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The National Marriage Project put out a report to answer three fundamental questions about the potential value of date nights for couples as these efforts emerge across the United States.

Here is what they found.

1 Communication.

One of the crucial ingredients to a successful relationship is an open channel of communication.2 By removing distractions such as children and employment responsibilities, date nights may afford couples the opportunity to discuss things that are important to them—from their shared dreams for the future to the state of their family finances. In the former case, a date represents time to reinforce mutual pursuits and aspirations; in the latter case, a date represents a type of private couple meeting where a concern or issue may be focused on constructively and proactively.

 

2 Novelty.

Most couples experience a decline in relationship quality after a few years, partly because they become habituated to one another and are more likely to take one another, and their relationship, for granted.4 The initial excitement associated with getting to know a person, growing in intimacy, and trying new things as a couple can disappear as the two people settle into a routine.

 

3 Eros.

Most contemporary relationships begin with an element of eros—that romantic love that is linked to passion, excitement, and an overwhelming sense of attraction to one’s beloved. But with time, the emotional and physical manifestations of erotic love tend to decline in most couples.7

 

4 Commitment.

Husbands and wives, as well as other romantic partners, are more likely to enjoy stable, high-quality relationships when they experience a strong sense of commitment to one another and to their relationship.8 Specifically, partners who put one another first, who steer clear of other romantic opportunities, and who cultivate a strong sense of “we-ness” or togetherness are markedly happier than are less-committed couples.

Date nights may solidify an expectation of commitment among couples by fostering a sense of togetherness, by allowing partners to signal to one another—as well as friends and family—that they take their relationship seriously, and by furnishing them with opportunities to spend time with one another, to communicate, and to enjoy fun activities together.

 

5 De-stress.

Stress is one of the biggest threats to a strong marriage or relationship. Stress related to work, finances, parenthood, or illness can prove corrosive to a relationship, insofar as it causes one or both partners to become irritable, withdrawn, violent, or otherwise difficult to live with.9

In order to view the full report go to:

http://www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/pdfs/NMP-DateNight.pdf

 

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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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