I ordered a book recently from Amazon Date Night In: More than 120 recipes to nourish your relationship.  Sweethearts, spouses, and parents Ashley and Gabe Rodriguez found themselves deep into marriage and child-rearing when they realized they were missing the connection of their early relationship, and needed to prioritize each other. They instituted a weekly date night at home to sauté, roast, mix, dice, and spend time reconnecting over delicious meals.  

I loved the part that it’s just enough food for two people.  One of my favorite things to do with Mr. Bee is cook alongside each other in the kitchen. This book got me to thinking about the importance of date night.  To be totally honest, in my first marriage my then-spouse didn’t make time for me to do this and I was always fighting a losing battle trying to get him to see the value of it.  Ultimately, I believe the non-verbal message I received was that I wasn’t important enough to carve out time together and we drifted apart. I decided that if I could be lucky enough to find someone to love again that we’d make each other feel important.

I did some internet research and found The National Marriage Project founded in 1997 by Rutgers University Sociology Professor David Popenoe. NMP is a nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and interdisciplinary initiative whose mission is to provide research and analysis on the health of marriage in America, to analyze the social and cultural forces shaping contemporary marriage, and to identify strategies to increase marital quality and stability.

Here’s five reasons date night is important to your relationship.  If you really want specific information on why date nights help strenghthen commitment, sexual satisfaction and communication download this handout from NMP on the value of date nights (if you and your sweetie love charts and graphs and data, this may be a great read for an upcoming date night!). This study suggests that even just one night a month can increase your chances of staying together.

A while ago I created a date night board on my Pinterest page.  When I find things I think would be fun to do together I pin them there so I won’t forget. Here’s a fun one…60 Questions to Ask your Partner

According to this NYT article most studies of love and marriage show that the decline of romantic love over time is inevitable. The butterflies of early romance quickly flutter away and are replaced by familiar, predictable feelings of long-term attachment.

But several experiments show that novelty — simply doing new things together as a couple — may help bring the butterflies back, recreating the chemical surges of early courtship. Here’s a fun fall date nights check list to try…

“You don’t have to swing from the chandeliers,” Dr. Fisher said. “Just go to a new part of a town, take a drive in the country or better yet, don’t make plans, and see what happens to you.”