Life gets busy and as things begin loading our to-do lists, some items have to be knocked out. This is especially true for married couples with kids who have little time for much else besides work, taking care of the children and home, and maybe squeezing some time out to relax — maybe shower.
As the list gets sorted into ‘priorities’ and ‘luxuries’, date night tends to fall into the latter category. Many couples would choose to go to bed early if they got some time to themselves. However, date nights are important for maintaining a healthy and loving relationship. So if you feel guilty about taking a night out, don’t be. Here’s why. 
Study Proves the Benefits of Date Nights
Researchers at the University of Lincoln took data from a massive UK household survey that included 10,000 mothers. They analyzed these findings and discovered that women who are a bit older, obtained a degree, and are married are more likely to have a strong relationship. But what’s more, couples who had regular date nights were more likely to have a long-lasting relationship as opposed to those who barely went out.
Statistically speaking, the couples who went out at least once a month had 14% lower chances of breaking up compared to couples who didn’t take date nights.
“As far as we know, this is the first-ever empirical test of the effectiveness of date nights,” says the report. “It shows that occasional date nights reinforce and strengthen stability.
“So why do married couples seem to benefit additionally from the occasional date night out whereas cohabiting couples don’t? Perhaps it boils down to the original assumption behind date nights. By going out every so often, married couples reinforce the importance of their relationship.”
So don’t be afraid to prioritize date night. Research has backed your case. Besides, all busy couples deserve a night a week or month to enjoy each other’s company and be reminded of why they fell in love in the first place.
Romantic Date Ideas for Married Couples
- Dinner at a restaurant that requires a reservation – If you need to reserve it, there’s less of a chance you’ll miss it if you happen to feel tired that night. Besides, a fancy restaurant is a good excuse to dress up and look good for each other.
- Drive-in movie – Dates don’t need to be costly or extravagant. All it needs to be is alone time out of the house away from distractions (like kids and dishes).
- Walkthrough a botanical garden – This is a great date idea during perfect weather. Gardens are peaceful, fragrant, and romantic.
- Live sports game – If you love sports, or even if only one partner loves sports, catch a live game. They’re loud, exciting, and involve alcohol.
- Canoeing or kayaking – Get onto a serene lake and discover teamwork together, or competition, if you choose separate kayaks.
- Paint or sculpt – Besides enjoying a fun craft and each other’s company, you’ll have a token of that date to help you through a rough day. Sometimes art created together can mean more than just taking a photo.
- Museum – There are so many kinds of museums out there if art exhibits aren’t your thing. From film to science to history to sports to space to Legos to aviation to wax figures, pick any that interest you. Besides, museums are often inexpensive, and sometimes free, for couples on a budget.
- Picnics – This is another date for beautiful weather, whether it’s during the day or at night. It’s casual, free, and romantic. You can take turns choosing the location, like a scenic park, beach, or forest.
- Scavenger hunts – Get creative to make a scavenger hunt that leads your partner to a place that is integral to your relationship, such as where you proposed, where you went on your first date, or where you had your first kiss. A little effort shows a lot of love.
- Amateur comedy club – Laughter is the best medicine, especially for a couple going through a tough time. Take a night to laugh and enjoy without breaking the bank. Amateur comedy clubs give the floor to aspiring comedians and they want to fill the seats every show.
- Candlelit dinner – This one is for the homebodies who’d rather create a romantic date and stay in. With some candles and fancy dishes and tablecloth, transform your dining table into the perfect evening set with either homecooked food or your favorite takeout.
- Watch your wedding video – Chill some champagne and frost some cake, and you’ll be ready for a simple, relaxed, yet extremely romantic date.
- Arcade – Leave the kids at home and be the kids instead. Cheer on your partner or laugh at their ineptitude. Just have fun.
- Thrift store – Anything can turn into a date with enough fun and creativity. Set a spending limit and see what gifts you can buy for each other, the wackier the better.
- Coffee – Dates can be simple and no meetup is as classic as the coffee date. Try out different cafes or find your favorite and meet up there regularly. Put the phones away and talk while you enjoy the brew.
- Dianne Grande Ph.D. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-it-together/201703/date-night-not-luxury-necessity March 30, 2017
- Harry Benson. Proof that monthly date nights work … but only if you’re married!. Marriage Foundation. https://marriagefoundation.org.uk/proof-that-monthly-date-nights-work-but-only-if-youre-married/ September 25, 2016