DATE NIGHTS! I really think they are mandatory for great marraiges. The 2005 survey of over 3,000 great marriages that polled amazing couples into what works for their marriage. It had a few insights. I took it to heart and started implementing some of their suggestions (as they really are the experts).

1. No heavy fights where it gets ugly. Somebody calls a time out before something is said you can’t take back.

2. Try to put the other person’s needs a head of your own.

3. Time out to talk, (communication) and a sense of humour about it.

4. Never threaten the marriage. Meaning you don’t imply that you are “out of there”.

5. Finally date nights are mandatory. Preferably with a sensuous overtone. Think flirty and fun.

I hadn’t been doing the last one. This study blindsided me and I made a real effort to initiate date nights with my partner. You might want to really consider trying it- even every second week. Here is a story about e couple I read about:

So we decided that we were going to do whatever possible to stay connected. First, we decided to have our airing time once a week come hell or high water. Saturday mornings worked out well for us. We would eat breakfast and share how we were feeling. Sometimes we didn’t have much to say and that was ok too. We just enjoyed one another’s company. When we had kids it was a little more difficult juggling our time and the kid’s activities but we managed to maintain our time by going out to breakfast at least every other week. We made the effort to find a baby sitter that we liked and had a standing date every Thursday night to go do something fun. We have gone bowling, miniature golfing, to the movies, out to eat, contra dancing, night clubbing, ice-skating, and stargazing. You name it we’ve probably done it. Now the children look forward to their time with the sitter and Marc and I always have something to look forward to no matter how hard the week has been. We know there is a reprieve around the corner.