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Married and Dating
Mom with a View

Married and Dating

Get out of the house and rediscover the joy and wonder you have for each other.

by

It's become very popular for married couples to speak of "date night." So popular that there are now lists of do's and don'ts, places to go and places to avoid, appropriate expectations and inappropriate ones.

I'm a big proponent of the idea although I wince at the 'cutesy' name. All couples need time alone together -- time to really talk, time without the children, time to reconnect. We fool ourselves if we think we don't need it. We rob ourselves and our marriages if we refuse to participate.

I know how it is. We just feel too tired. We're cozy at home. It's familiar. The shoes are off; our beds beckon (either that or the dirty dishes, piles of laundry and demanding children!)

It's hard to motivate ourselves to get dressed up and go out, especially on a cold winter's night -- or so I'm told (I live in LA)!

But it's always worth it. We can forget that there are topics of conversation outside of garbage removal and whose turn it is for the car. We can forget the 'ties that bind' -- the fun, the excitement, the deeper connection. And the romance. We may not even realize we have these ideas or feelings percolating within us; we've become so used to tamping them down, leaving them unexpressed, letting the frustration boil over instead.

Date night doesn't have to be expensive. When our children were too young to be left alone and no one was eager to come watch them (!), we had tea on the porch after dinner. It was less effective than a whole evening out but better than no break at all. Now that our children are older we have greater freedom to go out (fairly limited compensation for the tortures of adolescence and beyond!), but it still can be hard to drum up the time and energy.

Nevertheless we try to take a walk every night after dinner (better for the heart and slightly longer than the tea experience). It ensures that everyday we carve out some time that's ours.

Date night can be glamorous and fun -- we all need some of that in our lives. It can be serious and intense -- we all need some of that too. It can be whimsical and silly or planned and mature. But most importantly date nights must be regular.

All relationships can become stale, bogged down in minutiae and effort. Married couples with children can feel more like business partners in a massive educational and housing experiment than best friends. Worn out and drained, it may be hard to have energy left for our partners.

We need to get out of the house -- away from the dying plants, peeling paint, unpaid bills and clamoring children. We need to rediscover the joy and wonder we have for each other. Okay, just one more time around the block?

Published: July 30, 2005


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Visitor Comments: 5

(5) Anonymous, August 2, 2005 12:00 AM

Take a break!

It took me many years to discover that "time out" was not a luxury but a necessity. Now, whether we can afford it or not (usually not), my husband and I go away together for a long weekend, once a year, without the kids. Not is it great for us, but we are truly happy to see the kids, when we return - good for everyone!

(4) Anonymous, August 1, 2005 12:00 AM

we, i and my wife, did dating regularly
when we lived still in the states. we were in our our 5oth, 6oth, 7oth. now we are in our nineties and we have a lot of memries. we are married for 60 years.but recommend the dating hardly.

(3) susan goitein dip.psychcouns, August 1, 2005 12:00 AM

Thank you for an enlightening article. As a couples Therapist in London this is one of the issues I often introduce to the couple who come to see me. It is so very important for couples to 'make the time' for one another despite anything and everything else in life that surrounds our busy lives. Couples need to be taught how to re-connect and re-communicate and focus on the 'little things' that are so important and meaningful. Thanks and Hazlacha!

(2) Anonymous, July 31, 2005 12:00 AM

Article hits home!

The listing of guidelines is very good advice for all married couples, regardless of their status, with or without children at home. All married couples need periodic time alone and away from the familiar surroundings of their home. However, the advice offered in this article, suggests that the time away with each other, should be on a daily/nightly basis. This is commendable for the reinforcement of the marriage structure to be nurtured and grow healthfully. Thank you for this advice.

(1) Anonymous, July 31, 2005 12:00 AM

THANK you..................

Thank you for this excellent article.I could not agree more! My husband and I have three children(BH) and it is now that i see even more the need to find the precious few moments to be together.....It is so important. Hire a sitter if you have to or if no children yet, take a break from the "after work work" and spend time together.

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