This week, the city of Chicago is revving up for the Date Night Challenge, a not-for-profit venture involving businesses, churches and individuals that is designed to strengthen relationships. The goal is to have couples go on 5 million dates in the next two years. Organizations and business are partnering to provide date nights for couples. There is a mobile app and a website filled with quizzes, date ideas and conversation to help you meet the challenge.
Other cities like West Palm Beach, Florida are doing the same.
The idea–get out there people and have some fun dating and strengthen your relationship! Take time out of your busy schedule to spend with someone you love.
Will you take the challenge? Here’s why you should.
1) In informal surveys, couples were asked what would improve their marriages. 62% said they needed to spend more time together. Scheduling a date night does just that–allows for time together away from the kids and the office.
2) Years ago, marital researchers, Gottman & Silver (1999) found that couples who spent 5 hours a week together maintained successful relationships. Imagine if two of those hours happened during a date night!
3) On one of the Date Night Challenge websites I read that 90% of date nighters claimed their relationship satisfaction improved.
4) Gottman’s research tells us that couples have to promote a steady flow of positive interactions in their relationships in order to build an emotional bank account that can be used when needed. Date nights can be a way to build the positive and fill up the emotional bank account.
5) Gottman’s research also notes that the foundation of a sound relationship is marital friendship. Friends spend time together, know the inner world of their partners, express fondness and admiration for each other and turn towards each other emotionally–dates can be a part of building this friendship. And when the marital friendship is strong, this creates positive feeling about your partner. Positive feelings go a long way to buffer the negatives of a relationship.
6) Orthner (1975) found that couples who engaged in either parallel or joint activities did tend to have more positive marriages. In contrast, couples who engaged in independent leisure activities tended to report worse marital functioning.
So, I dare you, take the challenge and see for yourself.
And make sure you read tomorrow’s post on 5 Ways to Make Date Night Work.
The date night is a great idea, but what you do on that date matters when it comes to keeping love alive.