Raise your hand if your romantic relationship has lost its mojo. Eliza Morrow’s arm is up and waving. The Austin, TX, mom of Chloe, 7, and Eli, 3, who runs a thriving ceramic-jewelry business, has steadily felt the “honeymoon giddiness” drain from her connection to husband Neal. Mind you, kids and work aren’t the only romance vampires here. “The more Neal and I neglect date nights, the duller our love life becomes,” Eliza admits. “Sure, children and jobs make things tricky, but when we used to commit to fun and intimate kid-free time, all our responsibilities just felt easier to deal with.”
Not surprising. “A relationship is a living thing that needs to be nurtured and fed or it doesn’t make it,” suggests Ojai, CA-based psychotherapist and couples specialist Adaya Walsh. “Things can start to feel depleted, tense and distant. That’s when work, parenting, everything gets harder.” Walsh confirms Eliza’s thoughts by noting that date nights are the food your relationship needs. “Time and attention are our most valuable offerings,” she says. Give them to your relationship and watch it grow.
Just how often do you two need this nourishment? Consider this: Married couples who engage in one-on-one time together at least once a week are 3.5 times more likely to express being “very happy” in their relationship than their counterparts who don’t have weekly couple time, according to the national Survey of Marital Generosity, funded by the Science of Generosity initiative at the University of Notre Dame. That’s significant.
We could, of course, just tell you to date more, but we know you need extra inspiration to carve out time from your crazy schedule. That’s why we’ve come up with a slew of enticing date suggestions certain to add sustenance to your relationship and personal wellness. So say “see ya later” to dinner and a movie and “let’s give it a try” to our irresistible date-night menu. Just order, add to your shared calendar, and enjoy!