A Dating Guide (For the Married Couple)

January 29, 2007

This is not a guide to help you find suitable people to date, nor is it a guide to the hottest new spots in town. This is a recommendation for all committed couples to find a way to set aside time every week for each other and do something as a couple, in other words, to go out on a date.

We live in an age where everyone seems both very busy and always in a hurry. The very tools of technology (cell phones, PDA’s, etc) which are supposed to grant us more free time seem to be electric prods forcing us to run ever faster on the treadmill of life. People are more tired now than they were twenty years ago, and this clearly has an impact on couples, oftentimes a negative one. Partners settle for TV-watching or playing computer games, working, etc. and too often in separate rooms of the house. And therefore not connecting with each other enough. Add a couple of children into the mix and you can see the potential recipe for disaster.

What I have found helpful in my own life, and prescribe to my clients is establishing a Date Night. A simple recipe that works wonders. It should be a night that both partners can agree to keep sacred, in other words, a night that the date is the top priority over any other activities. It works best if the night can be the same night each week, since consistency breeds habit and this would classify as a very good habit. It does not have to always entail going out and spending money on entertainment or dinner. You could stay home as long as you interact as a couple and maintain clear boundaries around solitary activities (i.e. don’t spend that time doing something alone – you must actually be together for it to count as a date!). Give it a try – you might just be surprised at how it helps your relationship.

William F. Coffey, LCSW is a Senior Therapist at Council for Relationships Center City and Voorhees Offices. Request an appointment today.