I have read most of the popular books on marriage and romance. I know what they say. They say that you need to have a regular date night—weekly, preferably—and that this is a key, maybe even the key, to a healthy marriage. Some of them go further still and say that you don’t only need a date night, but the two of you need to get away together at least once or twice every year. How else can your marriage thrive?
I know what these well-meaning authors mean to accomplish. I know what they are saying and I know why they say it. But I don’t buy it. I don’t buy the necessity of it. I don’t think you need a date night. I don’t think your marriage will necessarily suffer without it. I don’t think you ought to feel guilty if you don’t schedule it every week, or every month for that matter. It may be a good thing, but it isn’t a necessary thing.
Aileen and I have never made date nights a regular (and certainly not weekly) occurrence. We haven’t ever felt the need. We have never even really felt the desire to go out that often. And I think we’re doing OK without them.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy going out with her, whether that’s for dinner or dessert or an evening with friends. I enjoy escaping for a night or two together when the opportunity presents itself. There is no one in the world with whom I would rather spend an evening or weekend. But I don’t often crave those times.