If Date Night is the Silver Bullet for Your Marriage, You’ve Got Bigger Problems than Whether You Have a Date Night

An awful lot of marital problems – the overwhelming majority I have seen – stem from a lack of communication and not talking to one another meaningfully or frequently.

My wife and I have never done ‘date night.’ Never. I don’t think I am speaking out of turn (though I await my wife’s comments) to say that neither of us have ever felt the need for it either. We were married five years without children and have had a further five years with them. Still, at no point, have we ever discussed having a ‘date night.’ Maybe it just feels a bit too American, teenagery and crass for our sophisticated British palate, I don’t know. But I’ve certainly never felt the need for it and nor has my wife.

 

I read this TGC post on why we shouldn’t put out hope into a date night. The Conservative Evangelical internet went, as they say round here, madferrit. Then Tim Challies, linking to that article on his A La Carte feature yesterday, also linked to this one urging us to put some hope in date night. I’ve not noticed quite the same response but Tim noted his pleasure at the contrast between the two.

My interest was piqued by these articles for two reasons. First, we are currently leading a couple through some marriage prep right now. Only yesterday, we had our second of five sessions with them. So, the key to getting marriage right and how we try to prepare people to have a solid basis for their marriage is very much on my mind right now.

But second, and perhaps more significantly, my wife and I have never done ‘date night.’ Never. I don’t think I am speaking out of turn (though I await my wife’s comments) to say that neither of us have ever felt the need for it either. We were married five years without children and have had a further five years with them. Still, at no point, have we ever discussed having a ‘date night.’ Maybe it just feels a bit too American, teenagery and crass for our sophisticated British palate, I don’t know. But I’ve certainly never felt the need for it and nor has my wife.

I basically agree with the four points laid out in the TGC article. However, the second article made a valid point: ‘Every single marriage problem we’ve encountered finds its root in the two married people not talking to each other in a real meaningful exhaustive way.’ I hear that. An awful lot of marital problems – the overwhelming majority I have seen – stem from a lack of communication and not talking to one another meaningfully or frequently. I 100% concur.

But here’s the thing. I think it is a logical leap to jump straight from ‘you’ve got to talk frequently and meaningfully’ to ‘you better enshrine a date night into your weekly routine or your marriage is going to fall apart.’ I mean, honestly, those two things are not equivalent at all. In fact, I would argue that a proper focus on the first of those things is the very reason my wife and I have never particularly felt the need for a date night at all.

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