We seek to prepares couples for the rigors and challenges of a lifelong commitment, and strengthen, encourage, and support existing marriages.
Why date nights?
The pace and pressures of everyday life can put an enormous strain on married couples, especially in our region. Sadly, if couples do not regularly feed their marriage relationship, they will often slowly grow apart, until very little intimacy is left in their relationship at all.
At Black Rock, we know that God’s design for marriage is beautiful and intimate and that He has made this type of marriage accessible to every Christ-following couple. Because of this, we believe that the words, “we just grew apart,” do not need to characterize the marriage of any couple at Black Rock Church! As simple as they can be, date nights are a great way to build intimacy and passion in a relationship, whether you’ve been married for one year or thirty.
Are date nights really going to make a difference?
A common question we receive is, “Does regular dating really make a difference in a marriage?” The answer is a resounding yes! Addressing exactly this question, The University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project published a study called “The Date Night Opportunity – What Does Couple Time Tell Us about the Potential Value of Date Nights”?
The study set out to clarify three points:
- How might date nights improve the quality of relationships for couples?
- Is one-on-one couple time associated with higher quality relationships and lower divorce rates among couples?
- Are particular types of couples more likely to benefit from regular date nights?
To summarize, this study found that in today’s world, date nights are likely to strengthen relationships in five ways:
- Communication – Date nights facilitate much-needed communication, mutual understanding, and a sense of fellowship and harmony between spouses.
- Eros – Date nights allow couples to focus on their relationship and share feelings, which often leads to higher levels of sexual satisfaction.
- Commitment – Date nights leads to a strong sense of “we-ness,” or togetherness, and increase a couple’s commitment to each other.
- De-stress – Stress is one of the biggest threats to a strong marriage. Stress related to work, finances, parenting, and many other areas of life can prove corrosive to a marriage, causing one or both partners to become irritable, withdrawn, and disinterested in their spouse. Date nights can be helpful for relieving stress on couples as they enjoy time with one another. It also can help couples extend emotional support to one another.
- Novelty – Most couples experience a decline in relationship quality after a few years of marriage, particularly due to a tendency to take each other for granted as time goes on. Because of this, couples who build fun, novel activities into their relationship can enjoy higher levels of relationship quality by cherishing and appreciating their marriage through these activities.
If you have time, we encourage you to read the National Marriage Project’s 14-page report for yourself by clicking this link.
DATE NIGHT RULES
- Avoid negative talk.
- Don’t spend time in the past, but focus on the present and the future.
- Don’t criticize each other, but build each other up.
- Some topics are off limits – for example: kids, work, and money.