Krysta Anderson, Gleaner Writer
Mignon McLaughlin once said, "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." Well, what better way is there to fall in love all over again and rekindle that passion than by incorporating a date night?
According to Couples Therapist Olive Ellis, "Date night is a night set aside during the week - usually the same day every week - when couple's 'date'. A date night can be as simple as spending time alone at home, doing something special like watching a movie, or cuddling. Couples can be a little extravagant, and even spend the night at a hotel or guest house."
She explains that in relationships, having a date night is very important as it helps to keep the sparks and excitement going, which prevents couples from losing that 'loving feeling'. "The important thing is spending quality time with your significant other. This is especially important for couples who have a hectic schedule, and do not get the chance to spend quality time with each other."
Kesha and Nicholas Bowford knows all too well about the rekindling process and date night. Married for two years, it was a struggle for them to get to spend quality time together as they both led very hectic lives. "The idea of date night was embedded in me before I was married, when I saw couples who were sad and weary and I thought they needed something to get them going," she said.
She told Flair that the efforts to keep the fire going in her marriage proved to be a little expensive. "After getting married, I wanted to attend couples retreat, but the costs were very high and we wanted to have a day or night where we didn't have to spend so much."
Then she got an idea from her friend, Dowan Peart, who suggested 'Date Night' to help couples. She put pen to paper, and the the rest is history. "The first date night took place on January 26 of this year and since then we have had three more nights."
The night is open to couples who want that quiet time together. The group night which usually happens at a restaurant in the Corporate Area, has grown from seven to 21 couples.
The children are taken into consideration, and for couples who are unable to leave the children at home or get a sitter, they can bring them along. A sitter is provided for the children and they are supervised at the venue while the couple enjoy their 'play date'.
The Bowfords hosted their fourth staging of 'Married Couples Date Night' recently at Golden Bowl Restaurant.
The grand ball setting was for couples to renew their love and have fun while sneaking in some romance in the mix. "The aim was to create an experience couples will always remember," she said.
Entertainment included social and couples games, with prizes from Dolphin Cove, GraceKennedy and Digicel, just to name a few.
Bowford admits that the reason couples are targeted is because the divorce rate is increasing due to issues that can be resolved easily or over a period of time with support of persons around and, of course, counselling. Date night is used to motivate and encourage healthy marriages, which is God's ultimate intention for all couples - creating an environment where couples meet and enjoy themselves with their spouses by helping couples get out of the routine of life, by taking a night off to date, Bowman points out.
Olive Ellis has some suggestions for you to create your own date night:
Flirt like it is your first night together. Think back to when you just met and you were dating. Maybe it is that you couldn't keep your eyes or hands off each other. Return to those day and flirt with your partner.
Do not discuss the kids, work, in-laws or anything about the home. No matter how long you have been married, there are still a lot of things you do not know about your partner, so take the time to discover or rediscover each other.
Try doing new things with each other. Yes, it is okay to watch television sometimes, but not all the time. Be spontaneous and throw caution to the wind and jump out of your comfort zone.
Make your spouse do a double-take. Change your dress routine, especially for your date night and wear something sexy and appealing. Take a bath, shave, comb your hair, and cut your nails.
Ellis encourages couples to "call a babysitter, send the children away with a relative, turn your cell phones off and spend some quality time with your significant other". "Your relationship will be the better for it," she ended.