When working with couples in couples counseling or marriage therapy, I always stress the importance of a weekly date night! Think of all the focused time we put into other things- work, household chores, raising kids, etc. A weekly date night gives couples time to intentionally focus on their relationship and on each other. It provides time to reflect on your relationship, share new ideas or dreams, discuss upcoming changes, debrief about a recent fight, etc. Date night should be a time to interact together: face time, quality time. Sure going to a movie every now and then is fun and I fully support that too! But try date nights where you focus on each other and the relationship...where you get to talk to one another instead of stare at a screen. Staring at a screen together is fun, but it's shoulder time (doing something together but not interacting). Face time is actually looking at each other's faces and interacting, engaging with one another! Some fun (and cheap) ideas for a quality date night are a coffee shop, First Friday in Downtown Raleigh, and the North Carolina Museum of Art (it has a whole section you can visit for free!). The last 2 are free for the most part, so money doesn't have to be an excuse. Date nights don't have to break your budget! Work on setting aside time each week to spend getting to know your significant other more, improving and deepening your relationship. You'll certainly see the fruit of those efforts!

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