Does your date night planning often include the sentence, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”
I’ve been talking in recent posts about how important it is to keep dating regardless of how long you’ve been married. Assuming I’ve convinced you to up your dating game, and you’ve determined that you are going to overcome the obstacles, now it’s time to figure out what you are going to do together.
Does the following conversation sound familiar?
Wife: “What should we do for date night this week?”
Husband: “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”
Wife: “Whatever you want to do.”
Husband. “It doesn’t matter to me; whatever you want to do.”
Both shrug. And round it goes, with no one wanting to make the decision. So you decide to settle for the usual dinner and maybe a movie. But the indecision continues as you struggle to decide on a restaurant and on what movie to see.
In my “Date Night” survey, I asked about who did the planning for date night. Here’s what people said:
- I do most or all of the planning – This was the most popular answer, given by 54% of husbands and 41% of wives.
- We take turns planning – one in four wives (27%) and one in ten husbands (10%) said they typically took turns planning their dates.
- We plan dates together – About one in five couples plan their dates together (19%).
- My spouse does most or all of the planning – 15% of husbands and 15 % of wives said their spouse did the bulk of the planning,
I also asked my survey takers how happy they were with what they did on their dates. It turns out that taking turns planning date resulted in a highest reported degree of happiness for both husbands and wives.
There are several reasons I like the idea of taking turns with date night planning.
- It allows each to take the initiative in turn, which is an act of pursuit. (Side note, wives were least happy when they felt all the planning was left up to them!)
- There will be fewer “default dates,” where you decide to just do the same old thing because it’s easier, or because no one wants to decide.
- Each has the opportunity to surprise their spouse with something special, interesting or even adventurous once in a while.
- It’s an opportunity to bless your spouse with something that you know would interest him or her, even if it isn’t your cup of tea.
Takeaway: taking turns works – and I have the data to prove it.
What Do Couples Do Most Often?
Dinner out seems to be the go-to date night option for most, with 94% dining out often or sometimes. About half took to outdoor activities (49%), with coffee/desert coming in third at 45%. Movies (42%), shows & concerts (31%) and sporting activities (28%) were next, with drinks/cocktails coming in last at 19%.
Among the “other” answers were: shopping (more men than women mentioned this!), camping, church activities, and various at-home activities (See next week’s post for more on date-night-at-home options)
When I asked couples what they wished they could do more often, I was surprised that the top two answers (dinner and outdoor activities) were the same things couples did the most. The only two activities couples wanted more of than they were already doing were something outdoors and shows/concerts.
Despite most of my survey takers not being all that happy with their current date night activities, I got the impression that people were mostly asking for more of the same.
Here are a few more takeaways:
- Splurge once in a while on tickets to a special event. It takes more planning a little more money, but it might be just what you need to give your date night routine a shot in the arm.
- If weather permits, do more outdoors. Find a new park to picnic in. Hike a nearby trail. Even just go for a walk in your neighborhood. Fresh air and a change of venue will do you good.
- If you aren’t that happy with your date nights, change them! MIx things up once in a while to get out of your date night rut.
Need A Little Help With Date Night Planning?
Not everyone has a knack for planning a creative and fun date night experience. Not everyone has the time to think through all the details and pull it all together. That’s why I decided to create “Romance 101.” This email subscription service will help you create romantic and exciting dates, month in and month out, by providing you with step-by-step plans for date nights that are enjoyable but that also build intimacy and connection in your marriage.
I’m planning to launch this service in September! Click on over now using the button below to find out more and get on my special pre-launch email list. As a reward, you’ll receive a special pre-launch discount code before go-live. Plus you’ll have a voice in shaping the service so it will most meet your needs.
So what does your date night look like? What do you wish you could do more? Who plans your date nights? How’s it all working? Tell us your story. Leave a comment.
This series on dating your spouse has been extracted, amended, and updated from the popular series on my old blog, Journey to Surrender.