Our clients are pretty awesome about prioritizing date night but we know that there are a lot of reasons couples don’t make time for it. We posted a link with the top "lame" excuses to skip date night but we're all probably too familiar. It turns out, there's a lot to lose if you don't keep one-on-one time at the top of your list, and I’m not just talking about half of your bank account (can I get an “amen,” Bezos?).

I came across a pretty interesting study recently from the University of Virginia and thought I should share it with my friends, family, and well, you if you’re reading this blog. They are hosts to The National Marriage Project, a research project that’s looking into ways American marriages are formed, maintained and ended, and how society impacts them. The particular study I read about was called the Date Night Opportunity. It asked what is that perfect number of one-on-one time and how does it affect the happiness and strength of a couple?

Long story short, one date per week is the magic number. And by date, I mean one-on-one time. No kids, no work, just the two of you doing something together. Those spending time more than once a week or more were the elite and those spending less had pretty big impacts on their marriage. Here’s how it played out:

  • Sexual Satisfaction - Wives are 3.5 times more likely and husbands are 3.3 times more likely to enjoy above average levels of sexual satisfaction when they spend couple time together at least once a week. I don’t know about you, but this was where I caught my husband’s attention.

  • Commitment - Couple time once a week or more showed wives to have 2.64 times and husbands 2.49 times above average levels of commitment.

  • Communication - For those couples enjoying one-on-one time at least once a week, wives reported above average satisfaction: 3.42 times higher and husbands were at 3.06 times higher than those who don't.

  • Divorce - probability of divorce for couples who rarely have couple time is 21%. Once-a-week couple time dropped that number to 14% for wives and 10% for husbands.

Basically, date night is important. We’ve always known it, but now we have scientific evidence. So the next time you make the complaint about your sex life (let’s be real, that’s the one that got everyone’s attention), stop and schedule a date night instead. Sometimes the answer is easier than you think. Hard pressed for time or ideas to pull it together, we’re here for you.

Gretchen Bartek