According to resource site Thervo, a divorce in the United States will run at a minimum about $15,000 and can go up to $100,000 or more. This depends on if things are contested, how long it lasts, and if it goes to trial. I can tell you personally, my divorce cost over $40,000 back in 2013. I was shocked by how the attorney fees quickly added up. There is never a winner in a divorce. You can add this on top of now having to pay for two households, and if you have kids, you may have to have 2 of everything if they are dividing their time between households.
I can link the demise of my 13-year marriage back to the fact that we stopped dating each other. We moved from being lovers to room mates and business partners. We were in the business of raising two boys. Here’s the kicker, we had onsite childcare. My in-laws lived in our guest house. While we did have date nights, they were relegated to the all too familiar dinner and a movie routine. Studies have now shown this does nothing for enhancing a relationship. Creating new experiences and memories are what bonds and connects us.
For the sake of your relationship, it’s essential that you have at least 2 dates a month. You each take turns planning a date. One can be a free or low-cost date and the other can be a splurge once a month. Let’s say somewhere between $100 and $300 per date. When you average this out for the year it’s about $2,500 to plan some great date nights to grow and strengthen your relationship. As you can see, this is significantly less expensive than a divorce and a lot more fun.
Let’s Get the Ball Rolling
If you don’t plan it, it likely won’t happen. Commit to each other and be sure that every month you put it in your calendars. If you can plan it out several months even better, but at the very minimum the beginning of each month you get 2 days penciled in the calendar.
Take Turns Planning
Each month you both will plan a “surprise” date for each other. Remember in the beginning when you would surprise each other all the time? You did it just because, not only on special occasions. After time it seems to transition into the following…
Its Friday night
What do you want to do tonight? I don’t know what do you want to do? We could order Chinese and watch TV. Boring, no wonder divorce rates are still at 50+%. You’ve heard of surprise and delight. We do this with our boss or our customers, but our most important relationship just gets the scraps of our time and attention. Always be on the lookout for cool new things you can do to surprise and delight your partner.
Dinner Is NOT A Date
You must eat, and you can eat with anyone. Heck, you can even eat by yourself. Going to lunch or dinner can’t be counted as a date unless it’s a culinary class, food tour, or possibly a unique picnic. Do a fun interactive activity and then you can go to lunch or dinner and guess what? You’ll have something fun to talk about, your experience.
This takes a little work. Use a local tourism magazine or scour the web for unique and fun things to do. Do you find that you’re always doing the same kinds of dates? One client loved comedy and their default date became going to a comedy club for date night. Even though this is an activity if this is what you do all the time then it loses its luster. When it’s no longer novel it’s not beneficial in improving your romantic partnership.
Try rotating date night by categories such as active, artsy, culinary, nature, comedy, musical and theatre. If you make sure to mix things up, you will never get bored. Do have trouble deciding. Don’t let it become an obligation or stressful but instead make it simple and easy. Create a jar of things you want to do or try. Every time you find something cool to do online, in a magazine or from a friend you jot it down and toss it in your activity jar. Then you can pull out an idea on demand to make it easy on yourself. You can also find some great date ideas in the Surprise Date Challenge book series.
No Talking About Boring Things
This includes, but is not limited to anything work or kid related. In the beginning of your relationship what did you talk about. Your hopes and dreams? Perhaps your aspirations and places you desired to travel to? If you have a hard time coming up with topics, you can always Google conversation starters or join the Date on Demand Club. It provides you with 6 new conversation questions each month. Something like “What was something you did growing up that seemed normal but now seems really weird?”
The Benefits of Date Night
Boost to Commitment – Couples who have regular date nights are on average 2 times more committed to their relationship than couples that don’t.
Increased Communication – Regular date nights provide an increased satisfaction in communication by about 3 times.
Sexual Satisfaction – Couples who have regular date nights have better sex lives and more frequent sexual encounters. Did that get your attention?
Decrease in Divorce – Couples who have date nights that are novel and new regularly are less likely to call it quits.
I hope I’ve made it abundantly clear that you can’t afford not to do date night. It’s as essential as oxygen to a relationship. If you desire a beautiful, thriving, and successful relationship then be sure you keep your date nights on track.
Not to mention having a killer sex life. One of the biggest complaints from clients is that their sex life has dwindled over time. They sometimes aren’t as interested in sex as much as they used to be. The frequency as well as satisfaction level has decreased. Adding a surprise date is like foreplay. It adds excitement and anticipation which will do wonders for your libido.
You can thank me later.