January 18, 2018

The Date Night Challenge

By Cathy O’Neill

No doubt, you know that one of the things you are supposed to be doing for the health and well being of your marriage is to have regular date nights with your husband. Do you:


  • swing by Target en route to the date venue, with your husband in tow because, “Hey, I can just zip in and pick up a few things without having to drag the kids around …” ?
  • end up at the same restaurant for the umpteeth time, drinking the same drink and sharing the same chocolate mousse?
  • find yourself incapable of coherent thought, let alone speech, after 9.30pm?
  • And if you are still able to hold up your end of the conversation does that conversation veer towards thrilling topics like the state of your 401(k), school choices, the car that needs to be repaired, the bathroom sink that’s leaking, your kid’s bedwetting/playdate options?


It doesn’t have to be this way.


Go somewhere new and leave any kid/home/finance related talk at home. You both deserve a night off. While all that “administering the empire” stuff is important, it’s a surefire mood killer.


If you’re at a loss for words, here are a few suggested topics:

  • Politics (2012 is shaping up to be a real circus)
  • Global warming: myth, reality, or just-a-problem-for-your-kids-to-deal-with?
  • List of things you want to do before you die (cycling the Alps, running a marathon, getting a pedicure, reading a book)
  • Which celebrity you have a crush on


Make sure to work in the following:

  • Physical contact: including eye contact, hand-holding, and hugging action (if it leads to sex later on you get a ten point bonus)
  • Emotional displays: laughter, tears, laughter-through-tears, etc.
  • Listening skills: i.e., no electronic gadgets allowed.

And stay away from Target!


P.S. A couple of years ago my husband, Mike, and I agreed to set aside one evening every couple of weeks to discuss and resolve any administrative matters. You know the usual stuff that has to get done when you are raising kids, like scheduling after-school activities, bill paying and so on. We set up a specific time because the “daily crap” (sorry there is no better word for it) was seeping into all our interactions with one another and obliterating whatever little bit of romance we might have had left.


Cathy O’Neill is a co-author of the bestselling book Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More and Argue Less As Your Family Grows (Collins, 2007). Published in ten countries, Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More and Argue Less As Your Family Grows details how parenting young children impacts marriage and explores how to laugh more, argue less and communicate better as your family grows.  Cathy has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Fox News, the BBC, SkyNews and over 50 radio shows across the country and in the UK. You can learn how to babyproof your marriage and find ideas on how to make marriage – and life – during the early parenting years more enjoyable and fulfilling at www.babyproofingyourmarriage.com.

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