If you're like the average person, you are probably working anywhere from eight to nine hours each day, with weekends off.

After working hard all day, taking care of your family (if you have children), picking up your home, making meals, and personal care, how much time do you have left to spend with your spouse?

Probably just enough time to hang out on the couch, relax with a television show, and go to bed. Not very exciting, is it?

Relationships lose their luster when couples don't make each other a priority. When partners don't feel valued or desired, they become bored or depressed, which has a direct impact on relationship communication, intimacy, and satisfaction.

Don't let your relationship become a second banana to your other responsibilities. Schedule quality time with your spouse each week. The term 'scheduling' may not sound very romantic, but trust me, your relationship will thrive when you make time for a pre-planned date night.

Enhances romantic friendship.

Being in a relationship is about love, romance, and feelings of deep intimacy - That's all true. But relationships are also about fun and friendship.

When you are friends with your spouse, you have a balanced relationship because you're able to do things with them besides being romantic. You have hobbies and share interests with one another.

Partners who view their spouse as their best friend often report happier, more successful relationships.

Helps prevent divorce.

The National Marriage Project compiled research that pointed to an interesting and exciting result of having a regular date night with your spouse. Studies revealed that couples who regularly spent quality time together (at least once a month) had higher-quality relationships and lower divorce rates than those who did not.

A severe lack of a couple-time spells disaster for a marriage. For women who have a couple-time less than once a week, are reported to be four times more prone to divorce. Similarly, men were 2.5 times more likely to be divorce prone when they didn't get enough one-on-one time with their wives.

Builds emotional intimacy.

Emotional intimacy is the ability to feel safe and secure with your partner. It's the knowledge that you both have each other's backs, and have empathy for what the other is feeling.

Scheduling quality time with your partner allows you to build on emotional intimacy.

Strong emotional intimacy will make you more in-tune with your partner's feelings, but it also helps you set realistic expectations, deal with change more maturely, and boost respect.

Quality time improves your sex life.

Couples who don't spend enough quality time together lose out on emotional intimacy, and when emotional intimacy weakens, so does sexual intimacy.

When you take the time to put away your distractions and spend time alone, it bolsters physical intimacy, which can be very beneficial to your marriage.

Being regularly intimate with your spouse has been shown to promote marital satisfaction, reduce stress and anxiety, increase trust, and increase the likelihood of fidelity.

Learn how to communicate.

Couples who know how to communicate are on the right track to a happy, successful marriage.

The more quality time you spend with your partner, the deeper your connection will be. When you feel comfortable being vulnerable with your spouse, you're more likely to communicate your needs honestly.

Communication is essential because it helps us:
· Get to know each other better
· Avoid harmful triggers
· Resolve conflicts
· Enhance emotional intimacy
· Reduce misunderstandings

Helps you unwind.

One great thing about scheduling quality time in with your partner through a date night is that you get to control what type of date you're having.

Sometimes, you may be up for fun and adventure- heading to an amusement park, taking creative lessons, or going to a concert - while others can be a more lowkey, relaxing experience.

Quality time will help you unwind. Research shows that couples who spend quality time together experience higher levels of happiness and reduced stress.

Increases trust.

One surprising benefit of spending quality time with your partner is that it builds trust. When you make your relationship a priority, you are showing your partner that they are valued.

By repeatedly scheduling a date night, you show your spouse that:

· You are accountable
· You can be relied upon
· Their feelings and happiness matter to you
· They can trust that you will follow through on your promises

Keeps things interesting.

How many nights a week do you spend in front of the television with your spouse? If you're anything like the average couple, the answer is probably a lot!

Routine helps us feel grounded and centered in our lives, but it can also lead to boredom. This is where your weekly quality time date night comes into play.

One study assigned 53 married couples to engage in activities that were either exciting, pleasant, or were given no special activity for 1.5 hours, over ten weeks. The results found that those who participated in a new, exciting activity together scored higher for relationship satisfaction than any other group.

When you spend quality time with your spouse, don't be afraid to keep things interesting by taking a class together or trying new things.

The time that you spend with your partner is precious. Start showing that you appreciate your spouse by scheduling quality time together each week on a fun date night. This opens the door for great sex, healthy communication, and a stronger bond - all of which are needed to keep your marriage happy and healthy.

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