A couple of months ago (yes, it’s taken me a while to write this post), a friend messaged me to say that Dr Eve (couple and sex therapist) was going to be on Cape Talk talking about the pros and cons of date nights. Luckily, I was at home and so tuned in to listen. I was particularly interested in what she was going to say the cons were as, as far as I’m concerned, I only know about the pros.
Well, to say that what she said about the cons was enlightening would be an understatement. Basically she said that her problem with ‘date night’ is that sex is always the expected outcome. I have to say, I was quite taken aback at her take on it. Obviously, being a sex and couples therapist, she must hear a lot of stories and I presume this is what happens in a lot of relationships. I don’t know what’s it like for you, but for us, sex is certainly not the expected outcome. If it happens, great! But that’s not the reason we do date nights. In fact, it is more unlikely that we’ll have sex on date night as normally by the time we get home, it’s way too late for anything besides getting into bed and going straight to sleep! Is that just us?
For us, date nights are about getting out of our routine at home, getting away from devices and connecting with each other. It’s about remembering that there is a world out there besides our home, the school, work and kids. If the foundation of our marriage is not good or our marriage is in a troubled state, date nights are certainly not the miracle thing that’s going to make it better and we will need a lot more than date nights to try work it out. In my opinion, date nights are for couples who ultimately enjoy spending time together, who are happy with each other but just need that quality time together to have fun, to connect, to help stay in touch with the person you married or are in a relationship with. To remember the person you fell in love with. It is just one aspect of the work that needs to be done in order to have a solid, happy marriage. For me, I feel more attracted and more in the mood for sex when I feel connected to my husband. So, if that means that we do have sex after a date night, it is due to that but it is not an expected outcome for either one of us and is not the reason why we do them.
I know there are schools of thought which say you must schedule sex in (and I think this is what Dr Eve is referring to) and perhaps this is where the idea comes from that sex is an expected outcome of date nights. I must be honest, that just wouldn’t work for me. I understand the intention behind it but it feels way too contrived for me. I can’t even commit to having a certain meal on a particular night as when that night comes, I don’t feel like chicken but fish instead so this just wouldn’t work for us but if it works for you, great!
There are so many different kinds of sex one has in a relationship. Sometimes there’s the mad impassioned sex, the ‘oh my god that was amazing’ sex, the slow sex, the ‘let’s just do it so we’ve done it’ sex, the ‘I love you so much’ sex, the ‘that wasn’t so great’ sex,’ the ‘that was quick’ sex, the ‘this is going on forever sex’ the list goes on. But I would think that mostly always, in a long relationship, sex is consensual, mutual, respectful and loving. Or am I wrong? Ok, sometimes it’s not always loving but it’s something we do to connect with each other, not something we do because it’s expected of us? Do we? Do you?
I really have been thinking about this a lot. Without judgement, I would love to hear what you have to say. Do you think sex is the expected outcome for date nights?
You can read the full article that Dr Eve wrote here.