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What Makes a Date a Date for Married Couples


Okay, so this post is primarily for guys…but I’d love to have you wives keep reading and toss in your thoughts in the comments.

There are thousands of ideas on the internet for what to do for a date with your spouse.

Making Date Night Count for Married Couples

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And, most couples who want their marriage’s to thrive will agree dating their spouse is important.

But, what makes a date a date. (Again, I have to be honest and say that as a guy…we tend to need the most help with this.)

So, guys…here are some ideas that are NOT dates:

  • Having your wife join you and your buddies while you watch (and yell) at the Football game on TV. Even if she loves Football…and yelling at the TV.
  • Having your wife join you while you take a client out to dinner, even if it is your wife’s favorite restaurant.
  • Thanksgiving dinner at your folks house.
  • Sitting on the couch at night watching reruns of M.A.S.H. while rubbing her feet. (Even though this is nice of you.)
  • Having your wife help you change the oil in the car….even if she loves doing it. (Exception; you go to a place that changes the oil for you, and make out in the car while the mechanic is working on your car. Actually, this is kind of creepy. Let’s pretend I never wrote that.)
  • Taking your wife out on the lake all day fishing. Again, even if she loves fishing. And, even if she says, “I’m happy if I get to just spend time with you.”

There are four components that make a date a real date and not just a “kind of” date.


4 Components of a Date


  1. Deliberate. You plan a time and protect that time. You don’t let things get in the way of other important things on your calendar. Things like doctors appointments, taking the dog to the vet, getting the car serviced, Christmas, etc. So protect your agreed upon date time. (Extra point just for husbands…wives, you can stop reading this. Guys, your wife has every right to be upset if you bail on her because you forgot or something else comes up. If you had tickets to the biggest event of your favorite sport, like the Super Bowl, you wouldn’t let something come up. Seriously, work and your boss aren’t more important that your wife.)
  2. Affectionate. Hold hands, walk arm in arm or kiss at a red light until someone honks their horn. What ever your comfort level is regarding public displays of affection…as long as it won’t make others uncomfortable, have at it. Walking around Lowes looking at new kitchen faucets isn’t a date. Walking around Home Depot holding hands dreaming about what your next house will have in it together…that could be a date.
  3. Two People. Come on now, taking your elderly mom out to eat to get her out of the nursing home for Sunday afternoon; does not constitute a date…even if you are holding hands; with your wife—not your mom. Now, volunteering together to serve food at a soup kitchen as part of a date totally counts. There is a fine line between the two. Most of the time the line falls on either side of obligation. If I’m required to attend a social event for work, I don’t count that as a date. Heck, I struggle counting it a date if you go to someone’s wedding. You can get away with calling these things a date…but, let’s try to do better. I’m also not counting a double date. That’s hanging out with friends.
  4. Exciting. Regardless of your definition of excitement. Maybe ballroom dance lessons is up your ally. You could prefer race car driving lessons. Miniature golf or gold prospecting. What do the two of you like to do as a couple. And from time to time, what are you willing to experience for your spouse. Does your wife want to take a cooking class together and you’d rather pull your bottom lip down until it touches your Adam’s Apple? Well buckaroo, you need to go to at least one cooking class. Does your husband want you to go fishing and you’d rather go through natural childbirth without pain meds? Well little miss, you’re going to need to get worm guts on your hands. Now, balance here is the key. 80% to 90% of your dates should be mutually exciting…but it’s okay if 1 or 2 out of 10 are solely for each other to experience something…at least once…that the other person get’s excited about.


  • Get instant access to my eBook full of tips and ideas to make dating your spouse happen by clicking here.
  • Pin this so you can come back to it and share it with others if you found it helpful.
  • Ask your spouse…what is something you want to do, that I probable don’t?
  • Arrange a babysitter and surprise your spouse with a date.
  • Text your spouse right now… “I’m thinking about you, and I like what I’m thinking about.”



Question: What does a date need to include for you to consider it a “real” date.? What’s been your best date since getting married?

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