Regularly scheduled and spontaneous date nights long have been effective for spouses to build and deepen their relationship. And with limited options during a pandemic that has stressed a lot of marriages, having date nights is harder than usual. But it’s part of what wives need from their husbands.
While I continue to advocate for creative date nights, I’ve learned that our wives need more from us than just “taking her out” to make a date night really beneficial. Here are 5 things every wife desires on a date with her husband, to show that he doesn’t take her for granted.
1. Thoughtful Planning
Showing consideration for your wife’s preferences and personality when planning a date tells her that you know her, you care about her, and you are willing to put her desires ahead of your own. This was probably more instinctive and easier when you were wooing her because you felt you had a lot on the line. Truth is, no matter how long you’ve been married, you still have a lot on the line with every date night you take. Keeping her wants and needs in mind is a simple but critical way to say, “I love you.”
2. Undivided Attention
Nothing says “you’re not important to me” like being near your wife but not being really present with her in the moment. When you are sitting in front of her but your mind is miles away on something else, you risk implying that you’d rather be anywhere but with her. Put the phone away. Look into each other’s eyes. Ask open-ended questions instead of yes or no questions. Avoid conducting family business meetings by saving those important conversations for before or after your date. Walk with her. Talk with her. Be with her, not just near her.
Nothing says ‘you’re not important to me’ like being near your wife but not being really present with her in the moment.
3. Emotional and Physical Connection
This is part of what wives need from their husbands—but without ulterior motives. This is one I struggle with because my love language is physical touch and intimacy with Susan. Her love language is to receive encouragement and affirmation. So we both need to be willing to show affection in meaningful ways, yet while holding our expectations of each other loosely (which is also a sign of love). For Susan, that means assuring her that I’m not going to assume that physical touch on dates is an automatic promise of intimacy, but rather just to appreciate something as simple as holding hands and deepening our connection in the moment.
4. The Out-of-the-Ordinary
When you do something really unique, you help pull your wife out of the day-to-day grind. You can surprise her with an unusual choice for cuisine or restaurant (avoiding the predictable go-to favorites that can convey being in a rut), or give her a gift. Such details can get you both out of the monotony of kids and schedules, and recapture some of the excitement and discovery from when you first started dating.
5. Your Sincere Adoration
Take an opportunity to remind her, to reassure her, of how much you treasure her. Don’t be the guy who says, “I said I love you when we got married, and I’ll let you know if anything changes!” One of the chambers in your wife’s heart is the desire to be desired. Convey how much you crave her in your life, not just sexually but also for her wisdom and friendship, her skills and heart. Don’t assume she knows or that she should know. Just tell her, and show her, that you still do.
To further help you, here’s a checklist for before and during your date nights. All these steps are important in part because they reconnect you both with those earlier, relationship-building days. And while you may think this list is not groundbreaking, remember that even the little things we do consistently can be a big deal in marriage over time. The goal is to avoid complacency, choosing instead to take every opportunity you have, every day, and especially on those rare date nights, to remind each other of your love and commitment to the other.
In your marriage, what have you learned about what wives need from their husbands? Share in a comment.