Executing a successful date night is an Olympic-level parenting sport where winning just means being too tired to hold up a a gold medal, let alone get laid. Experts agree that it’s an important goal to shoot for, but how important? The Marriage Foundation, a British charity, recently attempted to quantify this for the first time by looking at nearly 10,000 couples with kids. Much to your relief, the report found that less is actually more.
More precisely, researchers analyzed data on 9,969 couples obtained from the Millennium Cohort Study. They specifically compared how often the couple went out together when their child was 9 months old with whether or not they were still together when that kid reached 11 years old. They found that married couples who went out monthly were 14 percent less likely to split up, but for unmarried cohabiting couples with kids, date nights didn’t matter much either way. Perhaps more compelling, when married couples increased the frequency of dates to once a week undid this positive effect completely, and were as likely to split up as couples who never went out at all. If that doesn’t get you out of wine and painting class, nothing will.
Even better news for you, the study found that marriage was a much more significant indicator of a couple staying together then the frequency of their dates. Married parents were 57 percent more likely to stay together than cohabiting parents. So perhaps you have the secret to staying married already covered, and all you have left to do is find a restaurant once a month. You’re welcome.
[H/T] Marriage Foundation