It’s arguably the best part of a fledgling relationship, yet making making time to go on dates can so easily fall by the wayside once you’ve been together for a while, or once kids are on the scene.
Just ask Aussie model Megan Gale and partner, AFL player Shaun Hampson. Their secret to keeping their relationship steady? Making time for dates.
“We do it quite often,” the 39-year-old actress told TV Week. “We find a balance of having time as a family, but also taking time out as a couple. I think it’s really important.”
The pair have a son, River, who was born last May and have been together since 2011.
“We’re just like any other parents. We’re lucky that we have each other,” Megan told Ninemsn.
“There are a lot of single parents out there that don’t have love and support… I think we face things like everyone else, it’s just the lifestyle adjustment and trying to figure out what works. Baby time, house time, sleep, it’s just trying to balance and juggle and I think we’ve managed to do that.” (Post continues after gallery.)
The “date night” gets a bit of a bad name. Yes, it sounds a bit cheesy – devoting a certain time frame to “reconnecting”, but according to family therapist Dr Karen Phillip, Megan and Shaun are onto something.
“Date nights are vital, absolutely vital,” she says.
“When we become parents, we become “Mum” and “Dad” and it can be easy to lose our identity a bit beyond that. It’s important to make the time to reconnect as just man and women.”
“After having children, you can find you become very different people, but you need to keep informed with your partner’s goals and hopes, and how they think and feel,” she explains. “A ‘date night’ is a great opportunity to do that.”
Relationship therapist Isiah McKimmie agrees.
“Date nights are so important in keeping a long term relationship energised and happy,” she says.
"Without date nights, we can fall into a bit of a relationship rut and end up feeling more like housemates than lovers, as we get bogged down in the day-to-day chores and can stop feeling special to each other."
Date night doesn't have to translate to expensive dinners and fancy hotel stays every other weekends.