Scheduling “Date Nights”

April 25th, 2011

When Jacqueline Elman pitched me on this topic a few weeks ago, I honestly wasn’t sure if if you ladies would go for it. But then, I thought “Hey, let’s bring the cat outta the bag and (in the words of Linda Richman), talk amongst ourselves.”

Still in my Mike Myers, Linda Richman New York accent,  “I’ll give you a topic. Would you pencil-in and “schedule” sex in your marriage? Discuss.”

By Guest Blogger Jacqueline Elman

People always say that you never really know what goes on behind closed doors, which always makes you wonder– what goes on behind closed doors in the average marriage?  It makes you question whether things in your own relationship are “normal.”   I think one of the biggest questions is, “how often do most married couples have sex?”

At first I questioned whether or not I should just dive right into this topic, but then I thought a few things:  (1) a healthy marriage is so fundamental to the happiness of the rest of my life (and the whole family), (2) most of us find that time with our spouse slips on the priority list and often takes a backseat to more practical, everyday life tasks, and (3) my husband wanted to write an entire book entitled “Monday, Wednesday & Saturday” (or it could be “Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday – depending upon that season’s TV line-up) because he thinks our scheduled “date nights” are so great.

So I thought, why the heck not?  I also thought that by writing about this topic, I could perhaps help a few other marriages out there… because it’s definitely working in mine. No, I’m no Dr. Ruth or any kind of sex expert, just a happy, fulfilled wife offering you perhaps, a new approach. :)

My husband and I have “date night” 3 times a week (and for those of you who can’t read between the lines, that means we have scheduled “sex nights” 3 times a week).  We look at it like a contract – neither one of us will break the commitment unless we absolutely have to (i.e. one of us is traveling for work, one of us is sick, etc.).  Now I am VERY much a planner – total A-type personality.  My husband on the other hand, totally NOT a planner and can’t stand if I try to make plans well ahead of time in pretty much any other aspect of our life.

We first established our little schedule because with very small children, I was often not only too tired, but also still in “mommy mode,” and had a hard time making the switch in my head to “mistress mode.”  My husband, however, never seemed to have to switch modes – he was always there!  So I made the suggestion of planning things out- I think at first he may have been resistant (can’t fully recollect since it’s been a few years now and my foggy working mommy brain can’t hold on to so many details), but then, guess what?  Not only did it work, but he now thinks the idea is BRILLIANT.  So brilliant in fact, that he wanted to write a book about it (ya, right, as if that was going to happen).

Borat

Let me tell you why it works… firstly, it avoids disappointment on his end – I won’t ever say “no” on a date night.  Secondly, on non-date nights he can’t make me feel bad about taking some time for myself (like reading my book or watching bad TV).  Thirdly (and most importantly), it maintains the closeness and intimacy, so crucial to our relationship.  And this then equates to a happier and healthier home life for both us and our children.

From my husband’s perspective, he feels that knowing it’s a date night ahead of time, he can think about it during his stressful day and have something to look forward to.  We also has another secret…  if he helps me transition from “working mommy mode” to “mistress mode,” he will definitely get the best of me!   So on date night, he helps me relax and switch modes by giving me a wonderful neck, shoulder & head massage.  Yes, I know I am extremely lucky and I really, really appreciate it.

Now some of you may question the spontaneity of the whole situation and whether it takes the “romance” out of the relationship. But honestly, does real-life really run on romance?  When you live such a busy life and have so many competing priorities, is it even possible to live as you did when you were dating?  In my opinion, not likely.  It may definitely take some getting used to, but once you do, it absolutely changes the dynamics of your marriage and your family life.  Sex after all is a great workout, helps you decrease stress, helps you sleep better and overall contributes to better health… so why not???

Here are some quick tips to help get you started in creating your very own “date nights”:

  • Decide with your spouse/partner how many times per week you want to have sex
  • Choose the nights you feel will work best
  • Set the scene a bit… have a glass of wine or a hot bath (or both)
  • Relax and TALK to each other – something else that we often forget to do in our busy lives is to really talk to one another (and not about the day-to-day things)
  • Do something nice for one another
  • And then have some great sex!

Wishing you all some hot date nights ahead.

~Jacqueline

WOW! Ladies, what do you think about scheduling “date nights,” I mean sex sessions, 3x per week? Is it a great idea, or a spontaneity crusher? Would you be open to the idea? Share with our community. Let’s get the conversation going!

xoxEDxox

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Jacqueline Elman is a 42 yr old working mom whose goal is to pack as much into life as possible, without reaching burnout. She’s a self-proclaimed over-achiever who tries to find balance in the crazy world of “having it all.” From being a lawyer to graduating from Culinary School, to ending up in the spa industry, back to law briefly, then back to the spa industry… now Jacqueline is a Director of Marketing.

She also just started a blog. Jacqueline’s motivation for starting her blog is her strong belief in the importance of supporting fellow moms and letting them know that they are not alone in this crazy challenge called motherhood. To read more, click here -> http://WorkingMomBurnout.blogspot.com

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36 Responses to “Scheduling “Date Nights””

  1. […] Now, I find the rigidity of Franklin’s scheme a bit off-putting. Doesn’t it seem sad to schedule in things like “diversion” and “conversation”? (Incidentally, I’ve noticed a trend in people scheduling in a certain other activity, which also feels sad to me, though these people generally swear by it.) […]

  2. […] Here is the final, most important way to keep a marriage hot: have sex! My husband and I have promises about how frequently we have sex. I really recommend it. Don’t let the cliché of sex fading with marriage become true (or truer) in your relationship. Cut it out!! Lie back down in bed (or anywhere!) with that person you loved enough that you committed to him or her. Just get back on the bike and ride; it really does come back to you. Do NOT wait to be “in the mood.” […]

  3. [...] ROMANCE. Make time. Reconnect with your partner. Call grandparents a few times a year to take your children and have A STAYCATION with your [...]

  4. [...] Yes, you burn calories having sex, and yes, it is PHYSICALLY good for your serotonin levels. Reconnect with your partner. Call grandparents twice a year to take your children and have A STAYCATION with your partner- that [...]

  5. john F.No Gravatar says:

    Wow… well, I’m not a ‘lady’ but I’m leaving a reply anyway. If there were any way I could get my wife to go for this, I would. We rarely seemvto have this crucial time and when we talk about making the time, we’re tootired or something comes up. And yet, it is SO much more than about the sex itself… The more we have sex, the more I feel connected to my wife on every other level.

  6. [...] July 1st (Canada Day) are the two days I look forward to most every year. Why? Because they are not date nights, they are date DAYS! The kids go off to camp, and my hubby is home from work. It’s the only [...]

  7. stanNo Gravatar says:

    Scheduling sex works. Previously with “spontaneous” sex – well it did not happen nearly enough and it was quite frustrating. It started for us when I purchased lingerie for my wife and it came out once in a while. In time she chose some favourite pieces to use when we had sex. Along this came our switch to the IUD – trouble free and effective relaxing birth control and NO condoms. I was getting older and the feeling was soooo much better without them – I liked it much more and wanted more. I added to the romance of the lingerie I purchased. Not revealing things but classic long gowns and very pretty lace and well made items. She insisted on wearing panties to bed so we found tap panties – they worked for her, are pretty and modest yet they provide full unrestricted access for marital relations. Every other night (at least) I select and lay out a gown, a chemise, a nightie – with a pair of tap pants for her to wear. I shower before bed, shave, put on some cologne and she dresses for bed. We have got into the routine of wanting each other first thing in the morning and I start with massages and we move on to enjoying each other in all the best ways we can. It has taken every bit of arguing, frustration and problem out of our relationship. We know we will have sex and we have a lot of it – and we are into our fifties. We should have done this from the first day we got married because it works.

  8. [...] ROMANCE. Make time. Reconnect with your partner. Call grandparents twice a year to take your children and have A STAYCATION with your partner- that [...]

  9. [...] ROMANCE. Make time. Reconnect with your partner. Call grandparents twice a year to take your children and have A STAYCATION with your partner- that [...]

  10. [...] Make time. Reconnect with your partner. Call grandparents twice a year to take your children and have A STAYCATION with your partner- that [...]

  11. [...] me that his men were working late and he’d only be home around 7:30PM. If you know me and date night, you know I like to be AT dinner by 7PM, home by 9:15PM latest. The perfect night for someone who [...]

  12. Patty says:

    Interesting. I am currently divorcing after 21 years. Biggest complaint from my husband is lack of sex. Biggest complaint from me: everything else.

    I am spontaneous,fun,loutgoing,love to try new things. He is an introvert that watches sports,plays poker and golf. That’s it. Never compliments me,hates spontaneity and travel. Also doesn’t communicate ie even if we went out to dinner.

    So-I have told him for years:FOREPLAY BEGINS OUTSIDE OF THE BEDROOM. We have argued about the sex issue for so many years. He feels I should show I care by having sex. I feel he should show he cares by doing things with me I enjoy. He is moved out now and actually sent me a text saying how great our sex was “when we had it”. If he had only paid more attention to me, there would have been alot more of it!

    I’m pretty bitter right now and do not see myself dating for a long time :(

  13. AdeleNo Gravatar says:

    OK, so someone has to speak about the other reality: Speaking from the perspective of a mom now in her (ouch) 50s, with two kids, jobs, etc., I can’t imagine 3 nights a week for sex! According to my friends (and my own experience) 3 times a year would be more likely. If I’m exhausted, I would love a massage, but it still won’t be enough to make me want to put in the extra energy to have sex. Scheduling it will just add to the guilt load and the endless to-do list!

    • ConfusedNo Gravatar says:

      Wow I feel sorrry for your husband or mate. And I bet you would think it’s wrong for him to cheat or have a sex friend on the side. He just has to settle with what you give him. Just another reason to never get married. I’m so glad I have been reading these woman sites. If it weren’t for me working with these married unhappy dudes, I would have never known the evils of marriage.

      • JacquelineNo Gravatar says:

        Wow to both comments. Firstly, to address our young man’s comment, there are many many happily married women and men out there. I think you happen to be around a bad bunch. Wherever you go, you will find unhappy people, people who cheat, people who complain, etc. I do think it’s more common to complain than to walk around saying how happy we are… which may be the reason you hear more negative than positive comments. I think those that are truly unhappy but stay in a marriage for the kids have it all wrong – it’s a much better lesson to teach your kids that it’s better to be happy and single, than unhappy and married. But there are many reasons beyond the kids for why people stay together when they are not happily married (i.e. financial, lifestyle, etc.). That’s an individual choice. My suggestion for you… don’t put so much thought into it – you’re way too young to be thinking about this (I got married at 35). If one day you fall in love and decide to get married and have kids, it will happen. Otherwise, I hope you’ll be happy and single.

        As for Adele’s comment, frequency of sex really does depend on the couple, however, it seems to me that 3 times a year is more like a roomate/friendship-type relationship than a marriage. I get the exhausted part – I’m 42, work full time at a demanding job and have a 6 and 4 year old. But here’s a big plus for increasing sexual frequency – sex has all kinds of health benefits including, stress-relief, boosting your immunity, burning calories, improving cardiovascular health, reducings pain and better sleep… to name a few. Not to mention the intimacy factor. It truly is one of the essential components of a marriage. Perhaps if you increased the frequency, even if it meant doing it when you didn’t feel like it at first, you would reap some of those benefits and wouldn’t feel so exhausted. After a while, it just becomes part of the lifestyle and not something on your “to-do” list. And I must ask, is your husband OK with 3 times a year?

  14. ConfusedNo Gravatar says:

    Okay I came across this site by accident. I’m a 20/male. And I have some question from you ladies about married life. I have been reading this site for about an hour and I have basically withdrawn myself out of the marriage pool. I work a suit and tie job. That’s means mostly every dude is married/ with kids. I have never been around such lonely,stressed-out, unhappy men in my life. Everyday I have at least one guy tells me to “never get married”. Or son, I wish I was your age, I would never get married, or how does it feel to be free and not have to wake up or have sex with the same person everyday. And these are succuesful married men. I mean big houses nice cars everything. And I’m just a 20yr old struggling student temp. During lunch I hear them complain about how the wives change after married. They go from being sexy, panties/thongs to boxes and shorts when they come home. They go from being all discrete when using the restroom, to leaving the door wide open. Not wanting to have sex anymore, withholding sex, blaming their sex drive on having kids. Complianing that they think being a stay at home mom is a hard job. Most of them look at porn more than I do or have side girlfriends. Their reason for having a “side girl”(as they call them) is to do the things that momma(wife) doesn’t do anymore. I always ask them why don’t they just leave if they are so unhappy. And most of them say the samething, kids, bills, etc. My parents have been married for 32 yrs and I have never noticed my dad or mom being unhappy. But since I have been working here, I have been paying attention to my dad. He reminds me of those dudes I work with so much. He hides it just like those dudes at work. So my question is why do people get married when you have to go through so much to make it work. Is marriage really worth it. Married people are so unhappy, they just settle and hide all of their pain. I can’t ask my parents these questions (duh) so I ask you all. And these are the complaints I hear on a daily bases from married guys. So I wanted to ask you ladies. and hear your version of marriage. How does a man or woman find happines in having the same person everyday. Why do you have to stay married and unhappy if you have kids. Why do men and women change when they get married. How do you go from having sex like rabbits to nothing. Why do women stop being sexy. Why can’t you go out and hang with your friends sometimes. Why does a man have to ask his wife to do things. Why does the man always drive. Why do you have to have in-laws over during the holidays. How is a stay at home mom considered a job. And how does a stay at home mom feel about woman who work and raise kids. I just don’t understand why people get marrried if you have to do all of this to make it work.Again these are things I hear from married guys everyday at work. And I’m sure that their wives think they are so happy being married to them. Please help me understand marriage. I wanna hear your side of married life. And please no bibile stuff. Thanks

  15. Jamie CoombsNo Gravatar says:

    I love this idea Jacqueline! I’m talking with my husband tonight about setting up date nights :)

    I’ve heard of scheduling sex before and always thought it would take away the romance but I also didn’t realize how much the priority of sex would decline after having our first baby. It’s not that we don’t want to. There’s just so much to do all the time and we are exhausted at the end of the day. Hopefully, scheduling in date night will give us something to look forward to at the end of the day.

    Thanks so much for the candid post ;)

  16. AndreGNo Gravatar says:

    I like the open conversation but I think the suggestion is a spontaneity killer. Part of good sex is letting it happen. I think scheduling is like a ‘fake’ orgasm… it’s contrived. I like the guaranteed frequency, but not the methodology.

    • JacquelineNo Gravatar says:

      It may not be for everyone, but I can tell you that as a working mom with 2 small kids who juggles a million priorities, it’s not easy to squeeze in “spontaneity”. On the flipside, knowing which nights will be “date” nights can add excitement and anticipation… it can give you something to look forward to during your crazy busy day. Otherwise, it’s too easy to let time slip by and possibly miss those spontaneous moments altogether. At the end of the day, you do what it takes to keep your relationship and your sex life as healthy as can be… and as I mentioned in an earlier response, it’s whatever works for your particular situation.

      • MelissaNo Gravatar says:

        It’s a good point Andre

      • MoNo Gravatar says:

        My husband and I have been together for over 18 years and have two young children. Spontaneity comes from the opportunity to have sex! I agree with Jacqueline…the excitement & anticipation work wonders. Let’s not forget about the “preparation”. I’m talking about perhaps a glass of wine, a wonderfully warm shower or bath, a great pair of undies, sexy perfum, etc. Or maybe something as simple as wonderful music or a special song.
        A marriage is a work in progress with endless amounts of negative factors making it difficult and “heavy” – daily life. Sex is the ideal weapon to use in order to maintain and strengthen your relationship. In the end it adds to that intamacy and bond that can make you and your spouse feel like you can take on the world… I say RUN with it!! ;-)

  17. Suzanne HNo Gravatar says:

    I’m going to try this. I think three times a week won’t fly, but I’ll try for Wednesday and Saturdays. We’ll see how that goes. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

    • JacquelineNo Gravatar says:

      I think the most important part is finding what works for the two of you – the frequency will depend on the individuals involved. Have fun and keep us posted!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I really enjoyed this post. It’s a very good suggestion Jacqueline.

  19. Happy WifeNo Gravatar says:

    We have been trying it for the last two weeks. We decided on twice a week. Even in two weeks it has totally changed the whole dynamic of the relationship. We are kinder and more understanding toward each other and I am less resentful quick to snap at him for nothing.
    I notice also, that even on “non date nights” we can cuddle now. Before, it felt like if I went within then feet of him the expectation would be for sex (which I wasn’t into) LOL. Now becasue we are having sex I can give him a hug and a real kiss without heightened expectations (so to speak).
    My previous excuse about “time” and “energy” are gone (frankly, it doesn’t take THAT long) The more we “do it”, the more I feel like “doing it”.

    • JacquelineNo Gravatar says:

      Wow – I love that! And it not only changes the dynamics of the relationship between husband and wife, but for the whole family – the kids see you being more loving and kind to one another. A great example to set.

  20. JacquelineNo Gravatar says:

    I’m delighted to share my thoughts with you all. Just to make sure we’re all on the same page though… date night starts at home after the kids are in bed and does NOT require a babysitter… hint, hint… and if you really need me to spell it out, date night = s-e-x. I hope you enjoy the read, as well as some hot date nights of your own!

    • Erica DiamondNo Gravatar says:

      Jacqueline, I love to show all sides of sex and marriage. It’s quite an interesting topic. I got this message on Twitter from a guy: “@WomenOnTheFence LOL…I try to but then she schedules a headache!” Cute! Thank you for sharing with our community. Hopefully it will revive some relationships who have lost their spark.

  21. RantsofayatNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t mean we don’t have sex (we do!). I mean to have an actual entire night alone for ‘Dat night’. Is anyone else out there with the same problem?

  22. JanetNo Gravatar says:

    I think it’s actually a really great idea. I may propose it to my husband. I’m sure he’ll be in. I think it sets up good expectations.

  23. RantsofayatNo Gravatar says:

    We have only had 3 date nights and my daughter is 5! No family to watch her, friends don’t have kids (and don’t want to) and I can’t trust a stranger through a service. It is terrible to loose that, but we don’t know how to fix it.

  24. John Doe says:

    I’m game. Now if I can only convince my wife…

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