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“For most men romance is sex and recreation; for most women it’s affection and conversation. When all four come together, men and women alike call it romance and they deposit the most love units possible in each other’s Love Bank." Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Grandma Eva looked me straight in the eye.
“Get out of here,” she said. “Go now. Go to the movies. Go for a walk.  Do something. Together. Do it now. Before the babies come.”
The urgency in her voice startled me. What happens when the babies come?
She wouldn’t say. Grandma just stared me down over the rim of her spectacles until I grabbed my groom of a few weeks and skedaddled out the door on a snowy Friday night.
Three years later, when the babies had come, my mother reminded me of Grandma Eva when she said, “You need to go out.”
Which way is out?
“You know what I mean. You and Dale need a date.”
But the babies…
“Bring them over. We will watch them. You need to date.”
So I zipped my two bundles of joy into footie pajamas and left them at Grandma’s on a rainy Friday night.
Now what?We checked his wallet. No money. Shall we wander around Home Depot?  
It was a start. It was the start of something big, actually. Weekly dates became indispensable to our married sanity; 35 years later, we are so beautifully sane that we’re crazy in love. There are a lot of reasons we’ve managed to stay out of the loony bin, but in large part, I credit our consistent prioritizing of date night (just us) every week and a least one get-away (just us) every year.
Marriage experts, such as acclaimed author/psychologist, Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. agree. Dr. Harley has counseled tens of thousands of couples to follow his “Policy of Undivided Attention” in order to avoid one of the most common mistakes in marriage: neglecting each other’s emotional needs. He encourages husbands and wives to SIT DOWN EVERY WEEK AT THE SAME TIME and PLAN how you will spend PRIVATE TIME together that week: no other adults and NO children (who are awake). 
I know he is right: you have got to have privacy to really meet the feminine needs for affection and conversation, and to meet the male needs for recreational companionship and sexual fulfillment. The four are definitely MOST effectively met as a quartet.
I understand now why my mother and Grandma Eva were so insistent: they wanted me to end up with love-on-a-platter instead of settling for life-on-a-stick. I plagiarize them at every bridal shower and do my best to stare down the wife-to-be as I lean in close and say:  
You NEED private time together: every single week. 


 “A long love affair needs a special, private, safe place to grow and blossom. Creating that space is, I believe with all my heart, both the joy and the most sacred duty of a marriage.” JeanBrashear

RELATED MUSING: "Somewhere Else." NEXT UP on WIFE SUPPORT SEVEN: Husbands and Housework. Mona shares and teaches romance at Mona's Musings with a  Hint of Romance and posts daily at Mona's Musings on Facebook & Twitter. She is the award-winning author or With Mine Own Hand: The Musical Account of Nephi, and is writing the book WIFE-4-LIFE: The Power to Succeed in Marriage. Despite having just lived in Europe for a year, she remembers her favorite date included sharing an umbrella in downtown Provo 34 years ago. 

Pictures from Dreamstime 

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