our everyday life

Good Excuses for Going Out

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

A night out on the town is an American pastime. People may attend a movie, play or concert, or they may go out for dinner with friends or with a date. They may watch a sporting event or engage in a physical activity. Whatever they choose, there are several good reasons to let loose.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

The lyrics to this Cyndi Lauper song say it all. According to Andrea Madison, relationship columnist on AskMen.com, there are real benefits to a man for supporting a night out for his female partner. Women need to talk and this allows her to do that with her friends rather than making her man her main conversation partner. It helps her relieve stress and she comes home more relaxed. Andrea also says that a side benefit to him may be that she is more supportive when he wants a night out with male friends. According to Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., author of "Best Friends Forever," a woman's relationships with other women help to shape who they are and how they see themselves. These relationships also give both partners some breathing room and make each a better partner.

Time Together

Couples may choose to go out so they can spend time together. They may choose activities they enjoy, like watching a movie, or just talking without interruptions. This time out of the house is a way couples can focus on their relationship. According to Laura Brotherson, a marriage and family life educator, a date night is one of the best things a couple can do for their marriage. Going out together can strengthen the marriage physically, emotionally and socially.

Time Away From the Kids

Parents sometimes need time away from the kids. This may be especially true for the stay-at-home parent. Parents can have time to be alone or spend some adult time with friends, but part of the enjoyment may include not having the kids around. Many churches sponsor Parent's Night Out programs. These programs allow parents to drop their children off and enjoy a night out while their children are entertained and safe. These programs are often less expensive than hiring a sitter to come to your house. According to Chris Lowrey, editor of "Family Time Charm," parents should plan a night of adventure to prevent focusing on the kids during their night out. Chris says this brings excitement back into your relationship and keeps it fresh. She also reminds parents that taking time for each other is a great example for the children because it shows them the importance of love and commitment between partners.

Exercise for Emotional Health

An exercise class, a walk in nature, or otherwise getting your body moving may help reduce your risk of depression. A January 2005 article in "Prevention Medicine" reports that individuals who exercise regularly are less likely to be depressed than their less active counterparts. So, go out, get moving and feel better about life.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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