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New figures which reveal only a small proportion of couples have a regular date night have prompted a warning that time together is an important part of building healthy and happy relationship.
A poll by the restaurant discount card firm Tastecard revealed that just nine per cent of British couples have a date night once a week.
Ashley Nichols, a married father-of-four and the children's minister at St James Muswell Hill Church in north London said date night is an important time in the week for him and his wife.
Speaking on Premier's News Hour he said: "Often lots of our lives are wrapped up in our children and our work. It's really important for us to take some time aside each week just to spend some time together and make sure we are on the same page as a couple."
Tastecard found that four in ten couples do not regularly observe a date night because it costs too much, while a third said that they are too busy.
Ashley said date nights do not need to come with a big price tag, explaining: "Sometimes, we go out for a walk.
"Living close to London we just go and wander around and look through the shops and things. It doesn't need to be expensive."
The new research also found that a quarter of couples only eat out for special occasions and 18 per cent say they have never had a date night.
Ashley also suggested that churches can support couples in their quest for alone time by helping with the babysitting.
"I'll make a cheeky plea to your listeners that maybe aren't married to offer support to couples in your church to offer babysitting for free," he joked.
The survey was conducted among 1,253 UK respondents by Tastecard in March.
Listen to Aaron James speaking to Ashley Nichols here:
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