Ledingham’s first offering is a familiar yet common-sense guide for couples looking to add some spice to date nights while building a stronger relationship.
Ten years ago, Ledingham’s husband asked her what she wanted from their weekly date nights. At the time, she couldn’t articulate her wishes. Her revelation finally came after a terrible date when she arrived late at a restaurant and complained about several things, including the service. Thus inspired by what not to do on a date, Ledingham penned this breezy how-to, complete with 16 guiding principles, such as “The Etiquette of Flattery,” for successful—often steamy—date nights for couples in committed relationships. Not to be confused with a “let’s go out to eat because we’re too tired to cook” kind of evening, date night, writes the author, is a time when a couple intentionally ditches domestic household talk and rekindles the joy of being with one another. Ledingham’s 16 principles are divided into three parts. Date Night Prep prepares readers for exciting romantic trysts and includes advice such as getting plenty of beauty sleep. Date Night Decorum highlights ways to act while on a date and calls for readers to, among other things, “hang off” their partner’s every word. Date Night Vitamins promotes ways to keep the relationship healthy, such as by avoiding negativity. Each principle receives its own chapter, and an abundance of anecdotes—both about the author and other people—are included, as well as a “date night score sheet” for tallying strengths and weaknesses of both partners. Though Ledingham is a psychologist, the tone of this swift-paced read is informal and pleasantly chatty. Her time-tested advice hinges on mutual respect and the idea of rekindling romantic passions by having people act the way they did when they first met. For example, people on first dates are often on their best behavior, and instead of griping or finding fault, they listen with enthusiasm to what the other person has to say. Additionally, Ledingham addresses how to deal with a partner who won’t go on a date night. Also included is a list of different date ideas and the pros and cons of each.
While not new, the ideas are usable, and the tone is upbeat and fun.