Weekly ‘date nights’ for parents not necessarily the key to staying together, new research suggests

married coupleMarried couples benefit slightly from the occasional ‘date night’, according to findings from Child of the New Century. But going out as a couple isn’t all there is to a long-lasting relationship.

Research from the Marriage Foundation and the University of Lincoln used information from the parents of nearly 10,000 Child of the New Century study members.

When you were nine months old, we asked your mothers to tell us about how often they went on outings with their partners.  New parents who ‘hardly ever’ went out were no more likely to still be together when their children turned 11 than those who went out weekly or more often.

Instead, couples’ age, education and the quality of their relationships seemed to count for more.

Mothers who had their children very young were less likely to stay with their partners as their children grew up than those who became parents later in life.

Mums with a degree were more likely to stay with their partners than those who left school at GCSE, but other credentials, such as diplomas or A-levels, offered no significant advantage or disadvantage.

Your mothers also answered a series of questions about the quality of their relationships, including whether they agreed with the statement ‘my partner is sensitive and aware of my needs’. Mothers who strongly agreed were most likely to stay together, and those who strongly disagreed were most likely to split up.