The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia wrote a great piece on the importance of continual dating to a marriage. They highlight five reasons why date nights have strong correlations to healthy relationships and marriages: communication, novelty, eros, commitment, and de-stress.
The importance of good communication is obvious. We have all experienced the consequences of poor communication with our significant other. Date nights help create sparks in relationships that have fallen into the mundane ruts that we naturally gravitate to as creatures of habit. These sparks contribute to the eros - romantic love - aspect of relationships which can make you feel like you've just started dating each other all over again. By opening up to each other in date nights, we build strong bonds that solidify our commitment to each other. Lastly, who doesn't need a stress relief every once in a while? Date nights are fun!
The university ran a comprehensive study to prove quantitatively that date nights improve marriages. The study showed improvements across all categories including happiness, commitment, communication, parenthood stability, and community integration.
If you'd like to read the full report, you can check it out here.