To talk about Date Night, we’ve got to talk about your relationship. Elvis Presley’s You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling. Neil Diamond’s You Don’t Bring Me Flowers. BB King’s rendition of The Thrill is Gone. Losing that initial spark between you and your partner is a well-chronicled phenomenon in modern relationships.
After a few years in a long term relationship, that initial electricity you had when you first met mellow out into a small sizzle. Passion starts to look less like grand gestures and weekends away and more like routine and comfortable complacency. But after spending weeks on months and years with someone, it’s only natural that it doesn’t feel like Guy Fawkes every night ““ and that’s okay. But there’s one really easy thing you can do to keep the fire alive.
Remember Date Night? Yeah, that thing you used to do when you first met your partner. It’s time to bring it back out of hiding. When was the last time you and your other half set aside time for just the two of you?
Dating your long-term partner ““ whether it’s been 6 months or 16 years is one of the best and easiest things to do to improve your relationship. It’s equally important in maintaining a healthy and lasting relationship as it is in kicking one off.
Making the Case For Date Night
Deep down, we all know that dating our partners is important. We know spending quality time together is important. We know that finding time to get away from life and all its stressors, obligations and responsibilities for some one-on-one time is important.
The problem is when we think of dating, we usually think of it as the part before we get serious. It’s relegated as the “fun” end of your relationship when everything is still new and exciting. But who says the fun has to end? No matter how long it’s been it’s important to keep finding quality time to spend together. It’s during this time that you strengthen the bonds and connections that brought you together in the first place.
When you don’t know someone that well, dates are awkward. You’re trying to make a good impression, worrying about what to say and there’s not a lot of room to just relax and be yourself.
When you date your long term partner, you never have to worry about it being awkward, you already know the company is going to be incredible and you can just focus on having a great time with the person you love. Date Night gives you the perfect opportunity to set aside time to just get to know each other again and add more fuel to the fire you already have.
According to Dr. Gottman’s Sound Relationship House theory, relationships tend to fair a lot better when partners have a good understanding of each other’s inner worlds ““ their hopes, interests, interests and feelings. Date Night gives you the perfect opportunity to set aside time to just get to know each other again and help keep that spark alive.
Let’s Look At The Facts
According to research from the Marriage Foundation, Date Night is the default answer to most problems in modern marriages, A study found that married couples who go on regular date nights have a 14 % lower chance of their relationship breaking down.
And it’s not just the experts. Even high profile figures like Barrack Obama down to celebrities like Justin Timberlake swear by the relationship saving abilities of the ever-elusive Date Night. They’re a great opportunity for you to communicate and deepen your connection, as well as just have fun with your partner. I reckon if Barrack Obama could manage to have a Date Night with his wife every Friday and run a whole country, I’m sure you can squeeze it into your diary.
Date Night doesn’t just make you happier as a couple ““ but as individuals too. A study from The Couples Centre found that women who spent time with their partner’s every week were 4 times happier than women who didn’t. Men were 2.5 times happier than men who didn’t focus on their partner at least once a week.
4 Top Tips To Help You Bring Date Night Back
Now I know what you’re thinking. I don’t even have time to feed myself some days let alone make time for Date Night. Hear me out. Making time for weekly, “Date Nights” might seem like another thing to do on top of the long list of duties and responsibilities in your life but allotting a meal, an activity or simply an hour for a couple to reconnect can have a huge impact on your relationship. Here are four tips to help you out:
1. Make It a Habit
Don’t let Date Night turn into a one-hit-wonder. Set aside one night a week for Date Night pop it in the calendar, and treat it as an unmissable event. Using a shared calendar app like Cupla means you can see both you and your partner’s schedules in one calendar so it’s easier to find spaces where you can be together. You can even use the app to set weekly cadence with regular reminds to keep you on track.
2. Plan The Conversation
Date Night is a great opportunity to really connect with your partner and learn more about them. And a lot of that hinges on what you end up talking about.
I know how this is going to sound but plan your Date Night conversation. It’s easy to slip back into talking about who’s doing the next grocery shop or who’s turn it is to clean the bathroom or even worse ““ awkward silence. It’s important to use that time to connect, discover new things about each other and take a break from the banality of everyday life.
It’s not a bad idea to make a list of Date Night conversation starters to start you off. It could be as simple as something interesting you read or something you saw on the news. You’d be amazed to see what you discover about your partner.
3. Practice Romance
While pre-commitment, our relationships are punctuated with grand gesture after grand gesture. When we’re a little more comfortable, it’s all about paying attention to the little things to get into the mood.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 book Outliers, he put forward the idea that to become an expert at anything takes 10,000 hours of practice. Now I’m not saying you need to spend 10,000 hours holding hands, but like anything, to get good at it, you’ve got to put the work in.
Date Night starts long before the calendar event. It’s those little everyday moments. If you want to recapture that pre-commitment Date Night feeling, you need up the Bow Chika Wow Wow. A wink after you say goodbye for work, and a surprise hug, an out of the blue compliment. All these little things help charge up the electricity and make the actual event that much more exciting.
4. Make An Effort
When we see our partners every day, it’s easy to default to your “at home self”. While there’s nothing wrong with some fat pants and a hoodie ““ it’s a date. Make an effort (I’m looking at you boys).
Whether it’s splashing some water on your space and sprucing yourself up or going all out and getting into your Sunday best, make an effort. You’d be surprised how much of a difference even just having a shave or spritzing some perfume can make to the mood.