3 Tips For A More Successful Date Night
Whether you are a newlywed or a couple who has been dating for several years, the truth remains the same: Keeping the connection alive requires a little bit of effort. It’s easy to blame technology, fast-paced lives and long work hours as excuses for why traditional dating has fallen to the wayside.
In an interesting article by Eli Finkel, a social psychology professor at Northwestern University, he discusses what he calls the “Suffocation Model of Marriage.” Simply put, couples today have higher expectations of marriage. If those expectations are not met, the marriage (or relationship) fails.
But, how can we meet the expectations of our spouse (or partner) if we aren’t meeting their needs? Finkel discusses Maslow’s Hierarchy in his research, but it could be as equally important to address your partner’s love language.
The 5 Love Languages: A Secret to A Love that Lasts is a book by Gary Chapman, detailing how your partner both gives and receives love. This book has been on the NY Times bestseller’s list for 8 years running and it’s easy to see why. Understanding the ideas and actions that your partner values could be crucial to sustaining a deep, lasting connection.
But for those looking for practical, actionable tips with their partner, we suggest these three date night tips.
Take turns planning
This might sound silly at first (especially if you are someone who doesn’t like to plan!), but taking control of a date night allows you to set your own personal expectations for the date. It can also lead to a new shared learning experience with your partner. By taking turns, it helps prevent turning date night into a routine and keeps it fun and exciting. In fact, you could agree with your partner to keep each week’s planning a secret. The surprise adds an element of fun, while allowing both partners to be creative and tap into their playful side.
Even if you have been together for a long time, introducing new activities to the relationship could result in finding a new favorite pastime together.
Turn off distractions
Create a “no-phone” rule. If you are a couple that is frequently bogged down by daily activities, commit to a weekly date that includes no cell phones. Not only does it allow you to break away for your own personal self-care, it allows both parties to fully connect and deepen their relationship. Even though this age of hyper-connectivity is here to stay, stepping back and unplugging could be the key to better communication in your relationship.
Stay in the moment
Much like the “no-phone” rule, agree with your partner on off-limits topics before the date. Even though it might feel safe or easy to talk about “everyday” topics, it allows both parties to fall back into a routine. Spark conversation with exciting personal developments, new books or podcasts, or current events. Learning something new or breaking from the ordinary is a great way to develop (or deepen) a connection.
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Photography by Cody Rademacher