Remember the passion you felt for your partner in the beginning of your relationship?
You couldn’t wait to see one another, to hear the sound of each other’s voice. You were spontaneous, and may even have swapped gifts for no reason at all.
Does all that sound as if it belongs in a land far, far away?
The couples we meet are usually upfront about putting their relationship on the back burner, able to give each other only the scraps of what’s left after a busy day. Add children to the mix, on top of work demands — exhausting! — and they’re even more hard-pressed to spend quality time together.
No wonder a night out on the town can sound like a chore.
But date nights are essential no matter how long you’ve been together. Just because relationship studies have shown that romantic love dwindles over time — yes, the initial butterflies disappear — doesn’t mean you have to swap passion for boredom.
Date nights don’t have to be extravagant or expensive. (In fact, they cost a lot less than a divorce.)
Our motto at Fun Fantasy Ritual: Have fun!
Did you know that novelty in a relationship — trying new things — can create the chemical surges of courtship? That’s what a State University of New York at Stony Brook study found. After ten weeks, couples who didn’t go on any dates, and couples who spent time together only once a week doing familiar activities, such as going to dinner and a movie, reported little or no change in the satisfaction of their relationship. Couples who participated in exciting, adventurous activities for the first time, however, reported notable increases in their level of satisfaction.
As Dr. Sue Johnson points out in her seminal book “Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love,” “Everything moves and changes, but for love relationships, there is no ‘way it is’ anymore. We are finally learning how to ‘make’ and ‘keep’ love alive.”
That’s why we recommend planning one “Surprise Date” a month for each other. Don’t succumb to the long-held belief that relationships inevitably become stale over time. There’s too much at stake. Instead, keep in mind the power of enjoying new experiences together — and plan to make them happen.
It will be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.
This story originally appeared on The Surprise Date Challenge
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