There’s so much research out there that says quality time is super important, if not essential, to a good relationship. Psychology Today says "regular date nights are one of the best ways to help prevent the "silent drift apart" over time." They base this on a 2012 study by the National Marriage Project. This study's findings say "that couples who devote time specifically to one another at least once a week are more likely to have high-quality relationships and less likely to divorce." They go on to say "Couples who spend more time together also report higher levels of communication, sexual satisfaction and commitment." (Wilcox & Drew, 2012). Furthermore, according to Business Insider, new experiences are especially valuable for keeping the spark alive. Business Insider mentions a study published in 1993 that found "couples who spent time jointly doing new and exciting activities were more satisfied with their relationships". I don’t know about you, but when you’ve been hanging out with the same person for awhile it’s easy to start doing the same thing over and over. Normal routine doesn't usually encourage the time or mental space for staying creative. So I've done the work for you! Here's a list for you to take a look at whenever you need inspiration for something new to try. This isn’t just for romantic relationships either. Most of these are great ideas for you to do with friends too. For your convenience, these are grouped by price ranging from free to expensive.
- Take a walk
- Play a game - Cards, board games, puzzles, whatever, maybe up the ante and make a bet on the outcome?
- Ask questions - Like the ones mentioned in this previous post.
- Take personality quizzes together.
- Listen to a podcast together - We like mystery podcasts like Serial (season 1), Up and Vanished, and Dirty John.
- Go to the pool - My husband asked me to go to the pool on our second date. Very bold.
- Let him teach you something - Andrew taught me to drive a manual car in the snow and it was a blast.
- Visit the Humane Society and play with puppies!
- Have a bonfire - Don’t forget the s’mores.
- Lay in a hammock.
- Watch the sunset.
- Stand in the card aisle and pick up a silly card for one another - I stole this idea from a friend.
- Volunteer together.
- Cook dinner together
- Go see an improv show
- Visit a brewery
- See an outdoor music show
- Go to the mountains
- Be a tourist in your own city - take a tour! (Bonus points if it’s on a Segway! Please tag @PairedStyle in a pic if it is!)
- Show each other your alma mater - Obviously this only works if it’s nearby. Andrew and I both went to Clemson (go Tigers), but we didn’t know one another while we were there. When we visited together we walked around and pointed out the places we used to go a lot when we were in school. So corny, but so fun.
- Get ice cream.
- Shop together - Maybe buy something for one another?
- Laser tag…
- Go-karting …
- Ice skating - Anything you did in high school for fun, can still be fun! C’mon I’m full of these!
- Try a new restaurant
- Take a wine tasting class …
- Or any kind of class together
- Go camping
- Do brunch
- Have a progressive dinner - Apps, Entrées, and Dessert at different places. This one is a favorite of ours because we LOVE food.
- Do a Wine and Design night - Or any other iteration of painting something and bringing your own drinks.
- Dinner and a movie - it’s a classic for a reason!
Expensive ($100 and up)
- Attend a concert in another city
- Spend the weekend in the mountains
- …or the beach
- Visit Disney World - yes, it can be an adults-only thing too.
- Go on a cruise
- Stay at an all-inclusive resort
- Surprise each other with a gift - really this can be any price.
- Experience a new city together
- …or a new country
- Attend a sporting event
- Have a couples massage
- See a play
- Go to a super nice dinner - you know, one of the places where you say “that will be for a special occasion”.
The point of all this is really just to say it’s easy to stick to the routine, but switching things up is the spice of life and it's an easy way to keep the spark alive. Do you have a favorite activity you like to do with the special people in your life? Tell me below!
Credit to http://www.businessinsider.com/couples-who-try-new-things-together-are-happier-2016-8 and https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/joyful-parenting/201601/the-5-active-ingredients-date-night for the research quoted above. Check out the full posts. They are both very interesting.