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A few months ago, I was scrolling through TikTok when I stumbled across videos of Rosie Piper and her husband going on date nights.
The videos, which have since gone viral, show the Idaho based content creator and her hubby adorably wandering through corn fields, playing mini-golf and cooking together at home.
The concept, as Piper explains in her videos, is simple. They commit to two dates per month. One is a date at home, and one is outside their house. They alternate who is in charge for planning each one. I’ve since noticed a plethora of similar videos from other couples.
While there are some TikTok trends that are best ignored (see: the multitude of cooking videos featuring unseasoned meat), “dating your partner” is one that I can get behind.
Relationship experts agree.
“It is extremely important to keep dating your partner!” says Dr. David Helfand, a Licensed Psychologist specializing in couples therapy retreats, neurofeedback, and brain mapping.
As he explains, “the infatuation period of a relationship is about one year. During this time, your brain is high and can’t think straight, so you are just madly in love and likely spending a lot of time with your partner. However, after that year, most partners start to spend time with other friends, personal hobbies, or other activities separate from their partner.
“This is also healthy, but it means that your relationship is not getting the same attention that it used to.”
Scheduling regular date nights ensures that you’re both prioritizing the relationship.
However, dating your partner is about more than just performing relationship maintenance. “Date nights provide an opportunity to reconnect emotionally, deepen the bond, and nurture emotional intimacy. They reignite romance and passion by creating a romantic and intimate atmosphere, allowing you to prioritize each other and invest in the romantic aspect of your partnership,” says Adina Mahalli, MSW, a certified mental health expert and family therapist for Maple Holistics.
Regular date nights help cut through the monotony that often comes with being in a domestic partnership (think: chores, bills, and other daily tasks.) “They bring novelty, excitement, and a sense of adventure into your lives, breaking free from the routine and injecting new energy into the partnership.” says Mahalli.
For many couples, a commitment to date nights allows them to stay committed to each other. Tina Fey, a relationship expert and the author of the book How to Win at Online Dating says that, “regular date nights serve as a powerful reminder of why you fell in love in the first place, reigniting the spark and reminding you of the qualities that attracted you to each other.”
If you’re ready to reinvigorate your relationship with regular date nights, here are a few expert tips.
Put it on the calendar. “Consistency breeds familiarity and anticipation,” says Fey. To make date time an integral part of your relationship, she suggests, “select a specific day or time each week and make it non-negotiable.”
Keep your date nights fun and fresh by exploring different activities and experiences together. “Try new restaurants, engage in shared hobbies, or plan themed date nights at home. Infusing variety and novelty into your time together keeps the spark alive,” says Mahalli.
Focus on quality time
Don’t be afraid to keep your date incredibly simple. As Helfand shares, “consider going for a long walk and having lunch while the kids are in school. You can also plan errands around the date. Go pick out new flowers for the house, get a tea or coffee, and then do some yard work. The important part of date night is that you are spending quality time together and building an emotional connection.”
Communicate your preferences
Mahalli encourages people to discuss their date night preferences and ideas with their partner beforehand. “This collaborative approach ensures that date nights cater to both of your needs and desires, making them more enjoyable for both. Use your date nights as an opportunity to truly connect and engage with each other.”
If your partner isn’t great at planning, Helfand suggests splitting the difference. “Maybe you can plan, but they can pick you up at work dressed in a sexy outfit. Or perhaps you pick the time and they pick the restaurant.” Work together to create an experience you both enjoy.
Lastly, have fun
Instead of treating date night like a chore, Fey says, “view them as joyful opportunities to bond and rekindle the romance.”
Whether you decide to document your dating adventures for the internet is entirely up to you.
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