Keep the Love Alive 2

Valentine’s Day Shouldn’t be the only Date Night of the Year   by Jordan Madison, LGMFT

Valentine’s Day is often a big day of romance. Reservations are made, outfits are tried on, gifts are bought, and date night is set into motion, to show the world just how much you love the one you are with on this special day. But what about the other 364 days of the year? Well it’s a leap year, so we’ll say 365. My point is, Valentine’s Day and anniversaries should not be the only occasions for going out on a date with your mate (I love a good rhyme).

A commonly heard word of advice in relationships is “don’t stop doing what you did in the beginning of the relationship to get your partner.” But oftentimes in long term relationships, we become comfortable. While having comfort in a relationship is a great thing, becoming too comfortable to the point that you are complacent is not. In order to keep a relationship healthy and strong, it is important that both partners make it a priority. Deadlines to meet at work, children’s extracurricular activities, expectations of family and friends, and wanting to spend time with yourself, can all seem to be bigger items on the to-do list. You and your partner may be so wrapped up in your individual demands, that you end up growing apart or feeling disconnected. This is why carving out specific time for the couple is essential. Date nights can keep the romance alive in the relationship. They can provide stability, because you know once a week, month, or whatever your set time is, you and your partner can regroup and focus on one another without distractions. This routine time together can foster the friendship between you and your partner, make you feel more connected, increase communication, and renew desire in the relationship.

To be clear, date night does not have to be this fancy, or expensive activity. As long as time is carved out and thought went into planning the date, that is what is important. It allows each partner to feel committed to, and thought of. Deciding what you feel is missing in the relationship could be a great indication of what should be done for the date night. For instance, if you and your partner are feeling bogged down with the responsibilities of adulting and life is feeling mundane, a fun and playful date night to Dave and Busters, or a basketball game could be needed. However, if you are craving intimacy and emotional connection, then maybe staying in for a candlelit dinner, or going to an R&B concert might be better. Taking a class where you learn something new together, doing a hobby the other loves, or trying something for the first time can also be ways to bring novelty into the relationship. It might be helpful to create a list of date ideas with your partner, write them on small pieces of paper and put them in a container, or mason jar. Then each week, pick an activity from the jar. Or you two can take turns planning a date night for the other person. Whatever it takes, date nights should be a routine that you and your partner look forward to, not a dreaded obligation.

If you and your partner are feeling a lack of intimacy, connection, or communication, please call 301-661-3481 to schedule an appointment for couples therapy today.