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Three categories of date nights to round out your relationship

There are three relationships inside your singular marriage: friend, partner, and lover. The more you develop your friendship, the deeper you’ll understand your spouse. Bonding with your partner secures the two of you as teammates. Playing with your lover lubricates everything so you fight less and love feels smooth and easy. Design date nights for each of these three relationships.

Date night ideas that connect you to the friend you married

Talk. Listen. The two biggest ways to feel more connected as friends is to understand each other.

Think about date nights that foster conversation. The best conversation is when you each have time and space to reveal what’s on your mind and in your heart. Those revelations need a place to land, too, so bring your best-listening-self to your date night.

What promotes conversation for you? Do you talk/listen best when…

  • Both of you are looking forward? Some people find it easier to talk when no one is looking right at them.
  • Or looking into each other’s faces? Some people find it easier to talk when they have eye contact.

If looking forward helps you to talk or listen…

  • Choose a date night that involves movement: a drive, a walk, or some other movement that helps you travel in the same direction.
  • Choose a date night that includes making something with your hands: cooking, gazing at a lovely sunset, or sanding your house before you paint it (but if you choose a project, agree that the project is a catalyst for conversation not completion).

If looking into each other’s eyes helps you talk/listen…

  • Choose a date night that sets you across from each other: a meal, or a fire pit.
  • Choose a date night that connects your bodies as you face each other: feet in each other’s lap for foot rubs.

Date night ideas that connect you to the partner you married

Contribute. Achieve. Partners feel connected when they’re teammates striving for the same goal.

Consider date nights that seek to accomplish something. What shared dreams do you have? How do your skills complement each other? You will feel like teammates when you’re able to lead and/or follow each other through the course of your project to a satisfactory result you can both see.

What promotes achievement for you? Do you prefer to lead or follow?

  • Are you the one with ideas, but you need help to bring them across the finish line?
  • Or do you prefer to implement? Do you enjoy the satisfaction of a shared task and you find joy in contributing to your spouse’s dream?

If you enjoy leading…

  • Choose a date night activity that inspires you. Ask your partner to join you by giving a clear invitation. Create a vision of how this project will improve your lives and tell your partner why you value them as a teammate.
  • Embrace your role as leader while your date night unfolds: Appreciate your spouse by mentioning specific skills or an attitude. Be the happiness you want to feel and your spouse will follow your lead.

If you prefer to follow…

  • Listen for cues that describe the date night project your partner has in mind. Draw your partner out by expressing your curiosity or enthusiasm to be a part of the project.
  • Embrace your role as follower: Defer to your partner’s leadership by offering respect and curiosity. Be the happiness you want to feel and your partner will feel your support.

Date night ideas that connect you to the lover you married

Lubricate. Desire. Lovers feel connected with they’re bathed in juicy hormones.

Seek out date nights that foster laughter, adventure, and a little bit of risk. Laughter loosens the grip of stress hormones and breaks down barriers. Risk and adventure ignite your sensual body. You become attune to dangers: real or imagined. When you safely survive the date, a trust is built between you and your lover, setting you up to welcome the vulnerability of a sexual encounter.

What promotes laughter for you?

  • Do you like to watch? Are you more likely to join in laughter someone else creates?
  • Or do you enjoy the role of comic? Do you regularly riff about what’s ironic, goofy, or odd?

What adventures appeal to you?

  • Do you like physical feats that push your limits?
  • Or are you more likely to enjoy the adventure of a puzzle that wakes up your brain?

If laughter is more likely to loosen you up…

  • Choose a date night that feeds your sense of humor: attend a comedy club, watch the goofy seals at your local aquarium, or scour the news for the oddest human stories.
  • Notice how laughing loosen your muscles as well as your brain. Noticing these delicious effects will increase your willingness to loosen more, and laughter will come more frequently. When you share a laugh with your spouse, a flood of hormones help to bond you tighter.
  • A lot of my clients who want to start laughing watch this laughing yogi. It’s so unexpected, it’s so goofy, you won’t be able to help but laugh.

If adventure is more likely to loosen you up…

  • Choose a date night that ignites your physical body by raising your heart rate or a date night that sparks your imagination with a mystery you and your spouse can solve.
  • Embrace the sensual pleasure your body gets as you sweat. Embrace the thrill you have when your brain engages in deep thought.
  • Notice how adventure increases your confidence and confidence is directly connected to your sexual desire.

Try this:

Great date nights for friends

  • A stroll around your neighborhood after dinner
  • A shared beverage with a snack
  • Get out good pencils and draw each other’s eyes

Try this:

Great date nights for partners

  • Cook dinner together
  • Develop a savings/investment plan and make a to-do list
  • Volunteer together at a charity you both admire

Try this:

Great date nights for lovers

  • Get lost in a jungle (urban or green) and find your way out
  • Rent or borrow a new piece of equipment and experiment: pogo stick anyone?
  • Hide something and ask your lover to find it: a ring, a new pen, or a spider

Which date makes you feel closest to your spouse? Which date is hardest for you to pull off?

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