If you want to feel more connected to your partner, it’s time to put gratitude on the calendar. You're probably thinking, “Hello, gratitude isn't an activity you just 'put' on your G-cal." Technically, that's correct, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Gratitude can also be an attitude, and consciously practicing it can help you create a cycle of positivity in how you look at life. Planning dates that’ll make you feel grateful for your relationship is a great way to dial up the appreciation you and your partner have for each other. As Ora Nadrich, a thought coach and mindfulness meditation teacher previously told Elite Daily, practicing gratitude can improve your relationship and help you avoid getting into a rut, which is why regularly going on dates that emphasize this gratitude can be so important. "Practicing gratitude is helpful in a relationship because it keeps you in appreciation of one another, and not likely to fall into the trap of taking each other for granted, which is common after time in a relationship," she said. "It also maintains respect and mutual admiration, which are important to keep fresh and constant."
One great way to put that advice into practice is by planning special activities that remind you of why you and your partner chose each other, and continue to every day. If that sounds like something you could use a little (or a lot) more of in your life, then fire up your shared G-Cal, because here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Visit An Amusement Park
Get your blood pumping with a trip to an amusement park. Spend the day walking around hand-in-hand, hit the rides for an adrenaline rush, and end the night by sharing a special treat like a funnel cake or sundae while discussing your favorite parts of the day. It’s hard not to appreciate a partner you have so much fun with.
2. Take A (Deserted-Island Style) Staycation
If you and your partner are on a budget, worry not! Instead of springing for an expensive date, take a staycation at home, deserted-island style. Pledge to turn off your phones and spend the weekend just focusing on being present with each other. Take this opportunity to snuggle up and watch movies, make dinners together, and reconnect in the bedroom, interruption-free.
3. Go Ice Skating
Thanks to cold weather in most parts of the country, now is the perfect time to hit the ice skating rink with your partner. One-on-one time is a simple pleasure that can easily get lost in the rush of everyday life. Carve out some time for a little old-school romance by skating around the rink together holding hands, followed by a cup of hot chocolate.
4. Get A Couples Massage
There’s nothing quite like a relaxing couples massage to fill you with gratitude — partly for the massage, but also for each other. It makes you pause, be still, and just bask in the moment together.
5. Go For A Scenic Drive
Road trips make for great dates because they give you the opportunity to really chat and reconnect, but sometimes the “trip” part just isn't financially feasible. That's OK! Fortunately, you can get most of the benefits of a road trip with a scenic drive. Point your car toward a location where you can watch the sunset, or anywhere with a great view. Then, put on your fave tunes and enjoy each other's company.
6. Take A Dance Class
Taking a dance class is not only fun, but it also reinforces the idea that the two of you are team. Plus, it gets your endorphins pumping, and when you feel good, it's even easier to feel grateful for your partner.
7. Volunteer Together
Sometimes the key to feeling gratitude is to participate in an activity that inspires those emotions, like volunteering for a good cause together. Doing good works just makes you feel, well, good, and it's a great reminder of what really matters in life: each other.
8. Go Stargazing
If you really want to widen your understanding of your place in the world, then take a gander up into the void of space. Reflecting on how small our planet really is might be a bit scary if it weren't for the person laying beside you, but having them by your side will make you feel even more grateful that you found each other in the world. It's a reminder that you're both in this together, no matter what.
9. Take A Bubble Bath For Two
For an impromptu date that will help you both connect and feel grateful for each other, run a bubble bath and hop in. You can chat about your days or just enjoy the feeling of closeness. Also, bubble mohawks and beards are always funny. It's a fact.
10. Relive Your Very First Date
There’s nothing like a little nostalgia to remind you why you're so grateful to have your partner in your life. With that in mind, recreating your first date can be a great way to throw it back to the beginning. Have fun remembering how you felt on that first date, but also spend some time considering how far you've come.
When it comes to gratitude and appreciation for each other, there's no such thing as "too much." So next time it's your turn to plan date night, consider picking an activity that reminds you both exactly why you fell in love at the beginning.
Ora Nadrich, thought coach and mindfulness meditation teacher