Here's What Your Regular Date Night Ideas Reveal About Your Relationship
When you're in a relationship, it's easy to slip into a routine for date nights. You can have a go-to activity that both of you enjoy and doesn't require you to put in too much effort after a long day of school or work. But what does that mean about your relationship if you do have one specific date you both always fall back on? These regular date night ideas reveal aspects of your relationship you may not think of.
It's true that returning to an activity that has led to fun, romantic, and memorable nights in the past would be a reasonable things to do. If you've enjoyed it before, you think you'll have a good night with your partner again. And once you're already in the relationship, you sometimes forget to plan special things for that person because, hey, you've wooed them already. They've chosen to be with you, so a frequent lazy date to spend time together is fine, right?
Well, I spoke with Samantha Burns, relationship coach and author of Breaking Up & Bouncing Back, to see what repetitive go-to dates reveal about a relationship, and what they can mean for the relationship's future.
If You Always Watch Netflix
"Netflix is the couch potato couple’s go-to date night," Burns says. "It’s probably something you do together every night of the week, so it’s not particularly special or exciting. This type of date night should be used as a last resort if you’re on a tight budget [or] sick ... It’s low-key and doesn’t require much effort in terms of planning or dressing up. It also requires minimal interaction, so if you’re looking to reconnect, it’s probably not your best option."
If You Always Go Out To Eat
Burns says that trying out different restaurants for your typical date night at least switches things up a little more, as opposed to movie nights at home.
"Going to a new location, sitting in a fresh ambiance, and drooling over a delicious menu incorporates novelty, which helps activate the reward center in your brain, releasing dopamine, which is responsible for that lovin’ feeling," she says. "Restaurant dates also typically involve advanced planning to make a reservation, they inspire you to put effort into your appearance, and they also encourage a lot of talking and bonding over your meal."
If You Always Go Out For Drinks
Burns notices that going to a bar as a go-to date night could be an issue.
"It’s one thing if a glass of wine or beer helps you relax and unwind, but if you feel that you need to get wasted and use it as a crutch to connect with your partner, you may be lacking intimacy or covering for a greater sense of disconnection in your relationship," she says.
If you usually have group hangs for date nights with your partner, Burns says it's a red flag.
"You’re not carving out enough time for your relationship," she says. "It can be hard to balance both of your social circles on top of busy work schedules, but prioritizing time with your partner alone is essential in nurturing your connection, especially if your love language is quality time."
If you feel stuck in a rut, Burns suggests you and your partner create a "date night box," where you both input your own date ideas and switch off choosing the dates.
"Make it a positive experience, and realize that making your partner happy will make you happy in return," she says. "The whole point of a date night is to break out of your daily routine and any ruts, and to make time to connect. If you feel like you’re just going through the motions, or even blowing off date nights, then you’re likely not reaping as many benefits from them as you should be."
Burns says that "novelty" and "surprise" will allow you to feel most fulfilled in your date nights with your partner, as that will release dopamine, making you feel excited.
"Though some nights you may be too tired to do little more than takeout and a movie, try as much as possible to incorporate new experiences, such as going to a concert, comedy show, exploring a new city together, a dance lesson, cooking class, or exhibit," she says. "Toss in physical affection throughout the date for at least 20 seconds at a time, and you’ll activate the release of oxytocin, the bonding hormone that keeps you feeling attached."
And hey, after the new and exciting date you can always go home with your partner to have a cozy part two of the date.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!