A regular date night is a great way to keep a long term relationship fresh and exciting, but only if you do it right, otherwise it may be as dull as dishwater and not add anything to your lives together.
In the first flush of a relationship, a lot of time and effort goes into making dates special, meaningful and enjoyable. But that often falls by the wayside when you become a long established couple. To keep romance and the spark of love alive, give date night the attention it deserves. Here’s how.
Keep Making Dates
If you’re tired and busy, it’s easy to let date night fall by the wayside. Drop everything else, but don’t cancel date night. Treat it as important as a lifesaving trip to a medical specialist. It’s that important to your relationship to have regular quality time alone together.
Plan In Advance
Decide who is doing the planning, maybe alternating in order to give each of you a chance to contribute in some way. Or divide the planning, with one of you choosing the meal, and the other an activity to do together. Discussing together what you’ll do, will ensure that you’re dressed appropriately, and ready for the evening’s activities. It also ensures that meals or activities are booked in advance to avoid disappointment on the night.
Budget For It
Dates don’t have to be expensive, but you will need spare some cash for fun activities, and you may need a sitter. Think seriously about any regular purchases you make, that you would be better spending on your relationship. If cash is very tight, reduce costs by swapping child care with friends, or asking family to help, and choose dates that don’t cost too much. If you’re broke, even a stroll can be good – at least you’re spending time with the one you love, and it’s better than not having date night. In a worst case scenario, get the kids to bed early, and cook a special meal at home.
Keep Dates Fresh
Although time together under any circumstances is good, don’t do the same old thing every week if you can help it. Settling into a routine of dinner out and then a movie might make planning easier, but it can also become stale over time. It’s important for your relationship to have fun together, and trying different activities, going to different venues, and keeping things interesting helps you see how much pleasure you can have in each other’s company.
The ideas are limitless. Eat somewhere exotic, go for a long drive in the country, or sit outside and watch the stars. Maybe there’s a temporary art exhibition or state fair that would make for a great night. If you’re stuck for ideas take a look at this article 108 First Date Ideas (as these date ideas also work well for date night – get the excitement of your first date back!) or try this quiz to find your ideal summer date and download a free report on summer date night ideas.
Whatever you do, don’t allow routine to make your date nights dull, and just something you do out of habit.
Get Your Priorities Straight
Coming up with something to do during date night is often easier than getting into the mood in order to make the most of your time together.
Most people lead pretty busy lives. With both partners working and/or caring for the children, getting in the mood to have a romantic time takes some conscious effort, especially when you are feeing tired. Get clear in your own mind that you need to make date night a priority. Do whatever you need to do to free up the time, and not have other things preying on your mind. If you’re resenting the time that date night is taking away from your life or your work, then you’re not going to make the most of it.
Of course, allowances have to be made for emergencies, such as a sick child, but “emergencies” should not become habit with every sniffle becoming an excuse to cancel.
Have fun getting ready for your date just as you did when you were first going out. Take a bath or shower and make sure you smell and look fresh and clean. No matter how long you’ve been a couple, you show you value yourself, your partner, and your relationship when you put in the effort to look good for a date. Put on nice clothes, dress up just a little. You wouldn’t dream of going to a business meeting in grungy jeans and a t-shirt, so treat your partner with the same respect. Pretend you’re on a first date again and wear something just a little bit sexy! (See What To Wear On a Date)
Focus On Your Partner
Once you’re on a date, put everything else out of your mind and focus on your guy. Put aside all distractions and gadgets. If you have kids, you’ll need to stay in touch with the sitter, but other than that, phones should be put away. This is the time for you to be together, and the rest of the world can wait.
Don’t go to a restaurant or area where your friends hang out, and would expect you to join them. If you’re at home for your date, switch off computers, TV, and other distracting electronics and make sure the kids are tucked up in bed, or safely occupied in another room. This isn’t the time to think about the load of laundry, emails to be written, or anything that detracts from your time together.
Keep Things Light
Avoid talking about heavy stuff on your date. You can use other times to vent, communicate about your relationship, or discuss politics and the news. Talk about subjects that make you both happy and relaxed. Let your hair down, laugh, joke, and make light conversation. There might even be times when talking isn’t necessary, you’re just enjoying each others company.
Get Into Your Date Heart And Soul
The real secret to getting the most out of the date, is to get into the spirit of it. Make it something you look forward to, think about what’s coming during the course of the day, and get flirty with your guy before the date actually happens.
Even if the planned activity isn’t one of your favorites, think about how much you’ll enjoy spending quality time together. Be enthusiastic about your date, and your mood will affect the way things go. No date is ever completely perfect, but if you decide that you want to enjoy your time together, any inconveniences, or imperfections won’t matter.
The Perfect End
Once the date is at an end, and you’re home, don’t revert to your normal selves, looking at your phone messages and email, or switching on the TV. Continue to flirt all the way home, and make it clear how much you love your guy by flirting with him all the way into bed! What better way to end your date?
Over to you: Do you have any tips that make date night well worth the effort? What was the best date night you ever had? Please share in the comments below.