How long has it been since you last “dated” your partner or spouse? I’m not talking about going out to eat or to the cinema, but actually doing some type of activity together to get to know them? If you’re like most couples, you’ve probably succumbed to the requisitions of life like a thriving professional career, the squatters who keep calling you “Mum” or “Dad”, or the pursuit of higher education. Let’s face it, the demands of life are all vying for your precious time and it can be difficult to maintain the balance necessary not to forget your significant other in all of it. Here are three helpful tips to enrich your relationship and remind you of why you chose your sweetheart to accompany you in the beautiful chaos that can be life. YOU’RE WELCOME.
- If you haven’t already done so, establish a Date Night where it is just you and your honey ALONE with time to spend together. Even if you cannot necessary get out of your house because of the aforementioned squatters that somehow repel potential babysitters, you can still experience that quality time with each other by setting aside a few hours after the little ones are down for the night. Use that down time to reconnect with each other in a test of competitive wills through your entertainment medium of choice. Or perhaps snuggle up with each other over a cup of your favourite brew and engage in a bout of 20 questions. Your imagination is your only limitation! If you have the luxury of leaving the house, abandon the ho-hum of the normal and venture out into the spontaneous with your mate. There are plenty of date ideas you can conjure up between the two of you and the internet has some pretty nifty ideas that cost very little or are completely free if you are tight on the finances.
- Remember to ask questions. If you’ll recall, there were quite a lot of questions being asked in the initial dating phase of your relationship and you had a lot of fun answering them while engaged in some fun activity. You may be thinking to yourself, “But Jameson I already know everything there is to know about my helpmate in fact I know what they are going to say before they even say it!” and that may be true but remember we’re all growing and changing not just physiologically but also mentally as well. What may have been your modus operandi when you were dating may not necessarily be that way now. Progressing…whether it’s good or bad it is what we do as human beings. Rediscover that growth and progression with the love of your life while birdwatching or star gazing or even painting like my man Bob Ross because you can NEVER have enough happy trees!
- Keep it simple stupid. When I was young I really adapted the K.I.S.S. model growing up because I don’t like complicated. Whatever you decide to do for your date night, keep it light and simple. Don’t overthink it or try to go over the top with it unless you are independently wealthy and in that case YOU DO YOU BOO. YOU. DO. YOU. As for the rest of us, it’s the little things that really make for the most memorable. Leaving sticky notes around the house to express your love, gratitude, and hints of the activity for date night to your better half is a sure fire win and it also creates anticipation which is always awesome. Remember it is the thought that counts and the effort that scores you points!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Therapist
Jameson Holman, AMFT