“Date night” is an increasingly popular idea with established couples, but it isn’t always enough on it’s own. Here are six ways to bring the magic back into tired relationships.
1 – Date night – committing to a weekly date night is a great idea. Don’t forget though that a lot of the enjoyment of your first dates would have been the unknown element. You can recapture some of that by using date night to try new things together – for instance you won’t go to dance lessons to become professionals, but to be with each other in a new situation.
2 – Rowing – Rows and arguments are a common way in which relationships get undermined. Make it a rule not to row less than an hour before bed or after a couple of drinks. Instead agree to defer whatever you’re going to talk about until the morning or some other point the next day.
3 – Discussions – learn to discuss things rather than to row. Don’t interrupt each other, but don’t hog the discussion either – behave as you’d like the other person to behave, and not as you think they would. Wait for the other person to finish, and before you reply just repeat back in your own words your understanding if what they’ve said. This can iron out a lot of the miscommunication that fuels arguments.
4 – Money – it doesn’t matter whether you have fundamentally different ideas about money. What matters is that you discuss it, and that you agree about the way forward. Money is the leading cause of stress in relationships, and when money is tight it’s more important to keep communication open.
5 – Apologise and forgive – when you’ve done something wrong, or your partner tells you that they’re upset, then tell them that you’re sorry. Don’t just assume that they’ll know, or they’ll realise when you don’t repeat that behaviour. And when your partner apologises then accept it – forgive them and move on.
6 – Sex – as Sila and Nicky Lee say, see sex not as the icing on the cake but as a vital ingredient of the cake itself. But don’t assume that a great sexual relationship will make up for or fix everything else – it won’t.
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