If you’re struggling to keep the spark alive, then dating your partner could be the answer. Relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein tells us why.
Are romantic dinners, surprise gifts and spicy weekends away a distant memory for you and your partner? If a date night consists of eating takeaway in front of the telly in your ugg boots, then it may be time to rethink how you spend your precious time alone together - or risk falling into a rut.
You may thinking dating is for new couples – but according to Dr Nikki Goldstein, date nights are the key to keeping the spark in your relationship alive.
“Dating is something fun to and why should it have to stop when you’re in a relationship?” says Dr Nikki.
“It's important for a couple to never stop dating even though they might have been together for a very long time.”
“People can run the risk of getting stuck into a rut with the effort that used to be put into activities together diminishing. Dating is a great way to reconnect and discuss what is going on with each other's lives outside of the home. Often people are more relaxed to talk and share when they are in a different location or doing an activity together.
It’s not just the simple act of spending time together - communication is key to healthy relationships, and Dr Nikki says that part of a healthy partnership is to keep learning about your partner – no matter how long you’ve been together.
“We never stop growing and changing so it's important to keep re-introducing yourself to your partner. Putting the same effort as you did the first date you went on can not only help to spice things up but also to make each other feel special.”
But if candle lit dinners isn’t your thing, then take heart – dating doesn’t have to be about the money you spend or the amount of time it takes.
“Dating can be whatever a couple deem as a date,” says Dr Nikki. “This is where people need to think outside the box and be creative. Couples don't need to stick to stereotypical date ideas, many of which might not interest them or that they even have time for.
For many couples, that’s easier said than done. If setting aside a night for a date seems impossible with busy schedules, deadlines and kids, Dr Nikki recommends ‘micro dates’.
“This is where being creative really counts. There is no time limit to dates so if you are stuck for time, why not try an activity that might be shorter in time but just as effective?
“Even going for a walk or a workout together is a great way to bond and keep healthy at the same time. Look for activities where there is a multi purpose for doing them like exercising, cooking, grabbing lunch together.”
“This might even be something so simple as cooking a meal together if you both enjoy being creative in the kitchen.”
It’s also important to set some guidelines – including keeping to the date you’ve set and not moving it around due to other commitments.
“Do something you both will enjoy and turn off from distractions such as mobiles, emails and the TV. The date is about you and your partner so just make it about you and your partner, not the rest of the working world.”
10 date night suggestions to keep the spark alive:
1. Go on a bush walk. There is no lack of beautiful tracks and adventurous terrain in Australia, so research some spots near you and take a picnic.
2. Go to a comedy show. Get the endorphins going with a good laugh!
3. Think about activities that build bonds such as rock climbing, trampolining, sailing, kayaking, or if you really want to get extreme, skydiving or bungee jumping!
4. Enroll in a class. Think cooking classes, a language class or something else that interest you.
5. If you’re on a budget, why not try a fun night at a games arcade or bowling?
6. Get physical and hire bikes at your local park, or visit your local roller skating or ice skating rink
7. Do something for others. This could mean volunteering in a soup kitchen, or an animal shelter. The experience may even spark a new appreciation for each other
8. Games night! Get out those old board games and crack a bottle of wine
9. Tap into your animal instinct and go to the zoo. It’s the perfect day time date with endless conversation triggers.
10. Feel the rhythm. Before you do the horizontal dance, try it upright. Even if you have the co-ordination of a baby giraffe, burning up the dance floor at a salsa club, rock n roll or swing dancing can be a fun way to inject some romance into your relationship.
What do you do to keep the romance alive in your relationship?