When was the last time you had date night? If it’s been so long you can’t remember, it’s been too long and it’s time to fix that. When you’ve been together for a long time and feel happy and settled into your relationship, you may feel like date nights don’t matter as much anymore, but spending intentional, quality time with your partner is still important.
Date night can be as fancy or low-key as you want, it’s just a time for couples to focus on each other. It doesn’t matter what you do or when you do it, as long as you do it, according to sexuality counselor Melanie Davis. Research shows date nights can increase relationship satisfaction, improve communication and make you appreciate your partner more. And these tips can help you make the most of your date nights.
- Be nostalgic - Sex therapist Sari Cooper suggests thinking back to favorite past dates and trying to bring the qualities you loved about them to new dates.
- Turn off your phones - Being on your phone during a date is rude, even when it’s a date with your husband of 13 years. So try to put as much effort into your date as you did at the beginning of the relationship and give your attention to them, not your phone.
- Get back out there - If your dates are typically spent at home, try going out with your long-term love again. Psychotherapist Hanna Basel says when she went out with her husband for the first time in a while, she was reminded how charismatic he is, something she doesn’t get to see as much at home.
- Or stay in - If your budget or childcare options make it easier to stay home for dates, you can still make it special. Put the kids to bed early, slip on that outfit that’s hanging in your closet with no place to go, light some candles and get your romance on.
- Get out of your comfort zone - Trying new experiences as a couple lets you learn about each other and adventurous dates can help you feel even closer.
- Try a day date - There’s no rule that it has to be a date “night.” If it’s easier for you to get someone to watch the kids in the morning, go out for coffee or an early lunch and make the most of your date, whenever it happens to be.