I have been working with couples for a number of years now, and most of them express dissatisfaction with their level of connection and bonding. I often hear statements like "It's like we are roommates" or "The passion and romance is gone". The truth is, the relationship will change overtime, and yes the passion will decrease. However, it doesn't mean you can't do anything about it and should leave it as it is. Relationships take work, a lot of it! Most of the couples that walk through my door have been resisting or avoiding putting their relationship first out of fear, anger, or resentment. Be different, prioritize your relationship!
People are so busy these days and feel overwhelmed with demanding jobs, family commitments, housework chores, and/or children activities. It is true that is can be hard making time and finding the energy for a date with your spouse. However, if you want to have a fulfilling and thriving relationship, you need to make the effort.
Sometimes, couples look for "the perfect date", or only focus on exciting, and extravagant activities. They think only those will bring fun, and joy to one another. This is not always necessary. Below are some ideas for you for a "real date", or for "micro dates". No need to brainstorm, or look further, you can go down these lists and chose one everyone once and a while.
What is a date?
It's a time when spouses are away from their work or home responsibilities. They take time for themselves. Dates can happen during the day, or night, weekdays, or weekend.
What are some good date ideas for couples?
Here is a list of date ideas with the intention of bringing you closer to your spouse.
Attend improvisation night (check out LadyBits Improv Comedy Collectice in Saskatoon, they are awesome!)
Exercise or Yoga class
Martial Art Class
Visit an art gallery
Take a cooking class
Check out garage sales
Visit the library
Go for a picnic
Go to the zoo
Try paint night or buy the material and paint a canvas in the comfort of your home
Give each other massages
Go to the Farmers Market
Visit Berry's barn
Counselling (Yep, counselling doesn't have to be for crisis time only, but can also be for partners to spend time together)
Staycation at a hotel, or Air BNB
For those who have a Facebook account, you can look at the multitude of upcoming events that are scheduled for the Saskatoon area. Also, you can have a look at the Meetup groups and see if there is an activity or event that would be of interest for the couple.
What if you don't have the financial means for some of the dates listed above? It is true that going on regular dates could be expensive and not possible for many. It's important to respect the limitations while putting in the effort to connect with each other in a way that nourishes your relationship. In your everyday life, you can turn ordinary tasks and routine into bonding moments with one another. Below are some examples that would help maintain the spark, and joy you have with each other.
Examples of Micro-dates for Couples:
Meet during lunch hour, in person or virtually
Talk about your day, feelings and experience over a boring household task that normally gets done by yourself (folding laundry, putting away toys, tidy up the house or garage)
Exercise or stretch together, acting as each other's motivating trainer
Sing a song or dance to the rhythm of a song when you are driving
Get comfortable with tea or treats, and go over the Gottman Card Deck (A relationship App)
Give each other 1 one minute hand, foot, or back rub before separating in the morning, or upon reunion at the end of the day.
The lists can go on. Whatever way you invest in together time, it reinforces your common values and builds intimacy. Be creative, be playful, bring some humour, and have fun!