While shared rituals—such as splitting the penne at your favorite Italian joint every Friday—can be a fun tradition, research shows relationships need novelty too.
Keeping things fresh can increase relationship satisfaction and bring back those “butterflies” that we’ve all had on the first few dates, at the same time flooding the brain with feel-good dopamine Couples’ shared participation in novel and arousing activities and experienced relationship quality. Department of Psychology, State University of New York, Stony Brook, N. Journal of Personal and Social Psychology, 2000; 78(2): 273-84.
My husband and I work so hard at parenting our two young children that we often feel more like friendly coworkers than romantic partners.
The best way we know to keep our spark from flaming out is to never stop dating each other.
Dinners out are nice, though we tend to have the same old conversations – usually about the kids! Not just for old ladies, bingo night at a bar is silly and fun.18. Find a roller rink or dance club with an ’80s night and relive your youth.19. Take night classes together and practice what you’ve learned over dinner.
So recently, I talked him into signing up for dance classes at our local Arthur Murray studio.
All it took to break our dating rut was a little creativity and a willingness to try. Good or bad, you’ll have something to talk about later.8. Leave your car keys at home (thanks, Uber) and hit up as many of your favorite nightspots as you can before the babysitter clocks out.9. Find a local culinary school that serves meals and taste what the next generation of chefs has to offer.10. Team up to win prizes (or just pride) at your local bar.11. Browse the videos, explore the toys, and get inspired!
You could gaze at the stars from a field, or you could go to an observatory to do serious stargazing. Plus, it's the perfect opportunity to break out your new romper. Lululemon offers complimentary yoga classes, Home Depot gives DIY home improvement courses, and Williams-Sonoma teaches cooking. You can play one-on-one, against another couple, or stick to playing Horse. It's a nice way to start your day, and you'll have a partner to help with the puzzle. Talk music, family, and nostalgia while flipping through rows of classics. Admission is cheap, and the animals will give you lots to talk about. A pickup game is a fun way to get to know someone if you don't mind getting sweaty. Instead of dinner or lunch, get up early for eggs and bacon. Even if you don't collect records, stores are full of conversation starters. Check your calendar for dog competitions and shows, horse shows, and more. Your pooch will love the fresh air and exercise, and you will have a go-to topic to chat about. If you don't want to get on stage, just critique the other singers. Check calendars for convention centers, performing arts halls, parks, social clubs, and the like. Whatever you find, you'll have plenty to talk about. You'll have to be outgoing to pull this off, but karaoke is an inexpensive way to have fun and show off. You never know what's happening until you look. It could be the municipal marching band, an amateur piano recital, or a choral concert.