In many ways moving past the honeymoon phase in your relationship has more positives than negatives. You feel completely comfortable with the other person, you experience greater emotional intimacy, you’ve built trust, allowed your guard to come down, and figured out some important communication strategies.
Once past the honeymoon phase though, the thrill of getting to know each other over a dinner date becomes almost as exciting as watching paint dry. Ok, so maybe it’s not that bad. But just because the newness of your relationship has worn off doesn’t mean that the initial spark is dead. It just means it’s time to get your adventure on.
Did you know that when couples participate in novel and exciting dates, the quality of their relationship improves? Psychologists in a 2000 study found that when couples shared more stimulating experiences together they reported higher relationship satisfaction.
Basically, the more exciting the experience, the more connected you feel as a couple. That’s because the antidote to boredom is entertainment and your definition of entertainment changes over the course of a relationship. That means your dinner and a movie date, which was once fun because you were getting to know each other, is now boring and unfulfilling. And we all know boredom can be a real relationship killer.
So here are six exhilarating date ideas to give your relationship a quick boost:
The Progressive Dinner Date
This is a new twist on the traditional dinner date. Here’s what you do: Have a four-course meal at four different restaurants. Start with drinks, then appetizers, then the main course, and top it all off with dessert. The catch? You only eat (or drink) one course per restaurant.
This is a great date for the foodie couple who loves trying new restaurants. Why not try four in one night? You’ll have a blast going around town and tasting a new menu item from each spot.
The Sky High Date
This point of this date is to get your heart beating and adrenaline pumping a little bit faster. You know that feeling you get from reaching the top of the roller coaster and looking over the edge before it takes off? (Heart. In. Chest.) That’s the feeling we’re going for.
Find a lookout point, a Ferris wheel, a theme park, or maybe a race track. If you’re really feeling up for it, you can even go skydiving, bungee jumping, or snowmobiling. This date is all about going out on the edge for your relationship. You and your special someone will be talking about your adventure for many years to come.
The DIY Wine and Cheese Tasting Date
Not up for the thrill-seeking experience just yet? Then this date is a great alternative. Go to your local wine shop and buy three to five different wines that you’ve never tried before. Then swing by your neighborhood grocery store and buy the fanciest cheese in sight.
Back at home, set up different stations of wine flights along with their cheese pairings. Then grab your sweetie and start tasting. Pretend you’re a wine connoisseur and swirl and smell the wine before sipping. Come up with the perfect description for what you just tasted. Does it have notes of chocolate and cherry? Or perhaps it’s more on the oaky side. Whatever it is, you’ll have something fun to chat about and a romantic indoor picnic.
The Choose Your Own Adventure Date
Get your fishbowl ready because you and your partner are about to leave things up to chance. Ask your date to write three things he or she has been wanting to do in your city. You do the same. Throw them all in a bowl and then pick one. Whatever is written on the card will be your date for the day. Some ideas can include going on a bike ride, picnicking in the park, taking a cooking class, or going to a museum.
The Lewis and Clark Date
Channel your inner explorer with this date about finding a new place that the two of you have never been. Use Google to find a state park in your area, a nearby waterfall, or a hiking trail and pack a bag for day’s adventure out in nature. While there, you may stumble upon a beautiful creek, a whitewater rapid, or a new furry friend. You may even decide to dip your toes in the water or spend an extra hour overlooking nature’s beauty while enjoying lunch.
The Brush Up Date
Have you let an old skill or hobby go dormant? Reactive it by bringing your partner into the fold. Or, even better, pursue a new interest together. Some ideas include guitar lessons, cooking classes, tennis lessons, and ballroom dancing. Carve out an hour a week to brush up on an old skill or learn a new one. You’ll both look forward to sharing that time together and have fun talking about everything you’ve learned.
It’s completely normal to move out of the honeymoon phase and feel an energy shift in your relationship. After a while, relationships become an aspect of your everyday life and dating can become just another part of your routine. But don’t forget that part of keeping a relationship moving forward is doing small things and making an extra effort to show that you care about each other. One way of doing this is by putting some extra thought and effort into how you spend your time together. So make some time for new, novel, and exhilarating experiences and you’ll find a revived sense of excitement and passion for your partner. You’ll have more shared memories to discuss and you’ll feel more satisfied in your relationship.