I get it; life is busy and it’s tough to find time for date nights with your partner, but what I know to be true after more than a decade of working with couples is that if you don’t work to build connection with your spouse, it will fade.
It doesn’t always have to be a big deal and it doesn’t have to happen every week, but it’s important to make time for your partner – to find ways to build connection and keep things fresh and exciting.
Whether you’ve been together for one year or 50 it’s always valuable to do something unique with your spouse so you have time together to bond and talk without a screen distracting you.
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and forget how fun simple dates can be. So why not turn it up a notch and do something new once in awhile?
Here are a dozen ideas to keep things fresh and build connection in your relationship.
- Have a picnic – Remember how fun it can be to throw some snacks, a blanket and maybe some wine into a bag and search for a nice spot to just sit, hang out and talk? Whether you find a beach, a park or maybe even a hiking spot is up to you, but some place where you can have some alone time is recommended. Bonus points if you bring along a game such as crib or scrabble.
- Photography expedition – A personal favourite of ours – it’s just the best feeling to jump in the car and drive to a small town or two nearby and snap some photos. You can each take your own unique shots and compare after. Find a small town to explore and take photos of the people and things you find. Nova Scotia is full of picturesque spots. Terence Bay, Three Fathom Harbour, Wolfville, Advocate Harbour and Baddeck – just to name a few! This activity is a great way to connect and all you need is a tank of gas and your cameras.
- Take a class together – This is a great opportunity to pick an activity you both enjoy or want to learn together and get out once a week. Whether it’s a cooking class, a self-defence class, or an art class, there’s something for every couple and so much fun to be had. This is something that will take your mind off your responsibilities, and, if you are feeling disconnected in a relationship, learning something new together gives you a level playing field to spark that connection once again.
- Visit a city landmark/tourist attraction – It could be Citadel Hill, The Nova Scotia Art Gallery, Peggy’s Cove or a tour on the Harbour Hopper, but visiting some of your city’s cool landmarks and tourist attractions are a fun way to not only get to know your partner more but your hometown more too. Learning, laughing and exploring together are a great way to stay connected in a relationship.
- Boardgames – If you struggle to stay away from talking only about your children or work during date nights, playing games is a great way to help you focus on the moment and connect with your spouse. Here is a link to why boardgames are a great date activity!
- Date Nights At Home – You don’t have to go out on the town to have a special time with your partner. Sometimes its most relaxing to set aside time to curl up on the couch together with snacks and a movie or even order in a late night dinner. Simple, yet effective. (It would be best, however, to leave those smart phones somewhere else in the house for those couple of hours! Your goal is to connect with each other during this time – not to keep connected with the rest of the world.)
- Watch a live sporting event – It’s one thing to watch sports on the television, but it’s a lot more fun to catch a baseball, basketball, football or hockey event live. You can get into the team spirit by dressing in your team’s colour and bond over your love for the game.
- Volunteer together – This is a great way to bond and also give back to the community. You could volunteer at the local animal rescue, the homeless shelter serving food or a nursing home. You will find yourself learning more about each other. It also feels good to give back.
- Try something new together – Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but just haven’t? It could be camping in the woods, whitewater rafting, horseback riding or kayaking – experiencing a new activity together is one of the best things you can do. It’s fun and you can bond over the experience.
- Rent bikes/explore your city – Some cities offer bike rentals and you can cycle around and explore together. If there are no bikes, just walk around and visit new stores you haven’t yet visited. It gives you a chance to talk, laugh and see new things.
- Stargaze – If you can drive a little bit out of the city with a blanket and some warm clothes, you can catch the sky and the stars together after the sun goes down. Nothing is more romantic than laying in each other’s arms and looking up into the star-filled sky. (Fun Fact: Do you know part of Southwest Nova Scotia has been designated as the first Starlight Tourism Destination in North America by the UNESCO-affiliated International Starlight Federation?)
- Go for a walk – Although all these ideas may sound great, maybe some weeks you just don’t have a couple hours to set aside for a date night. That’s okay. If you have a half hour, leave the home behind and go for a walk (or if you are ambitious… a run!) together. I find it’s a nice way to connect with my hubby, let go of the stress of the day and tune in to each other. All while enjoying mental, physical, and emotional health benefits!
If after checking out this blog post you realize you’d like to talk to someone about how to improve your relationship and build connection in your marriage/partnership, let’s connect. You can book a session online or call Stephanie at (902) 702-7722 to book an appointment. You can also read more about the therapy for couples or for women who want to work on their relationships through individual counselling.
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