Additionally, a great date is built on expressing real curiosity about your partner’s life. Here’s how to do it:
1. “Be Interested, not interesting:” (3)
Everyone wants to feel valued and admired. Your ability to pay attention to the details of your partner’s life does this.
“Love is totally nonsensical. But we have to keep doing it or else we’re lost and love is dead, and humanity should just pack it in. Because love is the best thing we do.” – Ted Mosby, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
2. Ask questions:
Remember when you could talk for hours and never got tired of learning new things about each other? This doesn’t have to end. There are always new things to learn. Your partner’s inner world is always changing. You can do this by asking open-ended questions that lead to the heart, such as:
- What is the secret dream of yours?
- What and who are the most important things in your life right now?
- What is your biggest struggle?
- If you want more ideas, I highly recommend picking up Dr. Gottman’s card deck: Open-Ended Questions. (Hint: you can even bring them on a date! I do.)
3. Focus with all your attention:
Once your partner is talking, truly listen. That means no cell phones or other distractions. Don’t plan on the next thing you’re going to say. I like to imagine a conversation with my partner as getting a tour of her heart. I’m not sure where it’s going to go, and if I see something I’m curious about, I stop and ask my partner about it.
4. Show responsiveness:
It’s helpful to nod or mm-hmm to indicate to your partner that you’re truly listening.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin
Date Night Ideas
Struggling to come up with date ideas? Here are a few ways to brainstorm:
1) Date Night in a Jar:
Pull up Yelp and Google and search for date ideas in your town. Select ten, write them on a piece of paper and put them in a jar. Have your partner pull out one – there’s your date!
2) Create a bucket list.
My partner and I did this recently, and every weekend of our summer is packed with dates and fun things with friends.
“Make a Date, Not a Diagnosis”
Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. proposes a very simple approach to rekindling the flames of dating. If your partner feels emotionally unavailable, you may have a habit of diagnosing your partner and the relationship.
You might accuse your partner of having intimacy issues and blame them for being afraid of getting close to you.
This makes things worse.
Instead of complaining about how you don’t date – plan a date.
Such as, “there’s a new steakhouse in town, want to check it out on Friday?”
Before diagnosing your partner’s intimacy issues, try taking steps to create closeness with them to see how they respond.
“Dating is Forever“
The frequency of dates in a relationship is also important. If you only go out a few times a year, The Normal Bar shows that it’s simply not enough for long-lasting relationships. Dating has to happen often enough to become the norm of the relationship. Once a week, or even twice a month will do wonders, not only for the emotional connection but for the sexual connection as well.
Just because you sleep in the same bed every night doesn’t mean dating should end. Make dating a priority. Plan it. Prepare for it. Get excited about it. Think of new places to go, new things to experience, and make romancing your partner a new normal in your relationship. Court and seduce your lover with the same energy you had at the beginning of the relationship, and the fire of passion will continue to burn.