Relationships are work. If you want a good one, it takes maintenance.
To have a strong, sound relationship, you need to make sure you’re taking time to spend time with one another on a regular basis. Spending time together as a couple doesn’t mean just being in the same space at the same time, but actually connecting and enjoying one another. One way to do this is to carve out time to go on regular dates. As couples therapists, we typically suggest a weekly date to our counseling clients.
Obviously, the concept of dates being good for relationships isn’t anything groundbreaking. But how many of you actually plan and go on dates regularly? And I don’t mean just going out randomly to lunch because you don’t have anything at the house. I mean actually planning an outing and calling it a date. Many of us start out our relationships with regular dates, but somehow, with all of the busyness in our day-to-day lives, it just gets forgotten. It gets pushed to the back burner.
Your relationship is important. Building your marriage or couplehood is worth setting aside time. It’s worth nurturing and making a priority.
How to make the most of your dates
The next time you think about planning a date for you and your partner, think about what type of connection your relationship really needs at the moment. Do you need to take some time to get away to talk about life stressors or future plans? Do you need to cut loose and just have fun together? Do you need to challenge yourselves and do an activity to get out of your comfort zones?
Then, consider how the environment and atmosphere affects that need. In what ways can you connect with one another in the space you’re going to for your date? If you need time to talk, will you be able to hear one another in the space or will it be too loud? If you need to focus on one another because you haven’t had much time together lately, will the TVs on the wall be a distraction? If you need to loosen up, will you be able to chill out and just have a good time?
Need some Austin date ideas?
Good if you need: Physical affection, to have fun, and to work together
Atmosphere: It’s a good ole fashioned honky tonk… loud, music filled, and might get a little rowdy
Favorites: Free dance lessons + the fact that you can have a good time while also practicing or learning something new together
Good if you need: Time to talk, a relaxed environment, and to breathe some fresh air
Atmosphere: Open-air, back porch vibes
Favorites: Their seasonal brews, great food truck, and live music
Good if you need: To slow down, a space to talk to one another, and some romance
Atmosphere: Eclectic, vintage, and romantic
Favorites: The laid back atmosphere, no rush service, and good food (especially the fries!)
Good if you need: To get outside, to take it easy on your budget, and to get some exercise
Atmosphere: Relaxed, judgement-free zone (no one cares about your golf skills!)
Favorites: Bringing along your own cooler, laughing at bad shots, and the fact that you only need two clubs since it’s a Par 3 course