Dating in Long-Term Relationships

A Quick How-to When You Need to Reignite that Spark

· Couples Therapy,Dating,Relationships,Intimacy,Kim

Origianlly Published with theCityMoms

There are seasons in life when it feels impossible to ignite that spark with your partner. From working, to raising kids, or getting everyone to bed at a decent hour, by the time the end of the night rolls around there isn’t energy left to offer one another.

And honestly, you’re right!

Connection and dating your partner might feel a little overwhelming. We’re here to share how to date in long-term relationships, whatever that looks like for you!

Communicate Your “Yes”

The babysitter is scheduled, and you have a few days to decide what to do. Don’t get caught in the trap of, “What do you want to do?” Be assertive. Communicating your “yes” sets up clear expectations for what you hope for your time together. Want to get dressed up and go to a nice dinner? Talk about it! Does bowling and beer sound appealing? Say it! Giving your honey a heads-up can help them connect with you way before date night because you’re talking about what excites you.

Dates Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Dating your partner can look a lot of different ways. We like to think of dates in two major categories: Short-term and long-term. A short-term date is spontaneous and doesn’t take a whole lot of planning. For this type of date, you might make a snack (in our house it’s homemade popcorn with extra butter) after the kids go to bed and snuggle up to watch a new show. Or play a favorite board game with a new cocktail you make together. The key is simplicity, cuddle time, and space to speak in complete sentences with one another!

Are you a couple who loves to DIY? Or do you save for big getaways? These are considered long-term dates. Long-term dates need extra planning and communication over time. You might want to join an athletic team together, create a new garden bed, paint the house, or try out a 6-week art class. You and your partner will need to set some time aside to talk about what you want and how to get there.

Don’t be Afraid of Failure

Not every date is going to be a win, and that’s okay! When things go wrong, or you leave feeling disappointed, turn toward one another with humor in the spirit of, “Better luck next time!” Even if you only have a few minutes before you have to get home to the sitter, share a few words of appreciation with one another for trying and experimenting with something new. Sometimes we have Instagramable dates and sometimes ones that belong in a blooper reel! Gratitude and humor lay the groundwork for an increase in connection whatever the situation.

Review Your Date with Curiosity

The great thing about being in a long-term relationship is you have time to review your dates after the fact. Share what you liked, or didn’t, especially when you try something new. It can look something like this, “I really loved cuddling with you in the booth, but next time let’s find a restaurant with a more relaxed vibe.” This is also a space to get curious, “If you didn’t like the vibe of the restaurant, where might you like to try next time?” This starts a dialogue and has the potential to get you excited in anticipation of your next date.

To reach out and turn toward your partner probably feels like a big, bold step (because it is!) but trust us, the payoff of playful communication, increased trust and intimacy, and good feels are 100% worth it.

Let us know in the comments what you are excited to try with your partner to reignite that spark!