By Krystal Mazzola
The Gottman Institute are one of the leading providers of research on what makes couples successful and happy long-term (and what leads to serious problems). They have found that they happiest, most engaged, successful long-term couples devote just 6 hours a week to their partnership. This is broken down into a formula that includes small amounts of time over the week for partings and reunions and sharing appreciations. A weekly date of 2 hours also adds to this magical 6 hours for long-term relationship satisfaction.
Of course, with busy lives and many demands, it can feel taxing or overwhelming to come up with fun date ideas. After all, having a routine for our date nights such as always going to the same few restaurants, can feel boring and by extent, not help us feel connected and revitalized in our partnership. Therefore, I will be dedicating a series – Six for Satisfaction – to fun date ideas. Some of these dates will fall into the recommended 2-hour mark while others will require more time. After all, if we have time for a longer date, why not dedicate this time to our partner and relationship health?
Six for Satisfaction Date Idea #1
Place: Antique Store (preferably in a town outside of yours as I find the antique shops with the most interesting and unique finds are in small towns)
Time: 1 hour to Day Trip (if going out of town)
Preparation: Two reusable bags from home or two gift bags
Idea: Go to an antique store (if you and your partner already do this, please go to one that is new to you) and set a price limit on the gift you will purchase for your partner today (recommended: $10-$20; as it requires more creativity when on a budget at time)
At this store, separate from your partner with a mission; find a small gift in your agreed upon budget that represents something special to you about your partner. This will be a creative process and let it be fun! It’s just about finding something that “feels” like your partner or reminds you of them in a special way. For example, if your partner is a cat lover and, kind of quirky, you may choose to give them cat shaped salt-and-pepper shakers. Or this gift could represent a special, romantic memory you share such as an album that the two of you listened to early in your relationship.
Make sure to purchase separately and then place this gift in your bag.
Find another place, like a nearby coffee shop, and exchange your gifts. Take this time to share why you chose this gift for them and reflect on what you admire and appreciate about your partner. Have fun!
If you happen to try out this idea, I would love to hear your comments about how it was!