Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rejuvenating Your Date Life

Since I often gets posts requesting me to tell my secrets of what makes my marriage to Derek so wonderful (okay, I don't, but the idea isn't that farfetched--we have a great marriage). I thought I would share some scientific data that the NY Times just recently wrote about here. Don't be a slacker, read it. It's like two pages long. Since some of you inevitably aren't going to read it and since I'm going to tell you what I think anyway, here it goes.

What it said was that your husband should give you back massages every night before you drift off to dreamland as well as make sure your fridge is stocked with your favorite ice cream. Okay, maybe it doesn't say that, but I can tell you those would work to improve marriage too. What it really does say is:

"Most studies of love and marriage show that the decline of romantic love over time is inevitable. The butterflies of early romance quickly flutter away and are replaced by familiar, predictable feelings of long-term attachment.
But several experiments show that novelty — simply doing new things together as a couple — may help bring the butterflies back, recreating the chemical surges of early courtship. [The same chemicals involved in drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder.]"

They also tested people by having them do the same activities they usually do and it didn't stimulate their brains the same way as trying new things. So, are you feeling like you've hit a dating slump? Get creative--what is an activity you've never tried? Where's somewhere you've never been? One of the doctors even said, "better yet, don't make plans, and see what happens to you." (That was said in a positive tone for those of us who are obsessive planners such as myself. In my mind I hear that as a warning, but here it's positive.)

I thought it was especially applicable this last week since it was Valentine's Day. I met Derek downtown and we went to a restaurant (Switch) and then went to hear Sheri Dew speak at the ASU Institute building. I wouldn't usually consider listening to a speaker the most romantic way to spend the holiday, but it was planned for that night, so there were no other options. I DO consider a night of anything with my husband a fun time though.

Anyway, I've never met Derek for dinner by his office, I've never eaten at that restaurant and I've never gone to hear Sheri Dew speak before. A night of firsts and it felt like such a wonderful time!

It's really given me motivation to not fall into the same ruts. We got on this kick a couple of years ago where we'd eat Panda Express almost every weekend and I remember thinking those nights were pretty average. Great that the weekend was here, but could've been better. Realizing that it's not possible to always do new things and there is definitely something to be said for familiarity from time to time, I still want to make our date life even better!


Kelli said...

It's hard to think of new and creative ways to keep the flame lit, butterflies in your stomach..etc.

We really like going bowling. Remember before we were all married and we would have bowling night? That was so fun!! One of the other things we do is go to DI. I know it doesn't sound very romantic but, we both pick out books and then sit with each other while we read. It gives us new and interesting things to talk about.

So, how was Switch? Would you go there again?

Heather said...

Great post! I totally agree. The only problem can be finding a babysitter for us. But..we are starting a babysitting group with a couple families in our ward. Hopefully it will work out. I think a weekly date night does wonders for a marriage, especially if you spice it up every time!

citymama1 said...

Great post! It is finally the proof I need to make Phil take scuba lessons with me. :)

Amber said...

Okay, I was totally looking at your blog tonight...and the baby cried before I could comment, but I laughed so hard about what you said on my blog about sarah's "natural lying gift!" Too funny!! I spice up my marriage by having some "latin lovers" come over....jk. :) till later

Lacey said...

I love date nights..and it's even better when you have great friends to swap babysitting with!

Chris and I were discussing this over our Valentine's Dinner...it would have been just as easy to bring E. with us..she isn't a bother and we really enjoy her company. But at the same time, I did feel a sense of rejuvenation to just be with Chris and I know how important it is for E. to see us do things without her.

Even just dinner and a trip to Kohl's "to walk it all off" was fun for us!

rachel said...

Wasn't Sheri Dew awesome?? I really thought she did outstanding. I am always looking for new dating ideas because I don't like to do the same old thing. Chaos runs my life and I love it. So If anyone has any fantastic ideas please http://morrismafia-rachel.blogspot.com/ I need them.
My favorite one is to go to the dollar store with one dollar each and get a gift for your date. It's so interesting to think about what the other person wants.

Mariley Johnson said...

Thank you for the romantic boost. I needed it. Jens stayed the night at grandma's house on Valentines day and the only thing Mark and I could come up with was going to Ikea and going to bed early. Definately time to get those butterflies back.

JenW said...


Zim Family said...

We love date nights and after we have them, we realize that we don't have enough. Probably because we can't afford the $10/hr the teenagers demand around here. But, you inspired me and I will make it happen! Thanks babe!

SHERI said...

That is some good advice. It is true about the butterflies leaving and a sense of familiarity taking its place- but I love it like that. I love the comfort and how safe I feel with Chris. I don't think I would want it any other way. It is nice to be adventurous though.

Jack and Annie said...

hmmmmm I love dates...perhaps Derek can give my hubby some pointers! LOL