How to Keep Planning Incendiary Dating in Long-Term Relationships

Dating regularly is one of the easiest ways to maintain a strong relationship, but keeping those dates interesting can be tricky. Here’s how you can set yourself up to schedule fun and memorable dates with ease.

Attending a weekly date with your partner helps the two of you get closer and closer together. You probably know at least one couple who swear at planned dates to keep the relationship going. Once you have the right tools, you and your partner can use them to keep your relationship on fire.

Be organized and stick to regular dates.

Before starting a regular date, discuss a few things with your partner to make sure you are on the same page. Set expectations for who is in charge of planning them. Taking turns is a great way to experience the surprise that they don’t know what a date will entail. If you don’t have shared finances, you should also talk about how payment will work (and prevent the check dance). The rule I use is that whoever has scheduled a date has to pay.

Once you start planning, include dates on your calendar and make them a priority. If you have high work commitments, this can be a problem, but it is important. By setting aside time and not letting anything else get in the way, you show your partner that they are a priority and that you value them. Including dating on your calendar also increases the likelihood that you will make it a part of your day-to-day relationship.

If you have children (or pets who are lonely), find a reliable babysitting option, as well as a fallback, so the kids don’t interfere with your plans. In addition, you can save on services of the nurse, exchanging services for child care with friends .

Keep fresh with new assignments

Of course, adding dates to your calendar isn’t enough – you need to do more than just take action. For dating to be successful, you need to plan activities that will delight you and your partner. Focus on a variety of activities that are new to both of you. You can use the novelty of these activities to spice up your relationship.

Maintain unique dating ideas by finding good sources of inspiration. Give up activities that you both already enjoy. If you like food, make a list of restaurants you want to try, or look for local food truck congestions. Subscribe to the attractions you want to visit mailing lists, local forums and community mailing lists – they will give you a carefully curated list of upcoming events to choose from. You can also find out if any local museums have nightly activities that are great for dating, as they usually happen after hours and offer food and drinks.

Services like EventBrite host many local events for cities around the world, and they also create calendars showing interesting events for the month. Also, visit sites such as Thrillist (US cities) and Time Out (other countries). They both feature local events and provide ratings, suggestions, and site reviews.

If you’re really busy, try outsourcing your dating ideas. There are many services, sites and apps out there that send you dating ideas. First, see if Dating , Delightful ,Better Half, or 301 Dating Ideasare right for you and your partner. If you want to go beyond just outsourcing dating ideas, there are services (like Date Night Planners and For Love and Charmed ) that will schedule entire dates for you for a fee.

Get big from time to time – not just for anniversaries or birthdays. You will surprise your partner, try something really new and feel pampered.

Fill the gap between dates with small gestures.

Once you start going on regular dates, you will notice an improvement in how you and your partner feel about each other and your relationship. Maintain good feelings with small gestures between scheduled dates, such as flowers, candles at dinner, or doing something special for the other person. Even just cooking them homemade food or tidying up the house can develop the positive that dating brings to your relationship (knowing their love language is very helpful in understanding which little gestures have the most impact). You can also capture those feelings by documenting your dates with photos and other mementos and then displaying them to remind you of the amazing things you’ve done.

Remember what a date really is

Keep in mind that dating doesn’t always have to be romantic in nature. The most important part is just finding something that gives you and your partner the opportunity to spend time together and connect again.

Some of the best dates don’t have to cost anything either. A picnic in the park, preparing drinks at home, then walking around the area, or a day out exploring nearby attractions can all be a wonderful date. If you’d like to see what other people have done, check out Lifehacker Readers’ Suggestions for Free Events in New York , Los Angeles, and San Francisco .

In addition to new pursuits, you should also work on how to have interesting conversations that go beyond normal small talk. As tempting as it may be to use this time to discuss “home” topics, direct the conversation to areas that will allow you to learn more about your partner. Even if you’ve been together for a long time, you can still learn something new about your partner or see how his thoughts and opinions have changed over the years. Avoid interruptions or temptations to check your phone by agreeing to put your phones on airplane mode. If you’re unsure of what to talk about, plan your date around the conversation that sparks activity, or ask your partner when he was in his life before you knew him. You may be surprised at some of the interesting anecdotes that come up.

Relationships are difficult to maintain , but with a little preparation and work, you can use great dates to help.

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