Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Keep It Vibrant! Make Date Night “Experience Night”

Recent research into long-term relationships confirms that novelty is essential for sustaining romance. Exciting new experiences cause the body to produce the same hormones that are activated when we fall in love. When we encounter the unknown, we enter a state of heightened awareness. We feel alive. And when we do this together, we feel connected through that sense of vitality.

One way to inject novelty into your relationship—and make date night compelling as well as fun—is to experiment with activities that are entirely new to you both. The range of experiences available today is virtually unlimited. With ten minutes of research online (try searching “exciting date ideas” or listings of local events), you’ll find plenty of ideas for things that will make you both a little nervous or apprehensive—which is exactly what you’re looking for.

You might take a class together, like contra dancing, painting, singing, partner yoga, or couples massage. Join a drum circle, go out for an evening of karaoke, volunteer at a hospital or homeless shelter, or shoot a game at the local pool hall. Attend an experimental music concert, a performance art show, or a lecture on a topic you know nothing about. Be spontaneous: Climb a tree, do a cartwheel, walk in the rain, make out in the moonlight. Read poetry to each other, go bowling, join a book group, or take a photography walk. Challenge your inner skeptic by visiting a palm reader, having your aura photographed, or getting a tarot reading. Camp out instead of reserving a room—especially if you’ve ever insisted, “I don’t camp!” Remember, the point is to go beyond your comfort zones.

Physical activities, particularly unfamiliar ones, are especially bonding, as they will call on you to support and rely on one another. Take a hip-hop or tai chi class. Try hula hooping, skinny dipping, line dancing, or indoor skydiving. Take lessons at a rock-climbing gym, join a boot-camp workout group, or train for a triathlon. Or get a little more intimate by seeking out a Japanese spa, a mud bath, or even a pole-dancing class. If these suggestions are too mundane for you, how about stripping down for a naked yoga class?

Read more inspiring ideas in Chapter 11: Exploring the Edges in the new book The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships.

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