In a relationship Rut? These 18 activities will reignite the spark

One of the harshest realities of partnership is that the honeymoon phase ends. For many, the spark fizzles after the first few whimsical months. For others, the time of flushed cheeks and secret kisses never goes away. Being a self-proclaimed romantic, I’ve found that there’s a key to the latter: proactivity. The honeymoon period may close, but some wholehearted determination in the form of unique date ideas and a shared commitment able to keep the spark alive. Heck, it can grow stronger—and sexier.

What I am proposing is not revolutionary. But to be honest, I’ve found ways to stay mindful to be some of the best tools for living a mindful life. Time goes by fast. We become so enveloped in the meeting deadlines and quotas that we overlook the good things and this damages the relationship. Making time to connect with your loved one can sometimes be that ingredient to keep it exciting. As an acclaimed psychotherapist Esther Perel believes that taking risks and doing things together outside of your comfort zones is a prerequisite to keeping things sexy.

Selected image of Lauren Riboldi.

Picture of Kristen Kilpatrick

The coolest thing is that the ways to keep a relationship exciting don’t always make grand gestures or epic trips around the world. Some of the best, sexiest moments I’ve had with my boyfriend are simple, silly and free. So with that in mind, here are 18 unique date ideas—or you could even say activities to do when you’re bored together this winter—to help nurture your connection. Each will help keep the spark as bright as it was the first few months they were together.

18 unique date ideas

1. Have a dance party

Nothing screams hilarity, fun and vulnerability more than getting down with the person you love. Whether it’s at home or at a local bar, put on some of your favorite tunes and let loose. It’s medicine.

2. Go for a walk and talk

Google “walk and meetings” and tons of articles will pop up touting the benefits of walking the sidewalk for intense conversations. Just as this exercise helps us in the work world, it works wonders for our personal lives. Research shows that walking next to each other helps calm the mind and body, lowers stress and increases engagement. So pick a walking topic and an intention, whether light or intense, and get started with your partner. Not only is this one of my favorite unique date ideas, it’s an incredible workout for the body and heart.

3. Watch each other’s favorite movies – and then discuss

This is likely to be a two-night activity. Give your partner the freedom and support to choose one of them favorite movie of all time, ideally one you haven’t seen yet. Watch it together and follow the screening with a fun conversation about what the film evokes for them. Change it up and do the same for you. It’s amazing how art can bring out the deepest layers of someone.

4. Play your favorite songs

Like above, pick several songs that you love and play them for your partner. Tell them what you love most about each one and how it makes you feel. Then switch over.

5. Meditate together

It is relaxing, healthy and so therapeutic. Meditating is also beautiful to participate in as one of the healthiest unique date ideas and an act of self-love with your partner.

Picture of Balathée photography

6. Hold a relationship (or marriage) meeting

Just like it sounds, this concept requires setting a date, sitting down and chatting about your connection. It’s an antidote to complacency because, as Brittany so aptly puts it, we can talk to our partners all the time, but having a relationship or marriage meeting means that there is an intention behind what we are communicating in that moment. Explore things that work, pain points, and what each of you would love more of in your relationship. Doing this can open the doors to a deeper connection and commitment to each other and the bond you share.

7. Go to a new one Old Restaurant

You know those places you drive by day after day, year after year and never try? It is often a result of our habits. Pick a restaurant that has been around for a while and make a date night out of it. Ask to speak to the owners to learn more about their history. While it’s fun to make a reservation at the hot new restaurant, it can be rewarding to learn more about the institutions that have served a community.

8. Read passages aloud

ONE favorite book is a window into someone’s inner mind and soul. Ask your partner to choose their favorite book and read a passage or two aloud to you. Do the same for them. Talk about visions, feelings and ideas that arise for each of you.

9. Volunteer in your neighborhood

Regardless of whether it is by one animal shelter, a food bank, a local Boys & Girls Club, or a neighborhood cleanup – giving back is second to none for our souls. It is doubled when shared with your love.

Picture of Kristen Kilpatrick

10. Take out a single friend

When we are together, we often don’t spend as much one-on-one time with our single friends. And why do we reserve shared fun dinners for other couples? Push this idea aside by taking out a single friend. It is so rewarding and inspiring to give a dear friend your undivided attention, and even more so when it is you and your partner shining all the light on them.

11. Explore your love languages

Dr. Gary Chapman was on to something: The author and therapist believes that each of us speaks what he calls one “language of love.” In essence, it is a specific way in which we all communicate our love to people, primarily intimate partners. There are five, and each one is fascinating and telling. Spend a night going through the different love languages ​​to discover how you and your partner express your feelings. This has been life changing for me.

12. Make a new meal from scratch

Aim to make a dish that none of you have ever made or eaten. If you need inspiration, draw one Cook Book and open it to a random page. Make your grocery list, grab your ingredients at the market, then head back to cook. Lean into every minute of the process. It is a Saturday that has become happy.

13. Do a quick (or slow) round of questions

First set some parameters. Do you want the questions to stay within a topic? Is something off-limits? Can you forward a question? The rules are yours to make. Just keep your eye on the goal here, which is to learn more about the person you love. Consider this a direct line to the good stuff.

14. Rearrange your furniture

Refreshes your room(s). can be invigorating. Spend the afternoon moving the sofa around, rehanging the art, mixing up the lighting and weeding out any decor pieces that no longer serve. If you don’t live together, set aside time for each of your rooms.

15. FaceTime with family

When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with Aunt Ann? Or has your partner ever met your Uncle Bill? Video chat with a beloved extended family member—on your side, their side, or both—for no reason other than to say hello, share memories, and connect.

Picture of Wynn Myers

16. Start planning an exotic, wild, once-in-a-lifetime trip

Begin is the operative word here – and it can mean simply exploring the ultimate destination and activity you’d love to do. Explore ideas. Talk about why, how and where on the trip. Discuss the obstacles. Be open about your fears. Just saying out loud ‘I want to go to the Arctic’ makes it more of a reality that you can both work towards making happen one day.

17. Share old photos

Choose a handful of images from each of your pasts and tell each other the context of each: Where were you? What do you remember feeling at the time? Who took the picture? How do you feel about looking at it now? Looking back at our past is a beautiful way to harness vulnerability for a more connected future.

18. Write letters to each other

Set the mood for this one by lighting some candles and turning on some jazz. So grab sheets of paper (no computers or phones!), sit down and write letters to each other. Get deep. Share how you felt when you met, what you love about your relationship now, and where you want it to go. You can read them to each other when you are finished, or send them via email. Do not hold back. After all, getting out of our comfort zones triggers good things.

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