Date night is wonderful idea. Date night communicates love for each partner from each partner. When we make space for a date night, we make space for our partner; for our relationship. It is a demonstrable way to show our commitment; our love; our want to be with our partner or partners.
Date nights are one of the strategies people try when it comes to rekindling a relationship. I often find myself sitting with relationships in therapy listening to partners talk about how they go on date night and it does not go to plan – they struggle with conversation; they fight – they lack connection. Date night is sometimes viewed as a solution to relationship dis-connection; as a way to connect. Yet, if we are not connected with our partners then we wont be able to connect on date night.
Date night though does not just happen. We have to prepare; to plan. We have to scaffold date night. Scaffolding is the small connecting acts we do with our partners. Relationships are bridges between partners and like bridges they require a structure, a framework to hold the bridge up; to sustain our relationship. When we look at scaffolding, it is often small building materials that are joined together to form a super strong structure. Find more about scaffolding.
When we consider our relationships, the basic unit of scaffolding is communication. And communication is about listening-to-understand or active listening. Listening is more than listening to the words – it is about understanding what a partner is saying to us (and not what we think they are saying!) Listening is a skill we all need in our personal and professional life.
An exercise I use when working with relationships is Relationship Time. Relationship Time, like Date Night, is about creating space (and time) for the relationship. It focuses partners on connecting with each other. You can read about Relationship Time on an earlier post.
Another scaffolding act is incidental touch – whether this holding hands occasionally while watching television, or cuddling each morning before getting out of bed. When you think about scaffolding think about small acts that bring connection; that join partners together.
When it comes to date night another scaffolding strategy is being on the same page. Partners need to know what they are hoping to achieve from date night. Spend some time discussing, or planning what date night is going to be about. Maybe consider the question,
What are you expecting from date night?
A healthy life includes healthy relationships and a healthy sex life.
Dr Christopher Fox is a Psychosexual and Relationship Therapist at Sex Life Therapy in Melbourne. He has clinics in Collingwood and Frankston. He provides eTherapy using secured platforms.
Find out more about relationship therapy at Sex Life Therapy.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide an overview of the subject matter covered. Please see a an appropriate practitioner if you have any concerns.