How do you keep things new and fresh in a long term relationship?
Most couples agree that to continue to experience romance they need to continue “dating” each other but over time, couples can easily develop routines that become ruts.
Does this sound familiar?
Partner #1: “What do you want to do?”
Partner #2: “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?”
Then they end up doing pretty much the same thing they have done before, the opposite of novelty.
Couples can fall into “compromise ruts,” where each gives up what they really want to do in order to find something they can both agree upon. For example, in choosing movies, he might love action/adventure, she might love drama, and they might routinely compromise on comedies. After awhile this can get really old! (True story—this scenario happened to me)
What the alternative? How can couples keep dating each other fresh and exciting?
Try rotating the following four ONE-WAY DATES:
TYPE #1: Partner #1 creates an experience for Partner #2
The purpose of this date is to give a gift and please Partner #2 one hundred percent. This doesn’t have to cost anything, and doesn’t even require going anywhere, as long as the time and activities are creatively focused on what would please Partner #2.
TYPE #2: Switch; Partner #2 creates an experience for Partner #1
TYPE #3: Partner #1 creates a self-centered experience
The purpose of this date is for Partner #1 to please him/herself 100%, to have fun exactly the way they want, sharing the experience with Partner #2 in the way they wish, but not worrying about Partner #2’s experience at all.
TYPE #4: Switch; Partner #2 creates a self-centered experience
To work, this requires planning & coordination. I suggest couples plan their dates and one way types on a calendar a year in advance. This may sacrifice the spontaneity that some prefer, but often can’t sustain. Sacrificing spontaneity to choose a strategy to create novelty and romance and plan ahead for its implementation can continue to create romantic closeness and excitement for decades to come.
I have found that trying to reach agreement on everything in a relationship can hinder creativity and dilute the possibilities. One Way Dates allows for each partner to freely choose activities that would truly please themselves or their partner, without eliminating exciting choices trying to please both.
Sometimes ONE way is the BEST way, even in a relationship!