Are you having fun in your relationship? I mean really having fun together or is it all business? In speaking with relationship therapists by the time a couple seeks counseling they are not having fun any longer. It’s actually painful to be in relationship together. They are seeking out a therapist for one of two reasons. It’s either a last-ditch effort to salvage the relationship or one of the partners is seeking confirmation that the relationship is over, seeking permission from the expert to end the relationship. A justification of sorts that they have done everything they can to salvage the relationship.
Once a relationship is at this stage it is more challenging to re-ignite the spark, but it is possible if at least one of the partners is committed to improvement. If both partners are committed and work towards the common goal it will be easier and quicker to improve things but if one person is acting and has intention to improve the relationship and turn things around there is still hope.
Step 1: Tell your partner how your feeling using I statements. “I feel disconnected in our relationship” or “I would like to have more fun in our relationship”. Once you share how you feel then you can share what you’re willing to do. “Our marriage/relationship is especially important to me and I’m willing to do what it takes to get us back on track”, “are you willing to help improve our relationship”?
Step 2: If they are willing to participate share with them your ideas of easy things you can both do to reconnect. You can find some great ideas in the 3 Ways to Bullet Proof Your Relationship. Let them know a great way to reconnect is to have more fun and an easy way to do this is to plan surprise dates for each other. Let them know you’ll take the lead and plan the first date. You can do this at home or out on the town. This doesn’t have to break the bank. It can be a low cost, no cost date or splurge on something special. The most important part of this is that you do something interactive and something you haven’t experienced together before.
People have asked me if I’m worried that I will run out of things to do, and my answer is absolutely not. After 6 years of planning monthly dates together over 144 to be exact there are still things we want to try. We recently had a double surprise date with another couple bowling. We had never bowled together. We both love horses and riding but have never been to a rodeo or a horse jumping competition or the Arabian Horse show. As you can see there are always new things to do. Live performances or comedians to see. The possibilities are endless.
Don’t worry If they are not willing to participate you can then invite them on a date and follow the suggestions mentioned. This one small act could be the catalyst to shift your relationship.
Plan one surprise date a month for your partner for at least 3 months and see what shifts in your relationship. Be patient as changes don’t usually happen overnight, they are gradual.
A couple I know was married for 20 plus years and they seperated from each other. They had raised two daughters and had just been existing together for years. This is a familiar story we’ve all heard where couples stay together until the children are gone and they have nothing left in common. They are no longer fulfilled with each other. The wife was completely done and checked out, but the husband asked her if he could take her on a date. She said no initially but he was persistent telling her he wanted to surprise her for her birthday and take her away for the weekend. She reluctantly accepted and he swept her away to the beach in San Diego. You see they had started dating when they were incredibly young and, in the beginning, loved to go to concerts together. One of their first concerts was White Snake that he surprised her with in their youth. For this trip he was pulling out all the stops knowing this was probably his last chance to win her a back and it was a “Hail Mary”, but he knew he had to try. She was and always had been the girl of his dreams. He desired to grow old with her and spoil the grandkids. The weekend in San Diego he wined and dined her at some of their favorite restaurants. This was a very smart move as reminiscing can bring back some of the memories and butterflies you felt in the begging of the relationship. The big surprise was taking her to see White Snake in concert, one of their favorite 80’s rock bands. In one weekend he melted her heart, and she chose to give their marriage another shot. She fell back in love with him, and they have now been married over 30 years and are thriving all because of a surprise weekend getaway.
Can you see how impactful a surprise date can be? Need to a little fuel to the fire make it a surprise weekend.
Surprise Dates are magical. They inspire us and make us feel alive with anticipation and appreciation. Don’t underestimate the power of surprise dates.
If by chance you already have a good or great relationship you can still implement surprise dates as a preventative measure but it’s also a lot of fun to experience surprise dates with the love of your life.