After a couple arrives at the attachment stage of their romantic relationship, a peculiar occurrence tends to happen. The two people often become lazy, careless, and complacent.
They fall into the typical scenario where they both think they can just relax and stop going out with their lover. They say to themselves: “He/she is my lover now, and they’re not going anywhere.”
I call this phenomenon the complacency trap. And the consequences of it are dire.
Suppose you suddenly get ambushed by complacency. In that case, your partner will gradually become bored and go seeking adventure and excitement among other people like their friends and family.
And if you keep you keep up your smug, sloth-like act for long enough, your partner might even become cantankerous. When they turn this way, you’ll eventually get flooded by their bad moods and trivial bickerings.
Because of this, you’ll most often shut down emotionally or escalate things to the point where they become toxic. Whether the former or the latter happens, the result will be the same: the mutual attraction between you and your partner will start to decline, and resentment will rise.
At that moment, most people lose their marbles and desperately try to force things back to normal. Put differently, they become needy, overcompensating, and show a myriad of suffocating behaviors that repel their partner even further.
This string of events is a real and frequent pattern I’ve encountered among multiple couples time and time again.
Even I sometimes fall into the complacency trap. But, luckily, I learned to catch myself when that happens and revert the whole thing by taking my girlfriend on a date. Dating is the keyword here, by the way. Dating is what helps you fend off the nasty complacency trap.
Therefore, cultivate the ability to notice when you’re nearing the complacency trap and counteracting the potential adversity by going out with your partner.
And don’t you dear tell me how you don’t have the time to date your lover. I don’t care if your relationship is three weeks old or ten fucking years; dating and courting your partner is a necessity as long as you’re together.
Yet the question remains, “how many dates should you be having with your partner for an optimally satisfying relationship?”
Well, that entirely depends on you and your lifestyle.
(I know, nobody likes this answer.)
Some of my friends go on dates with their partners every week. Others go out every day. And some couples date randomly — some weeks they have three dates in a row, and other weeks they have no dates. Me? I take my girlfriend out once a week and take quarterly 5-day vacations.
However, the number of dates you have isn’t all that important. The quality of those dates is a far more crucial aspect.
If your idea of a great date is watching youtube videos with your lover every night, you probably won’t get far with them.
Don’t get me wrong, great dates can be just watching youtube videos or movies, but you should also sprinkle some of them with new activities to keep things fresh — something that promotes adventure and, well… a sense of newness. In fact, newness is the secret ingredient that keeps a relationship exciting long-term.
Below, I’ll share four fundamental principles that you can apply to make your dates better, denser with newness, and, hopefully, unforgettable.
1. HAVE DATEs on MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
When people think of a date, they often picture a nice evening dinner at a fancy restaurant or a quick drink at a bar. While these are not lousy date ideas at all, we can do better.
For example, instead of just going to a fancy restaurant or driving to the bar with our partner, we can do both. Then, in the end, also add a late-night walk on the beach or in the city. In other words, when preparing a date, let it be an experience for your partner. One way of doing this is always to have it on multiple locations.
When I was still a dating coach, I usually advised people to take their partner or date to at least three or four separate locations in a span of an afternoon.
If you follow this principle, your companion will feel like the two of you had three/four individual dates, and as a result, they will be even more excited and on their toes.
Here’s a personal example of how this principle plays out. I usually start my dates by taking my girlfriend on a drive around the countryside, then we have a quick snack at a place where we haven’t gone yet, and then we end things off by coming home, cooking dinner and watching a movie together.
In general, activities like bowling, diving, swimming, road trips, the arcade, cooking, visiting new restaurants, cozy bars, and taking a stroll around town are all great examples of dating ideas you can incorporate into your relationship.
For a start, pick three from the list, prepare a date based around them, execute, evaluate if it was a satisfying experience or not, and make adjustments if necessary.
Also, if you’re the one putting together the date, always prepare for the worst. What if it rains and your date? What will you do then? Where will you go? In other words, always have a plan B when making full-fledged dates.
And don’t think that your dates have to be extravagant or groundbreaking, as shown in popular movies. On the contrary, the simpler, the better. First, it’s the simple dates that are the most meaningful, and Second, the more mundane dates you have, the more exciting, an occasional grand one will be.
2. LET YOUR PARTNER DISCOVER your plans IN REAL-TIME
Years ago, I came across a hack that makes dating way more pleasurable, and it’s all about letting your partner find out what you have planned, gradually over time.
Put differently, let your plans unfold right then and there in front of your lover’s eyes. This means that you don’t tell them what you’ll be doing or where you’ll be going — you let your date be a surprise.
For example, you might love your weekly pizza and rented movie date, but that can get old quickly. So, it’s worth disrupting your usual dating pattern. Here’s a concrete example of how this looks; if you know that your partner is interested in museums, surprise them with a trip to one instead of having another pizza-movie night. Similarly, you can also decide on doing something that neither of you experienced before.
Ultimately, you don’t always have to make your dates a surprise (that could even backfire long-term and become annoying), but you can always go the extra step and have your dates somewhere new. Or you can put a twist on the old.
For example, instead of spending another evening at a new restaurant with your partner, buy some ingredients and make a random meal at home. Or instead of stopping at a cafe to eat while on a road trip for the god-damn 36th time, buy some snacks at a local gas station and have a picnic somewhere outside.
3. FOCUS ON BONDING NOT BUSINESS
When you’re on a date, your partner probably wants to relax by you and get comfortable and have fun. The last thing on their mind is work or discussing something stressful. Therefore, save your business concerns or any solemn topic for a later time.
Also, put the damn phone down and close your laptop, you fucking donkey. A date is not a place for that. You’ll text your buddies or girl-friends later. The overall goal of any date is to bond, have fun, and make love. Keep that thought at the forefront of your skull.
4. End YOUR texting relationship
This principle is mostly tied to the events leading to your date and not necessarily the actual date. But, I feel it’s still paramount to point out, especially in today’s time where everyone is glued to their phones 24/7. So here goes…
A texting relationship sucks. Below are four reasons why.
1. You can rarely guess the intentions of the other person through a text.
There have been numerous times in my life where I was texting with someone and thought, “Is this person joking right now, or is he/she serious?” Chances are, you had many similar experiences.
As a result of those experiences, your insecurities could get triggered — especially if you have an anxious attachment type. Thus you may begin to sabotage your relationship with needy behaviors.
2. Your partner may get confused about your intentions through a text.
Similar to the previous point, occasionally, you’re going to be texting with your partner and think, “Do they know that I’m joking right now, or will he/she take me seriously, I hope not…”
Having that example in mind, you can probably guess that jokes, wit, and sarcasm don’t always translate well over text. In fact, they normally lead to confusion at best and harsh disagreements at worst.
3. Texting gets boring, fast.
While people in the early stages (lust and attraction stage) of a relationship can get away with daily text conversations, it can get tiresome for couples who had been together for a more extended period.
4. Texting kills dating conversations.
It’s no secret that if you have a 3-hour texting convo with your lover before your actual date, you probably won’t have too many things to talk about when you actually go out and see them.
Ultimately, texting is the Achilles’ heel of various clients of mine. They often want to build a phone-based relationship with their partner. But in the process of doing so, their partners misinterpret their messages, get pissed off, and then turned off.
So what can you do?
A good place to start would be to breakup with texting and use your phone exclusively as an appointment-setting device. If there’s something urgent, sure, contact your lover, but don’t converse with them for hours and hours and hours.
Let me end this piece with the wise words from one of my first role models.
“If you don’t date your partner, eventually someone else will. People who struggle in long-term relationships typically make the same mistakes. After several years of being together and living together, they get caught up in work, life, or unexpected challenges and start treating their partners like roommates who will stick around no matter what. This causes them to feel unloved, unappreciated and unwanted.
Eventually, the neglected partner falls out of love and either ends the relationship or starts a new one with someone else who makes them feel special, the way they once did.
Therefore, remember: The courtship never ends in a relationship. If you truly care for your partner, you will continually show them this, through your actions, by continuously dating and courting them, even when life is difficult or full of challenges. — By Corey Wayne
Cover photo by WallpaperFlare
Corey Wayne is strictly a men’s dating/life coach, so I had to modify his quote to suit both men and women since those are the readers of my site. If you wish to read the original quote, you can do so by clicking here.
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