The importance of date night excitement is now being recognised as a contributing factor to marital satisfaction. For couples that have been married for several years it has been recommended to engage in regular date nights to relieve tedium in relationship. Traditionally marriage counsellors will recommend married couples to start date nights again, to stimulate their relationship. But research indicates that going on regular date nights is not enough to stop a relationship from getting stale.
Rather than visiting the same old familiar haunts and dining experience, couples need to tailor their date nights around new and different activities. The new activities should be something that both partners enjoy. New activities can be as simple as visiting a new restaurant. Or for those a little more adventurous or thrill-seeking they may take dancing lessons or sky diving.
Research by brain scientists has indicated that new experiences activate the brain’s reward system. The brain is flooded with dopamine and norepinephrine. These particular hormones are the same as those found in early romantic love; a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner. Interestingly enough, these are the same hormones that are involved in drug addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Most studies of love and marriage indicate that there will be a decline of romantic love over a period of time. This decline is seen as inevitable. The butterflies of early romance quickly flutter away and are replaced by familiar, predictable feelings of long-term attachment. But recent experiments have indicated that novelty or simply doing something new together, may reignite your relationship.
In recent studies it has been shown that romantic love can last years into a marriage. Scientists suggest that keeping the relationship exciting can be a contributing factor to a successful marriage. But scientists still do not know the exact reason why some couples remain romantically in love after many years, while others do not.
Christopher Swane - Relationship Counselling and Psychotherapy - Wellington New Zealand