Date Ideas that Deepen Connection

If you are in a long term relationship or marriage, you know that after a while it’s important to find new ways
to evolve with your partner. Maybe you and your partner have already traveled, go to dinner habitually, or
even do date nights every week.

If you’re looking for some new ideas that can bring you closer to your partner you’ve come to the right place!
In this article we will be discussing some experiences that can encourage growth and a new level of
connection with your special someone.

Cook Together. A great way to connect with someone is through the act of creative collaboration. If you are
always going out to restaurants, try staying home with your partner and cooking together. Not only are you
fine tuning your skills, but you are engaging in the experience of making something together with the added
bonus of enjoying the fruits of your labor! First, work together to pick a recipe that highlights your taste, offers
a chance to try a new technique or cuisine and gives you a chance to discover your individual talents. Are you
better at reading instructions and measuring out ingredients while your significant other works the stove top?
Use this as a chance to celebrate and honor what each other brings to the table (no pun intended!). Hopefully,
you will discover that as a whole you are greater than the sum of your parts. After creating your dish, enjoy it
together and talk about your favorite parts of the process, rate your skills and discuss some of the flavors and
elements about the dish you liked best.

Volunteer Together. Take a step outside of yourself and look into giving back to a charity or a cause that
means something to the two of you. There are many local nonprofit agencies that could use your help and
would benefit from having people who are passionate about its mission and goals. Sharing a meaningful
experience of giving back can create a deeper connection that is built around a higher purpose. Do you both
love animals? Consider becoming a volunteer dog walker or foster household with your partner. Enjoy
spending time with kids? Look into ways you can be helping local children through coaching, tutoring or
mentoring programs. What about working with seniors? Our aging population is a growing group who can
benefit from the time and care of volunteers. Working with your partner to help others and step outside of
yourselves can help you see your partner in a whole new light.

Go Shopping Together. Explore your partner’s style and taste by visiting local thrift shops, vintage stores or
farmers markets together. These types of shopping experiences are great options to find one of a kind and
often handmade items while supporting local business owners. At your local thrift store, you can pick out
outfits for yourself and for one another. Don’t be afraid to get silly! Channel your inner Christian McQueen and
create out of this world looks. The best part – if you end up finding a piece you can’t live without, it usually
won’t hurt the bank account or add to the fast fashion consumption cycle.

Our relationships are the jewels of life. And, as our partnerships mature, we can begin to take them for
granted. However, if you treat the important relationships in your life with intentionality and care you will be
delighted as they evolve and bloom into something deeper and more beautiful than you could have imagined.

For more information about how to mentor as a couple click here. 

Written by Ma’Kayla Goins, SIUE Student & Intern in collaboration with Heather Freed, LCSW, President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois.

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