Many people, including myself, will tell you how essential date night is because it is. We do, however, have longer date evenings every couple of months, which is really wonderful. Since it's a date night, I try, if ineptly, to arrange them. An extended date night is exactly what it sounds like a date that lasts more than a few hours.
I'll give you an example from the last one Lu and I did. We traveled downtown, about 20 minutes from our house, and slept in a hotel for the night. We got massages, went to dinner, wandered about, and because we didn't have to worry about getting home for babysitters or getting up for kids, we were able to just relax and breathe. We wandered through some gardens, looked at art, and pretended we didn't have anything else on our plates. These are fantastic and do not have to be too expensive. However, the benefit of these prolonged date nights is tremendous.
We aim to take vacations just the two of us once a quarter, which amounts to roughly twice a year, but these stay-in-town and rest getaways are fantastic. The basic idea is to go out of your daily routine and do something together that allows you to simply be together. Stay in a cheap hotel, visit a park, and eat at a drive-through; it doesn't have to be expensive. Guys, this is a fantastic surprise date for your ladies.
Plan everything out and tell her what you're planning to do ahead of time. I've given her enough advice to know not to surprise her with it. You may think she is perfect exactly the way she is, but getting dressed up and having her hair and nails done is frequently part of what makes it special for her, so let her know ahead of time so she has time to do the hair and nails. What I like about this is that it addresses all of the love languages.
You are serving them if you plan it for them at least partly correctly. This is unquestionably quality time. Gifts, I'm not sure how you don't view this as a gift, but get them a robe or cologne or something and that gift will be associated with this memory. You could even make gift shopping an event. You'll have plenty of time to tell her you did it because she's amazing and you adore her, so words of affirmation will be plentiful.
You're also staying at a hotel, so the tactile contact should be easy to figure out. If done halfway correctly, this can be a huge benefit to your relationship. You don't have to do it all the time, but it's worth a go.
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Dr. Matt Chalmers
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